The claimant, a development company, issued proceedings for negligence against the defendant, their retained architectural consultants, as a result of water penetration into the rear basement structure of a number of houses in a terrace which the claimant was refurbishing for investment purposes. The defendant issued Part 20 proceedings against the claimant’s contractor on the basis that he had failed to install the damp proofing membrane in accordance with the designs applied by the defendant. At the case management conference, the three parties applied for a trial of two preliminary issues concerning the recoverability of damages. They did so prior to disclosure of documents or assessment by the court of the scope of the duty of care owed to the claimant, in a hope that a commercial settlement could subsequently be negotiated.
The court was asked to decide the following preliminary issues:

1. Whether the claimant was entitled to be compensated by way of interest on funds held in the project longer than they had anticipated because of the delay (a) at the rate of 2% above the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), or (b) interest rates which reflected the actual cost to the claimant of borrowing the funds that it had invested in the project during the period of delay.

2. Whether the claimant was obliged to give credit for any corresponding benefit which accrued to it as a result of the delay, in particular for the increase in value of the properties which occurred during the period of delay.