Connaught Income Fund, Series 1 (in liquidation) v Hewetts Solicitors (a former firm)

Solicitor – Professional negligence. The Chancery Division dismissed the claimant lender's claim for damages for professional negligence against the defendant firm of solicitors where the allegations had not been established, save in one instance. The lender had claimed it had relied on a certificate of title (COT) produced by the defendant solicitors, who had been instructed by the first instance borrowers, in authorising draw-down on a loan for the purchase of a property by the eventual borrower. The court held that solicitors, in circumstances such as in the present case, did not owe to the lender the wider duty as set out in Mortgage Express Ltd v Bowerman Partners Ltd [1996] 2 All ER 836), but rather owed a duty limited to exercising due skill and care when speaking in the form of the COT.

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