Construction Firm Sues Own Lawyers For Negligence

A construction firm with offices throughout the UK has reportedly filed a lawsuit against its own lawyers over allegations of negligence in the drafting of contracts.

In the lawsuit filed at the High Court, Shepherd Construction accuses law firm Pinsent Masons of negligence in drafting contracts for the company.

This complaint stems from a court case back in 2009 when Shepherd was contracted to work on a joint venture in Wakefield. The construction firm attempted to withhold payment from subcontractors when the venture collapsed, but found that it could not do so because the contract Pinsent Masons had drafted did not allow it.

Shepherd Construction asserts that the law firm should have advised of the impact of new laws such as the 2002 Enterprise Act when drafting the contract and including outdated ‘pay-when-paid’ clauses. The lawsuit claims that Pinsent Masons’ negligence caused the company to lose a crucial appeal case and left it liable to pay out to subcontractors.

Shepherd Construction is therefore suing Pinsent Masons, which is virtually guaranteed to have its own professional indemnity insurance, for more than £10 million in damages. A representative for Pinsent Masons responded with:

“We shall be vigorously defending these allegations.”

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