Cases & Deals

High net worth individuals win professional negligence claim against former solicitors

Clients Jeffrey Herrmann and Mina Gerowin Herrmann

Jones Day successfully advised two high net worth individuals on their claim for professional negligence against their former solicitors. Withers LLP acted for Jeffrey Herrmann and Mina Gerowin Herrmann on their purchase of a £6.8m family home in Kensington, and wrongly advised that the property benefited from a statutory right of access to the communal gardens in Ovington Square. Having brought (and lost) a high profile case in 2010 in an attempt to establish a statutory right of access to the gardens, Mr. and Mrs. Herrmann issued proceedings in the Chancery Division of the High Court in London against their former solicitors for negligence and breach of contract. In a judgment handed down on May 30, 2012, Mr Justice Newey found that Withers were negligent in their advice to the Herrmanns. The Herrmanns were awarded substantial damages including: diminution in the value of the property; certain costs associated with a license for access the Judge found they could have purchased; a portion of the legal costs of pursuing the previous proceedings (assessed on the indemnity basis); loss of amenity and enjoyment, anxiety and disappointment; and interest. The case has been widely reported, and cited in the leading legal commentary on damages.

(1) Jeffrey Herrmann (2) Mina Gerowin Herrmann -v- Withers LLP [2012] EWHC 1492 (Ch)

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