Legal Notebook - December 2013


In honour of the current Ashes cricket series (and given that, at the time of writing, there has just been a resounding victory by Australia in the First Test), we have elected to focus this edition of Legal Notebook on a decision from the High Court of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division (Technology and Construction Court).

Although this case is not from an Australian jurisdiction (which means that care must be taken when reviewing and considering its content), the judgment still provides a good summary of the general principles that fall to be considered when assessing both primary liability of valuers and contributory negligence of lenders.

Facts -

In about 2006 and 2007, GMAC RFC Limited (GMAC) was the largest centralised mortgage lender in the United Kingdom. E.Surv Limited (E.Surv) was and remains the largest residential valuer (that is, surveyor) in the United Kingdom. GMAC would regularly engage E.Surv to carry out mortgage valuations on residential properties.

GMAC alleged that some of the valuations carried out by E.Surv in 2006 and 2007 were negligent and/or in breach of contract. GMAC assigned its claims against E.Surv to Webb Resolutions Limited (Webb), which ultimately commenced the proceedings against E.Surv...

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