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Conveyancing solicitor negligence case appeal decision

21st January 2013

However, the Court of Appeal has now reversed this decision, saying it was satisfied that the defendant carried out all reasonable checks. This might seem like a suitable outcome, considering that the discredited firm was actually listed on the Law Society’s “Find a lawyer” website and even on official Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) records.

It would later emerge that the SRA had actually been notified of the firm’s unfitness for practice but had failed to do anything about this.

In clearing the conveyancing solicitor of any liability for the professional negligence compensation claim, the judge ruled that “The loss sustained by Nationwide was caused by the fraud of an unconnected third party.

“The lapse from best practice, if any, did not cause the loss to Nationwide. Given that [the fee-earner] acted both honestly and reasonably I can see no ground on which [the defendant] should be denied relief from all liability.”

The Law Society said that it welcomed the decision as “clarification” regarding the law as it relates to liability in residential property transactions.

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