Joyce v Darby & Darby

Solicitor – Negligence. The claimant had instructed the defendant solicitors to act for her in purchasing a property. The solicitors did not advise her about restrictive covenants that affected the property. She carried out works in breach of the covenants and the neighbour with the benefit of the covenants complained. The claimant instructed the defendants to act for her. They did not, for some time, advise her to stop all works on the property but, when they did, she continued the works and the neighbour took out an injunction. The Recorder found the defendant had failed to make clear that the works had to stop and that, had the claimant known of the covenants, she would not have gone ahead with the purchase. Damages were awarded. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the Recorder had erred in finding that the bringing of the injunction proceedings had been caused by the defendant's negligence, but that his conclusion that the claimant would not have gone ahead with the purchase had been correct. The appeal against the calculation of damages was successful in part.

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