Bothwell-v-D M Hall. Effect of expert evidence in professional negligence cases.
26 February 2009
In this commercial action, Lord Hodge re-states the test to be applied in a professional negligence case, where the defender is supported by an expert in the profession.
The pursuer claimed that the defenders had been professionally negligent in the advice it gave her in respect of the sale of her nursery business for demolition and development into flats. The defenders led expert evidence from an experienced surveyor to the effect that other members of the profession, in the same circumstances, would have done as the defenders had. Lord Hodge accepted that evidence, assoilzied the defenders and set out the test to apply in such a case, namely: where a practice is such as would be followed by other members of the profession, it will not be negligent to adopt that practice, unless to do so is illogical or indefensible. This re-iterates that the test for professional negligence is the same across all professions and is a high test for any pursuer to meet.
Richard Keen Q.C., Dean of Faculty and Gavin Walker, Advocate, both of Axiom Advocates represented the defenders.
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