The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note considers causation and remoteness in professional negligence claims, encompassing the ‘but for’ test (considered in Kuwait Airways v Iraqi Airways), the hypothetical actions of the claimant, defendant and any third parties (Allied Maples v Simmons & Simmons), the SAAMCO principle, as subsequently clarified in BPE Solicitors v Hughes-Holland, and the issue of remoteness, distinguishing between professional negligence claims in contract and remoteness where the claim is in tort.
For guidance on causation and remoteness in contract and tort generally, see Practice Notes:
Causation and remoteness in contractual breach claims
Tort claims—causation in law
Tort claims—causation as a matter of fact
There are three key elements to a professional negligence claim:
first, identify the existence of a duty owed by the professional to the claimant, see Practice Note: Bringing a professional negligence claim based on the duty in contract, tort and equity
second, identify the standard of care expected of such professional and how the professional has failed to discharge this duty (the breach of duty) to the claimant causing them damage, see Practice Note: Standard of care in professional negligence claims
third, establish that the resulting damage suffered by the claimant was both:
caused by the defendant’s breach (causation), and
reasonably foreseeable (remoteness)
In principle, professional negligence claims are subject to the usual general rules of causation and
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