The claimants were trustees of a settlement. They owned a property comprising a number of shops and flats. The primary purpose of the trust was to provide income rather than capital growth.

The claimants sought to obtain vacant possession of the individual flats with a view to re-letting them on short-term tenancies. Problems and subsequent legal proceedings arose in respect of a small number of flats and the claimants sought the advice of the defendants.

Upon the advice of the defendants the claimants compromised certain claims that were made against them. The advice which led the claimants to accept those claims was in fact wrong. The result of the wrong advice was that the claimants had agreed to grant long leases in respect of two flats.

The claimant’s brought proceedings against the defendants in respect of the negligent advice. The second defendant admitted negligence in respect of the first advice and the hearing was concerned solely with the assessment of damages against the second defendant for the admitted negligence.

The judge made a total award of £252,995.36.

The second defendant appealed and the claimants cross-appealed against the assessment of damages.

The Claimants case was based on the dimunition in the value of their interest in the property as the date of assessment. The date of assessment was the date when the second defendant’s negligence caused the claimants to acknowledge the need to grant two new long leases.

The claimants based their assessment of market value on what was described as the “investment” basis – they assumed a sale in open market, at the date of assessment, to a hypothetical purchaser, interested in acquiring the property for retention and letting, as an investment.

The second defendant argued that the assessment should be on a "post-negligence valuation" basis, which involved identifying the value of the flats if sold off individually on long leases. Any other basis of assessment would overcompensate the claimants for the loss they had suffered, because in the real world they would still have the ability to sell the flats off individually on long leases and keep the full vacant possession value of each.