Etam’s claims against surveyor Baker Alm-ond hark back to the spate of negligence claims brought by lenders after the collapse of the 1980s boom.
Time bars should have meant those days were long gone, but Etam argued that it had only discovered problems concerning stores bought in Truro in 1985 and Barnstaple in 1986, much more recently.
But when the case surrounding the Truro store was heard in the High Court in January, Mr Justice Weeks ruled that the litigation was barred. More importantly for Baker Almond, he also ruled that the surveyor was not negligent in advising Etam to buy the store for £2.7m. Etam’s expert witness estimates of £1.625m or £2m were rejected as “out of touch” and “unrealistic”. Less than a month after that ruling, Etam has now dropped the claim surrounding its Barnstaple store. Property litigation partner Paul Marco led the Manches team for Baker Almond and instructed Roger Stewart of 4 New Square.