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Negligence – causation?

The principle set out in Donoghue v Stevenson was that a manufacturer owes a duty to the end user to take reasonable care to ensure that the produce (in that case, ginger beer) will not cause personal injury to the user. That principle was later extended to include damage to property. The key point to note here is the word ‘cause’ – what we lawyers term causation.

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Negligence – second valuation

A first valuation takes place, followed by a second valuation, at which time the first loan is discharged, and replaced by a second loan. The current state of the law means that if the second valuation is negligent, the lender will only have a claim against the valuer if the first valuation was also negligent. This seems a strange and undesirable outcome, but this is the risk that a lender takes on a refinancing. Specifically:

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Occupiers’ liability – visitor

The trend over the last decade has been to limit the liability of occupiers to visitors who are injured by low-risk hazards. But, a recent High Court decision shows that liability can attach.

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Nuisance – injunction?

A year ago, in Lawrence [2014], the Supreme Court adopted a considerably more flexible stance on whether an injunction or damages should be granted against a nuisance (in that case, noise from a nearby racetrack). 

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Defamation – website

The Defamation Act 2013 contains two new defamation defences for website operators.

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Snow and ice – liability

This winter’s snow and ice raised obvious questions as to the obligation to clear away snow and ice from commercial premises that are open to members of the public. 

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Breach of trust – damages

As we have previously noted, claims by lenders against conveyancing solicitors were traditionally framed as negligence claims. Now, however, the lender will do everything it can to structure it as a breach of trust claim.

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Valuation – margin of error

The High Court has recently reconfirmed that the ‘permissible margin’ of error in a negligent valuation case will be 5% for a ‘standard’ residential property and 10% for a ‘one-off’ property. 

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Conveyancing – breach of trust

Claims by lenders against conveyancing solicitors were traditionally framed as negligence claims. Now, however, the lender will do everything it can to structure it as a breach of trust claim.

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Negligence – insolvency practitioners

The recession has led to a marked growth in the amount of work for insolvency practitioners (IPs), and that in turn has led to a growth in negligence claims against them. But, it is difficult to win such a claim:

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LPAs – gifts by attorneys
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CVA – use to reduce rent
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Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
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Paternity – best interests
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