Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 267 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWCA Civ 16
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

Ward, Jonathan Parker LJJ and Harrison J

Representation Michael Driscoll QC and Luke Norbury (instructed by Landons) for the claimant.
  Michael Pooles QC and Philip Moser (instructed by Pinsent Curtis Biddle) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 30 January 2002


Limitation of action - Postponement of limitation period - Action for breach of duty - Claimant's solicitor acting in breach of instructions - Claimant issuing proceedings outside statutory limitation period - Claimant alleging solicitor deliberately concealing facts relevant to his right of action - Judge finding claimant having knowledge of breach of duty within limitation period - Whether judge in error - s 32(1)(b).

The Case

An analysis of s32(1)(b) of the required the court to establish first what facts were relevant to a claimant's cause of action and then to establish whether any one of them had been deliberately concealed from the claimant by the defendant. In such a case, the claimant had to have been ignorant of the relevant facts during the period preceding concealment; if he knew of them, no subsequent act of the defendant could have concealed them from him. In the instant case, the judge had been correct in finding that the claimant had relevant knowledge of the cause of action so that s32(1)(b) would not apply to defeat the statutory limitation period.

Practice Areas

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