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Civil litigation brief

Gordon Exall looks at recent cases on the limitation period in professional negligence cases and the court’s discretion under s 33 of the Limitation Act 1980

25 April 2003

Several recent cases highlight a pitfall for the unwary in professional negligence cases, particularly actions against solicitors. The limitation period may be much earlier than you think and can start before the date the first action is struck out. Missing the beat In Anthony McCarrol v Statham Gill Davis (A Firm) [2003] EWCA Civ 425 (CA 01.04.03) the claimant was the ex-drummer of Oasis who was expelled from the band in 1995. In 1993 he signed an agreement with the band, advised by the defendant solicitors. On 21 April 2001 he issued proceedings against his former solicitors in relation to the drawing up of his agreement which allowed him to be summarily expelled without compensation. The Court of Appeal held the matter was statute barred. The claimant suffered damage from the moment the agreement was signed. While the loss might have been contingent upon future events there was an actual loss when the agreement was made. The claimant was only a partner at will...

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