Eva has wide experience in all aspects of solicitors’ negligence claims. In the current round of lenders’ litigation Eva is frequently advising on securitisation issues and breaches of trust, fiduciary duty, warrant of authority and undertakings, and associated equitable remedies. She has advised on numerous lost and/or mishandled litigation claims. While the latter provides plenty of scope for argument about breach of duty and causation, Eva has a sharp eye for reducing the quantum of the former by focusing on loss of chance and mitigation issues. Eva has experienced most forms of incompetent conveyancing and property related disputes and has detailed knowledge when it comes to seeking rectification/indemnity against the Land Registrar. In wills and trusts disputes Eva has frequently advised on duties owed, not only by advisors to the testator, but by advisors to the personal representatives and by professional administrators / executors / trustees and on the remedies available to the estate and beneficiaries. She also has experience of claims brought against solicitors due to dissatisfaction following matrimonial settlements. Although Eva acts predominantly for defendants she enjoys acting as poacher turned gamekeeper. For examples see below:
- Defending solicitors in £3.7 million claim for negligence in allegedly failing to report properly on planning permission situation. Interesting issues of contributory negligence in the context of bridging finance. Ongoing;
- defending solicitors in £860K claim for negligence, breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty in allegedly releasing lender’s advance monies without obtaining valid mortgage deeds. Restoration of trust fund sought. Difficult issues as to limitation and quantum where no default to date on the loan. Ongoing;
- defending solicitors in document heavy claims arising from numerous buy-to-let transactions involving various lenders. Issues as to scope of reporting obligations and breaches of fiduciary duty. Ongoing;
- advising major firm of valuers on securitisation, contributory negligence, effect of assignment clauses, standstill agreements and inter-relationship with limitation defences in multiple claims. Ongoing;
- instructed with Paul Mitchell, Spike Charlwood and Mark Simpson QC defending solicitors in high-value claim arising from ‘sub prime’ buy-to-let mortgage lending. Major issues as to effect of securitisation, contributory negligence and adequacy of pleading of breach of fiduciary duty. Settled;
- advised provider of bridging-loans on £600K claim against vendor’s solicitors for breach of undertakings in failing to provide valid surrender documentation upon receipt of purchase monies.
Conveyancing and property disputes:
- Advising claimant on lost value of sporting/shooting rights due to solicitor’s negligent conveyancing. Ongoing;
- acting for Nigerian executors in claim for £560K proceeds of sale of main estate asset wrongfully paid away by solicitors to an impostor who had inserted himself into the chain of communications. Ongoing;
- defended licensed conveyancers where negligence for losing a developer the option to acquire additional land admitted. Issue as to whether consequential losses based on profits which would have been made were recoverable and quantum. Of the claim for £620K, only £38K awarded following 4-day trial before Mr Justice Vos;
- advised solicitors in defending £530K third party claim for alleged negligence in failing to acquire the freehold of a property or extended lease, prior to sale of the property. Issues as to contribution between successive firms of solicitors and detailed working of leasehold reform legislation;
- acted for claimants against solicitors who failed to warn that pre-contract searches had revealed the new build property was on a flood plain. Negligence and causation denied and expert hydrology evidence required. Successfully settled pre-trial;
- advised solicitors in additional claim brought by vendor, arising from dispute between purchaser and vendor involving allegations of misrepresentation and failure to disclose latent incumbrances. Issues as to limitation, duties owed to third parties and the duty of disclosure in conveyancing transactions. Settled at mediation;
- defended claim brought by elderly client that solicitors allowed sale of her property at an undervalue. Issue as to whether the sale was void or voidable and the effect on subsequent registration of mortgagee’s charge impacting on causation of any loss. Claim withdrawn after service of defence and negotiations;
- acted for solicitors alleged to have failed to identify extent of property to be sold at auction and to have substituted plans upon completion of transfer – issues as to specific performance and impact upon part 20 claim – 3 day trial;
- advised solicitors in claims involving alleged failure to advise properly on repairing responsibilities in sub-underlease/failure to include compensation clauses in commercial leases/failure to properly advise on break clauses/failure to renew statutory business tenancy – standard of care and extent of loss sustained;
- numerous cases involving failure to advise on absence of planning permission/building regulations consent/NHBC guarantees/listed building consent etc – various issues as to assessment of diminution in value of property, contribution from valuers, recoverability of loss of business profits and consequential losses.
