A salutary tale for Solicitors? Or an unnecessarily harsh Judgment?

31st May 2023


The recent case of Peterson & Anor v Howard De Walden Estates Ltd  and the subsequent appeal decision is a salutary tale for  the solicitors profession – but was the Court’s decision too harsh? In this instance, an underpayment of a court fee by £24 resulted in a claim being out of time.  No doubt the consequence for the firm involved will be far ranging and no doubt expensive for them and their professional indemnity insurers.  Whilst many will opine on the “lessons” solicitors can learn from this case, perhaps the focus (as the Judge at first instance indicated) should be on reforming legal procedure and thereby allowing Judges to make fair and just decisions when it comes to minor technical matters of this nature.