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Blakemores LDP (in administration) v Scott

Blakemores LDP (in administration) v Scott [2015] EWCA Civ 999

Blakemores sued former clients Ms Scott and others for fees of £635,000 due under a CFA for work done in relation to a claim concerning manorial rights in Lancashire. The claim was defended on the basis that Blakemores had been negligent in failing to lodge an objection to registration of title in time and pleaded on the basis that this negligence had been acknowledged by Blakemores’ solicitor. Blakemores obtained summary judgment on the basis that the defendants had known of the alleged negligence more than three years before the issue of proceedings and therefore that the claim was statute barred under section 14A Limitation Act 1980. The defendants appealed.

Held: knowledge of negligence in itself was not sufficient to establish knowledge of a “material fact about the damage” for the purpose of section 14A(7); the appellants did not know anything that would lead a reasonable person to sue. A trial of the facts was necessary.

John de Waal QC acted for Blakemores.