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Joanna Smith QC

Call: 1990    QC: 2009

+44 (0)20 7306 0102jsmith@wilberforce.co.uk

Professional Liability

Joanna’s experience is extensive. She acts on both sides in disputes concerning a wide variety of different professionals, including solicitors, barristers, accountants, actuaries, financial advisers, valuers, surveyors and construction professionals. Over the last few years, Joanna has:

  • Won in the Court of Appeal on a novel point as to the ‘but for’ test of causation: Tiuta International Ltd v De Villiers Chartered Surveyors Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 661.  An application from the Respondents for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court is awaited.
  • Acted in July 2016 in a trial concerning the alleged negligence of the solicitor defendants: The Connaught Income Fund Series 1 v Hewetts Solicitors.  Judgment is awaited.
  • Advised in a £multi-million claim of negligence against auditors.
  •  Acted in the trial of a claim against solicitors in respect of conveyancing work on a £multi-million property: Orientfield v Bird & Bird [2015] PNLR 33 – Joanna’s clients have permission to appeal on causation;
  • Advised and appeared on behalf of M&E contractors in a £multi-million multi-party dispute concerning alleged defects in the development of Broadway Plaza in Birmingham: CIP Properties (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd & Others [2015] EWHC 1345; [2015] BLR 285 and [2015] 1 ALL ER (Comm) 765
  • Advised and acted on behalf of a specialist flooring contractor in a multi-party case involving the design and installation of an internal steel reinforced concrete floor slab and the piles beneath it at a substantial warehouse in Avonmouth. The case settled earlier this year but Joanna successfully obtained a permanent injunction for her client precluding one of the other parties from commencing adjudication proceedings on grounds of jurisdiction (Twintec Ltd v Volkerfitzpatrick Ltd [2014] EWHC 10 (TCC)).
  • Acted on behalf of liquidators in a suite of claims against valuers, solicitors and auditors.
  • Acted in a multi-million pound claim against valuers in respect of an alleged overvaluation of a holiday park in Cornwall.
  • Acted in a multi-million pound claim by Pirelli against its water treatment specialists in respect of the collapse of a furnace tube in a boiler at its factory.
  • Advised in a substantial claim against accountants in respect of tax planning advice and assistance provided over many years to a high net worth individual.
  • Acted in a substantial claim by a property development company against its contractor and structural engineers. This case settled shortly before trial. For the judgment in the preliminary issue application see Aldersgate Estates Lt v Ham Construction [2013] CILL 3321.
  • Acted in a multi-million pound claim against project managers and quantity surveyors in relation to the construction of a flagship project for a well-known car manufacturer.
  • Acted on behalf of a company in a claim against solicitors for breach of contract/negligence in advising on the terms of a sale agreement (including terms as to disposal overage) for the purchase of a substantial commercial building in North London. This case settled at the door of the court.
  • Advised the trustees of a pension scheme in a substantial claim in breach of contract/ negligence against their investment managers (who it is alleged wrongly entered into a currency hedging arrangement on their behalf) and against their investment advisers (who it is alleged should have identified the error in the hedging arrangement).
  • Appeared at the three-day hearing of an application by her solicitor clients for summary judgment on a very substantial claim of breach of trust/unlawful means conspiracy/fraud arising out of work done on behalf of a band known as ‘Musical Youth’ in the 1980s.  Judgment was handed down on 23 March 2012 in favour of the solicitor defendants (Seaton v Seddon [2012] EWHC 735 (Ch).
  • Advised a leading firm of solicitors in respect of a substantial claim in negligence arising out of their conduct of litigation.
  • Advised ATE insurers on the merits of funding various pieces of substantial litigation involving professionals.
  • Advised valuers in respect of a substantial claim in negligence by a bank in respect of valuations carried out in March 2007 on a series of investment properties in Margate.
  • Advised and appeared at interim applications in a multi-million pound claim against a leading firm of solicitors for fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence.
  • Appeared at a trial against valuers arising by reason of negligent valuations of licensed premises (Scottish & Newcastle UK Limited v Westlake).
  • Appeared at a trial against solicitors for whom Joanna acted in their successful defence of a third party claim (Hageman v Holmes & Seddons [2009] EWHC 50).
  • Advised on a substantial claim against a leading firm of accountants for negligence in their advice on the UK tax consequences of a proposed share dividend.
  • Advised on a claim against a barrister of negligent advice in respect of a claim under section 459 of the Companies Act 1985.