Lost and mishandled litigation claims:
- Advising solicitor alleged to have failed to advise that a CFA entered with Counsel was unenforceable. Ongoing;
- acting for claimants or defendant firms in numerous cases involving allegations of failure to advise settlement earlier and/or on better terms and/or failure to advise on costs exposure arising from all sorts of commercial and personal injury disputes;
- defended solicitors in second generation professional negligence claim where solicitors (and counsel) allegedly lost the claimants the chance to recover £200K from their former advisors who had acted in a long-running neighbour dispute. Claim withdrawn following mediation;
- acted for solicitors alleged to have failed to adduce evidence in a criminal prosecution – issue as to application of collateral attack doctrine;
- numerous cases brought by disgruntled clients following resolution of matrimonial proceedings including acting for solicitors alleged to have negligently failed to advise that ancillary relief proceedings might preclude a personal injury claim by reason of abuse of process arguments;
- junior in claim for £1m+ against solicitors where heads of loss in underlying personal injury action barred due to delay;
- advised solicitors in claim for £500K based on alleged failure to appeal in time the decision in medical negligence trial – issue as to whether chance had actually been lost;
- acted for claimant in claim that solicitors failed to advise on effect of a business sale agreement and related insolvency proceedings;
- advised solicitors in lost personal injury actions where claim form not issued in time and where claim form issued against wrong party – both cases defended on basis there had been a break in causation/failure to mitigate because new solicitors had failed to apply for extension of time under section 33 and/or for substitution.
Wills, trusts and commercial disputes
- Advised solicitors in complicated claim by executors, beneficiaries and trustees alleging increased liability to inheritance tax and capital gains tax arising from negligent estate planning advice given to testator. Daniels v Thompson issues as to who any duty was owed and who had suffered the loss alleged;
- advised accountants alleged to have negligently exercised their powers of investment as professional trustees in claim by co-trustee and executor and beneficiary;
- advised beneficiaries as to potential claim against professional solicitor executor for failures in administration during the executor’s year and increased exposure to inheritance tax – issue as to who duty of care was owed and possibility of claim in devastavit;
- advised solicitors in claim by trustees for loss of tax relief where solicitor alleged to have acted for the trustees, beneficiaries, and grantee of option under the will - issues as to assumption of duty of care to third parties and causation of loss;
- advised solicitors on failure to advise testator on need to sever joint tenancy and accrual of cause of action for limitation purposes;
- advised solicitors on liability and quantum where failure to administer estate timeously alleged, and where wrongful distribution of monies held on trust alleged.
- Numerous cases advising solicitors on claims that better settlements could have been achieved in ancillary relief proceedings.
Contribution and fraud claims
- Junior for solicitors in £1m+ contribution claim brought by accountants against them and leading tax counsel arising from failed and allegedly fraudulent tax saving scheme involving multiple companies.
- Defending nationwide firm of valuers in numerous claims alleging over-valuation of residential premises. Ongoing;
- defended structural consultants in claim for alleged under-estimation of steel tonnage and negligence in D&B design. Issue as to scope of retainer and breach. Settled before week-long trial;
- defended surveyors in claim for allegedly failing to ascertain true extent of dry rot and remedial costs in residential purchase;
- defended architects for alleged wrongful design in breach of planning permission conditions and loss of development profits due to delay in sale;
- defended surveyors alleged to have failed to advise of risk of flooding;
- advised architects of hotel extension in claim for £1.1m on liability generally and limitation relating to consequential losses, effect of arbitration and possibility of contribution from quantity surveyor;
- junior in large claim against architects and contractors resulting from a fire at a supermarket built under a D&B contract - issues concerned scope of duty of care and contractual obligations, accrual of causes of action and limitation.
Insurers and others
- Junior in arbitration to determine coverage between insurer and solicitor insured. Ongoing;
- advising on construction of various insurance policies, non-disclosure and late notification;
- defended broker in part 20 claim for £370,000+ based on alleged non-notification leading to refusal of indemnity;
- acted for claimant Insurer seeking to recover outlay after explosion at Insured's property caused by neighbour tampering with gas supply. 3-day trial;
- advised Insurer on claim to recover outlay arising from independent contractor's alleged negligence in failing to secure premises such that vandals caused fire;
- advised Insurer on claim to recover outlay arising from fire caused by independent contractor of the Insured's neighbour. Successfully settled pre-trial.
Advised claimant in action against vet for failing to explain significance of previous double neurectomy and negligence in declaring horse fit for dressage following prior to purchase examination.
- Acting for expert ophthalmologist suing for his fees. Counterclaim alleges negligence in the giving of advice and evidence. Ongoing.