Some recent cases

Professional Liability

  • acting for a building society suing a valuer in a claim concerning dozens of allegedly negligent mortgage valuation;
  • acting for a workman in a claim against his former solicitor and barrister for failing to advance his personal injury claim effectively;
  • assisting a husband and wife in suing an independent financial adviser who advised them to transfer their investments out of a company pension scheme;
  • acting in several cases for purchasers who were let down by their solicitors when they sought to acquire longer leases of their properties; procedural mistakes by the solicitors meant that applications were delayed, meaning that the property purchasers had to pay increased premiums and incur additional costs;
  • acting in a number of claims by owners of small businesses against their solicitors, for negligently handling the applications to renew their business tenancies, meaning that the businesses lost their right to obtain a new tenancy;
  • acting for a landowner on a claim against planning advisers, who negligently delayed making an application for planning permission to develop a rural property: in the meantime the planning policy changed, making the application less likely to succeed;
  • defending a criminal QC against an application for wasted costs;
  • defending an auditor against a multi-million pound claim for negligence by a group of clothing import and retail companies relating to stock valuations and currency adjustments;
  • acting for the BMA in defending a claim brought by a doctor alleging that the BMA failed to advise him correctly in an employment tribunal claim against his former employer.


  • representing a claimant at a costs management hearing in a multi-million pound claim against his former employer. The costs being claimed by the other side were several million pounds;
  • acting for a leading family law solicitor against a former client in a detailed assessment of costs, arising out of high value matrimonial litigation; arguments centred around the client’s ability to restrict the solicitor’s fees to the level of a costs estimate given previously;
  • acting for a client challenging the level of fees charged by his wife’s matrimonial solicitors, which he had agreed to pay as part of the financial settlement;
  • advising litigants in a dispute with insurers providing after the event insurance cover, over whether the requirement to pay the premium has been triggered under the policy;
  • defending a company director in an application by the opposing party in litigation that he should be personally responsible as a third party for the costs of litigation involving his company;
  • acting in numerous cases in detailed assessment hearings between parties to litigation; I may be asked to draft Points of Dispute or to represent a party at the final hearing, arguing particular points of principle or all the detailed challenges to the costs claimed;
  • where a client is too late to challenge his solicitor’s bill under the Solicitor’s Act 1974, it may be possible to dispute the solicitor’s fees under a different, common law procedure. I have carried out a number of hearings using this procedure;
  • acting and advising in an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the interpretation and implementation of costs rules in a specialist tribunal.
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Stephen James Innes
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