Mace & Jones hit by £60m client action

North West firm Mace & Jones has been named as a defendant in a £60m professional negligence claim alongside Kings Chambers’ John Hoggett QC.

However, the claim can only progress if lawyers ­acting for the claimant, ­construction company D Morgan, provide the court with a detailed forensic accountancy report ­outlining the alleged schedule of losses by 21 April.

The claim centres on advice provided by the firm on a number of planning issues connected to Bold Heath Quarry in St Helens going back as far as 1992.

Last month Mr Justice Coulsen ordered that the claimant disclose evidence relating to the quantum of the claim or face having it thrown out. This came after the defendants sought an ’unless order’ to force the claimant to follow earlier court orders.

Coulsen J ruled: “It’s not appropriate for a pleading to be advanced solely by reference to an expert’s report, which may or may not be provided in the future.”

Ordinarily the pleading should have come first. A proper pleading must at least be simultaneous with the expert’s report.

The claimant is being ­represented by Landmark Chambers’ Nathalie Lieven QC, Mace & Jones by One Crown Office Row’s John Jolliffe and Hoggett by Crown Office Chambers’ John Greenbourne.