24th May 2017
Christopher Butcher QC and Harry Wright obtained summary judgment on behalf of a firm of solicitors facing a claim in negligence by a (non-client) third party , on the basis that the claim was statute barred.
The case was unusual in that it was the Defendant’s second application for summary disposal of the claim. It previously succeeded in striking out the claim as initially pleaded on the basis that it was time-barred (see  EWHC 170 (Ch)). However, the then Chancellor permitted the Claimant to plead a new case that the Defendant acted without its client’s instructions in amending the articles of a Jersey investment company and thereby allegedly reducing the distributions to three sub-trusts.
Following amendments to the pleadings and consideration of evidence relevant to the new cause of action, the Defendant made a second application under CPR 3.4 and 24.2 on the basis that no duty of care of the type alleged could be owed, alternatively that the new claim was also statute barred, and could not be saved by ss. 14A or 32 of the Limitation Act 1980. Rose J said that there was a “great deal of force” in the duty of care point, but considered it unnecessary to decide the point because she found that the claim was statute barred.
To view the judgment please click here.