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Zoë Barton QC

Call: 2003    QC: 2020

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

Professional Liability

Zoë draws on her considerable expertise in general commercial transactions, trusts and property issues to effectively handle complex and sophisticated professional negligence disputes. She has the benefit of acting regularly for both claimants and defendants.

Whether she acts for disappointed beneficiaries in a claim arising out of the drafting of a will, a lender concerning fraudulent property transactions, Zoë can act in both in the underlying dispute and the related claims against negligent professionals such as solicitors and valuers.

Examples of Zoë’s related work include:

  • Claim by two prominent housebuilders in connection with the drafting of option agreements over a very large site in Oxfordshire and subsequent advice.
  • Advising a firm of solicitors in respect of service of a lease break notice by incoming landlord prior to registration of its interest at HM Land Registry.
  • Acting for a charity in connection with putative claims against solicitors and surveyors in relation to their advice as to the sale of land by a charity, which sale was later alleged to be void.
  • Acting for purchasers of land who claimed that they were not appropriately advised as a proposed substantial redevelopment neighbouring the home they purchased. Issues as to scope of duty and extent of advice.
  • Acting for liquidators appointed in respect of a number of companies conducting fraudulent collective investment schemes in which investors’ monies were held by solicitors and then paid out of their client accounts in breach of Solicitors’ Account Rules and to make payments to 3rd parties apparently unconnected with the investment vehicles.
  • Acting for solicitors in a claim alleging that the firm was tainted by undue influence or fraud over a client by her partner that vitiated their retainer and various allegations of breach of Solicitors’ Code of Conduct. Successfully struck out the claim and upheld on appeal.
  • Acting for a developer in connection with solicitor’s advice as to the extent of a right of way.
  • Advising a firm of solicitors where a positive covenant in respect of clawback payments was not properly protected before the client entered into a contract for sale such that the burden of the clawback payments will not pass and remain hers alone.
  • Acting for a claimant in a claim against a firm of solicitors on behalf of the estate of the deceased where the firm failed to advise severance of the joint tenancy of a property, such that there were insufficient assets for the nil-rate band trust in the will the firm drafted.
  • Acting for a firm of solicitors in defending a claim arising out of the alleged failure to advise against sale of a property in the context where the sale exposed the proceeds to be diminished by care home fees.
  • Acting for a firm of solicitors in defending a claim arising out of the purchase of a multi-million pound property in the context of poor quality works by the developer who refurbished and converted it and the purchasers’ claim against the surveyor who reported.
  • Acting for a purchaser of a property in respect of a solicitor’s failure to advise in respect of multiple dwellings relief in SDLT.
  • Successful strike-out and summary judgment application dismissing the claimant’s claim against solicitors instructed in the administration of an estate, which the executrix had thought insolvent, concerning date of knowledge for limitation and the effect of a vesting order in respect of a beneficial interest in a property in the proper administration of an estate.
  • Acting in numerous claims concerning ineffective property notices.
  • Acting in claim against solicitors for failure to advise one of three lay clients, two business partners and the spouse of one of them, where there were numerous conflicts of interests between them.
  • Advising as to possible negligence of a solicitor in respect of a failure to advise properly concerning her duties as executrix.
  • Advising an insured in respect of allegations of recklessly condoning a fraudulent act (namely reverse frauds and imposter frauds) in conveyancing transactions in the context of withdrawal of cover by the insurer.