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Michael Bowmer

Professional Liability

Drawing upon his commercial chancery practice Michael has built a significant practice in the field of related professional liability. Michael’s familiarity with the underlying areas of practice enables him to deal effectively and knowledgeably with claims arising out of a very broad range of business transactions in relation to property or finance and in relation to claims arising out of conveyancing, lending, will-writing or private client matters. He has substantial experience in dealing with claims against solicitors, both in their capacity as legal advisers but also in their fiduciary and representative capacity, and against financial advisers, accountants and valuers.

Michael has been dealing recently with an increasing number of claims relating to property development and planning, alleged failings by trustees and other fiduciaries in investment strategy and in claims arising out of mortgage lending where there has been forgery, identity theft or some other underlying fraud.

Michael has given talks to professional indemnity insurers and panel firms on solicitors’ negligence in landlord and tenant cases and in relation to wills, trusts and probate.

 Some examples of Michael’s recent cases are:

  • acting for solicitors advising executors in relation to the failure to advise of relief against inheritance tax for sale of shares at less than probate value during the period of 12 months from death
  • acting for solicitors and property management companies in claims arising out of the failure to serve options to determine leases strictly in accordance with the time limits and terms of the lease
  • acting for solicitors facing a breach of warranty claim by buyer of one of the most expensive properties in Mayfair where one of co-sellers claimed not to have given the solicitor authority to exchange contracts
  • acting for solicitors in relation to claim by buyer of vineyard concerning onerous overage provision in the event planning permission was obtained for development
  • acting for various lenders in relation to claims for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract for failing to comply with mortgage instructions and Law Society’s Green Card and other warnings in relation to mortgage fraud
  • acting in various claims arising from mortgage fraud and in particular identity theft, giving rise to claims of breach of warranty of authority and land registry indemnity issues
  • acting for solicitors in a claim against solicitors and planning consultants arising out of the conditional sale of land to a national house-builder where it was alleged that the sellers were not advised of need to terminate the agreement by service of a notice
  • acting for solicitors in relation to the failure to claim an exemption from inheritance tax for works of art prior to a change in the law altering the qualifying test to a more stringent test of pre-eminence
  • acting in various claims where solicitors have failed to take instructions on how the beneficial interests in property are to be held
  • acting in various claims arising out of failed or defective applications for collective enfranchisement and lease extensions
  • acting for solicitors where it was alleged insufficient precautions had been taken to avoid a subsequent challenge to the validity of a will on the grounds of a lack of testamentary capacity or undue influence
  • acting in relation to claim against a solicitor for dishonest assistance in relation to the unauthorised drawing of money by the finance director from his company
  • acting for a retired national newspaper journalist in a claim against his former solicitors for loss of the chance to bring a claim against his former employers and trustees of the company pension scheme concerning negligent pension advice which had led him to accept voluntary early retirement
  • advising a large and profitable family company in a claim against an accountant over allegedly negligent advice in formulating a company share purchase scheme
  • advising a bank in relation to various claims by investors taking out life assurance products in respective of failings to advise on and clarify tax implications of entering into simultaneous deeds of trust
  • acting for lender in substantial claim against valuers for overvaluing commercial premises giving rise to commercial lending relationship which would not otherwise have arisen