Nominal £5 award against firm goes up to £125,000

A nominal High Court damages award of £5 against City law firm Macfarlanes has been increased by the Appeal Court to £125,000.

The award to Titanic Investments stemmed from a claim over advice given by Macfarlane in respect of a £12m deal involving land at Waltham Chase, Twyford, near Winchester.

Land owners Alan Godsal and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Godsal, were awarded £250,000 in the High Court over the advice they received. But nominal damages were awarded to Titanic, who were nominees of the off-shore Godsal family trust, on the basis that any loss they suffered had not resulted from advice given by Macfarlanes.

However, in allowing the appeal and increasing Titanic's award to £125,000, Lord Justice Roch said in the Appeal Court that it was unrealistic to consider the position and likely behaviour of Titanic in isolation from that of the Godsals.