Regional Partner, Wessex Region and Head of Professional Negligence
In a recent Professional Negligence case, Glyn and Amy Daniel, were beneficiaries of a Trust set up by their father. They filed a claim against their deceased father’s Solicitors, Stanley Tee & Co, for a breach of trust in connection with the investment of their trust funds between 2000 and 2002. The claim amounted to £1,476,000.
In this case, the claimants argued that a lack of realistic investment strategy at the outset, with no periodic review to consider whether the strategy was still appropriate, meant that the trustees had adopted a less balanced and less diversified approach than a reasonable trustee would have thought appropriate.
Why The Claim Failed
The claimants failed to prove they suffered loss as a result of those breaches and the Judge found for the Defence.
This was based primarily upon the fact that the performance of the investments was assessed over a relatively short period of time (2000 to 2002) and the choice of markets into which the funds where invested (IT and Telecom sectors) whereas the Trustees had looked to invest over a longer period of time which would have negated the short term volatility in share prices.
While the claimants had established some breaches of duty, particularly during the early stages, they had failed to prove they had suffered a loss as a result of those breaches. Some aspects of the trustee Solicitors’ approach could be criticised as having fallen below the expected standards and call into question generally the duty of care owed by Solicitor to client. However, unless the breach of duty led to imprudent choices, liability for loss will not be established.
We Can Help
If you have appointed Solicitors to act as professional executors and those professionals act imprudently we can help to establish liability for breach of trust if the beneficiaries sustain losses as a consequence.
At MW, our mission is "to make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have suffered loss as a result of “professional advice”. If you would like to speak to a specialist to discuss your case call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org