Duty of a conveyancing lawyer when advising on a corporate transaction


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The High Court recently found that a Legal Executive with 40 years’ experience in conveyancing acted in breach of contract and negligently when advising a client on a commercial transaction.

The client, an experienced property developer, had negotiated with the company in relation to acquiring its land. After the structure of the transaction was agreed, the Legal Executive failed to advise on the difference between an option to buy property and an option to buy the company.

The client alleged that, had he been properly advised, he would have entered into an option to buy the land and not the company itself. He subsequently brought an action against the Legal Executive and claimed loss of profits that he would have received from redeveloping the land.

Luckily for the professional, the case was dismissed in this instance as the client failed to establish causation. However, the case demonstrates the potential risks when solicitors advise clients on areas outside their own expertise.

At Barker Gotelee we have a dedicated team of legal professionals specialising in services for life, land and business. As a full service law firm, we have the benefit of being able to call upon our range of expertise if something arises that is outside any individual lawyer’s specific practice area.

If you need advice, please call our experienced and friendly team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk