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Padden v Bevan Ashford (a firm)

[2013] EWCA Civ 824 and [2011] EWCA Civ 1616 2012-03-15

Claim for damages against solicitors for failure to advise claimant properly in connection with a transaction whereby she was giving up assets to the victim of her husband’s fraud. Advice given during an impromptu consultation when claimant was advised not to sign documents. Another solicitor later witnessed her signature on documents. He certified that the consequences of the mortgage had been explained to her and to the best of his knowledge she was freely agreeing to the mortgage without undue influence. Trial judge dismissed claim of his own volition after the claimant had given evidence. The Court of Appeal considered what duties a solicitor owed in the circumstances and that the observations of Lord Nicholls in Royal Bank of Scotland plc v Etridge (No 2) [2002] 2 AC 773, paras 64–68 were a very good guide to the appropriate approach. Appeal allowed and claim remitted for retrial.

(Karen Shuman acted for the Defendant.)