30 September 2013
Law firm’s limitation negligence brought to account
Keeping to deadlines is crucial for many cases and missing one can be the difference between a positive or negative outcome. This was particularly poignant in a recent litigation matter.
The B P Collins litigation and dispute resolution team was approached by an individual for advice and assistance after his previous law firm ceased to act for him, having missed a limitation deadline.
Historically a law firm had been approached for advice and to progress a claim against the individual's former employer for damages. However, after looking through the previous firm's files it appeared that the case had not been progressed effectively and the limitation period had simply passed without any preventative action.
On review, the firm ceased to act and suggested that further advice should be taken. B P Collins LLP was subsequently instructed to investigate the matter with the law firm's indemnity insurer and to consider issuing proceedings to recover the likely loss.
Initially a hard line approach was taken by the indemnity insurer, which was based primarily upon the fact that the individual's employer had rejected liability in respect of the individual's underlying claim. This however, is very common in the early stages of such claims and so the Litigation and dispute resolution team was able to build a strong prima facie case. This enabled the parties to negotiate and, ultimately, settle on a significant payment in our client's favour.
Simon Carroll, Associate and lead lawyer in the matter, commented: "Unfortunately these things do happen in practice and it can often be especially difficult in cases like this, which involve damages for the loss of a chance of a successful outcome, to get parties to agree.
“In this case we were able to successfully utilise the circumstances of the case to take a commercial position and secure an outcome that was both satisfactory for our client and bearable for the insurer, saving both parties further investment in time and cost of a trial".