Negligent litigation advice: did it cause a loss?
Mr & Mrs Thomas opened a caravan park and campsite business in the Brecon Beacons in 2005. Shortly after the site opened campaigners fronted by the Usk Valley Conservation Group brought a judicial review claim against the opening of the campsite. In response to these campaigners a High Court judge at a judicial review hearing quashed the farm’s planning permission.
The High Court ruled in favour of the barrister, stating that although some of the barrister’s advice was negligent, any potential improvement to the couple’s case would only have improved their prospect of success by about 5-10%. The court held that the impact of the correct advice would have been negligible and the defence would have most likely failed anyway. This was because the development was very unpopular with the local public. As the couple’s defence would have failed even in the absence of negligent advice, it did not result in any loss to the couple.