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Allied Maples v Simmons & Simmons [1995] 4 All ER 907 Court of Appeal

The defendant solicitors were acting for the claimant in a takeover of the Gillow group of companies. The defendant's failed to warn the claimant of potential liability that may arise under the transaction. The transaction was completed and risk of liability became a reality leaving the claimant liable to pay substantial sums. The claimant sought to recover some of this from the defendant arguing that if they had been advised correctly there was a chance that they would have been able to negotiate out of the liability.

Held:

The claimant was entitled to recover a sum to reflect their loss of a chance of negotiating out of liability.

Where the result depends on what a third party would have done in a hypothetical situation, the claimant only has to demonstrate that there was a more than speculative chance rather than on the balance of probabilities. The assessment of the chance will be reflected in the damages.
 
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