Gordon’s Trustees v Campbell Riddell Breeze Paterson  CSIH 16
18 March 2016
In Gordon’s Trustees v Campbell Riddell Breeze Paterson  CSIH 16 the Inner House considered the interpretation of section 11(3) of the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, which postpones the start of the prescriptive period where a pursuer is ignorant of certain facts. The Inner House had for the first time to consider how the interpretation of section 11(3) given by the UK Supreme Court in David T Morrison v ICL Plastics Ltd (2014) applied to a case of economic loss. The pursuers had instructed the defender solicitors to serve Notices to Quit on the tenant of agricultural holdings. It transpired that two notices were invalid, so the tenant was secure. The pursuers sued the defenders for their loss, including the fees they had paid the defenders for attempting to remove the tenant. The pursuers knew they had incurred this expense; but they had not regarded it as ‘loss’ until they appreciated that it had been caused by the defenders’ failure to draft and serve valid Notices to Quit. The Inner House held that the pursuers had had the requisite knowledge; that their case did not fall within the Morrison rationale of lack of awareness of the occurrence and timing of loss; and that the defenders’ obligation had prescribed.
David Johnston QC of Axiom Advocates acted for the defenders.
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