0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

Merrett v Babb

19 February 2001
The issues

Surveyor’s Duty Of Care – Mortgage Applicants – Limitation

The facts

A Surveyor prepared a valuation report in relation to a residential property and in relation to a mortgage advance intended to be made jointly to Claimant and her mother. Surveyor was a salaried employer of a firm of Surveyors and Valuers. The property was purchased. Two years later the principal of the firm that employed the Surveyor was adjudged bankrupt.

Later that year the firm’s indemnity insurance was cancelled by the trustee and bankruptcy without run off cover. The employee was uninsured. Claimant and her mother executed a declaration of trust transferring the entire beneficial interest to Claimant. She then brought proceedings against the employee alleging negligence. The limitation period in respect of a claim by the Mother expired in 1998 before the action came on for Trial. The Defendant contended he owed no duty of care to Claimant or Claimant’s mother and that the Judge only awarded Claimant half the amount of damages because she only had a half interest in the property and the mother was not a party to the proceedings.

The decision

A professional person who carried out an inspection of a property and made a valuation was a person who would purchase and relied to exercise proper skill and care. The duty of care was owed.

In respect of the limitation issue, the Surveyor had owed a duty of care to both the Claimant and his mother. The claim ought to have been brought as a joint one. Since it could not properly be brought or maintained in the name of the Claimant alone, it was “necessary” that the mother be joined to perfect the claim for the full amount of the damages awarded by the Judge. The Court would therefore in the exercise of its discretion order the mother to be joined as a Claimant.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.


Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.


Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.


Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up