Langsam v Beachcroft LLP [2012]

In the case of Langsam v Beachcroft LLP [2012] EWCA Civ 1230 the Claimant had brought a claim previously against his accountants. That claim was for failure to advise that he was entitled to be treated as having non-domiciliary status and that he should seek confirmation of that from the Revenue.

It was his case in the negligence claim against the accountants that if he had been properly advised he would have put in place an equity release arrangement.

Those proceedings were settled for £1,000,000 with no order for costs.

The Claimant then sought to dispute the advice given to him from the solicitors as to settlement saying that it was unduly pessimistic and that they failed to advise as to the importance of a witness and other matters.

Proceedings were issued against the solicitors.

The claim was a loss of chance claim as to what benefit he would have got if he entered into an earlier equity release scheme. The solicitors had obtained advice from leading counsel which they were entitled to rely on unless it was obviously wrong.

Counsel had not been negligent, his advice had been on the conservative side but there was a range of possible options and other variables which affected the range of damages which could have been advised on.

It wasn’t obviously wrong that the solicitors should have sought to question it. The claimant had been keen to settle the claim and he was advised that if he proceeded with the claim he may well recover substantially more.

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