Devonshires partner defeats professional negligence claim

The High Court has rejected a professional negligence claim against City firm Devonshires clearing it of any wrongdoing to a former client.

In his judgment Mr Justice Owen said the claim pursued by Celia Farnon, a former client of the firm, was unfounded.

Hong Kong-based Farnon alleged that the firm failed to advise her adequately in a dispute with her former employer Polar Capital.

Farnon instructed Devonshires partner Nicola Philp in May 2008 to advise her on a sex discrimination claim against Polar.

According to the claim filed by Farnon’s lawyers, employment boutique Ferguson Solicitors, Devonshires failed to advise her properly on the merit of her claim and failed to pursue the claim adequately (10 January 2011).

Owen J, however, said Philp “was not retained to advise on a potential claim for sex discrimination,” adding: “Nor was she instructed to pursue such a claim.”

Outer Temple’s Andrew Short QC was instructed by Clyde & Co legal director James Taylor for the firm.

Employment boutique Ferguson Solicitors instructed 11 KBW barrister Richard Leiper for the claimant.

In a statement Devonshires managing partner Allan Hudson said: “This judgment confirms the quality of Nicola Philp’s advice and of her professionalism in the face of an ill-advised and unfounded claim.”