Bird & Bird set to fight £2m professional negligence claim

Bird & Bird is the latest firm to be the target of a lawsuit from its former clients, we report today. The firm is facing a professional negligence case brought by British Virgin Islands client Orientfield Holdings, which aborted the purchase of a £25m property in St Johns Wood.

Orientfield lost a £2m deposit when it pulled out of buying the seven-bedroom house – later bought by Elisabeth Murdoch – and is alleging that the loss is Bird & Bird’s fault.

Bird & Bird is the latest major UK firm to face a professional negligence claim this year. Mishcon de Reya was hit with a £66,000 damages bill after partially losing a battle with a former client, while a £130m claim brought by JP Morgan, to which Clifford Chance was joined as a third party, settled.

But Clifford Chance is now facing another negligence claim brought by the funders who bankrolled the unsuccessful Excalibur Ventures case. With time running out for clients to bring negligence claims relating to the financial crisis, expect more to be hitting the courts over the next few months.

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