Mr Jenkins was, until recently, the Chairman of Swansea City Association Football Club. He recently divorced, having allegedly delayed instituting divorce proceedings on the advice of his former solicitors, John Collins & Partners (“JCP”).
He is now pursuing a claim for professional negligence on the basis that, had he commenced matrimonial financial proceedings in 2011, before the fortunes of the football club had significantly improved, he would have paid approximately £2.25 million less than he eventually did to his former wife. Swansea City were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 and the value of Mr Jenkins’ shareholding in the football club increased significantly, leading to a larger settlement for his former wife.
Mr Jenkins alleges that JCP told him to delay proceedings because his finances were too uncertain but should, instead, have told him to commence proceedings before they significantly improved.
However, the solicitors now acting for Mr Jenkins in his professional negligence claim entered into a standstill agreement with, and subsequently issued Court proceedings, against the wrong iteration of the law firm. JCP had stopped trading as a limited liability partnership and begun trading as a company in 2015. JCP, therefore, sought to strike out Mr Jenkins’ claim on the basis that there could be no valid claim against the company, because it was not incorporated until 2014. JCP were successful at first instance. Mr Jenkins appealed the decision to strike out the claim and has been allowed to continue with part of it, by substituting the limited liability partnership as the Defendant. Mr Jenkins’ new firm were also criticised for failing to comply with the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence claims prior to issuing proceedings.
The costs of the hearings regarding the strike out will potentially lead to a further professional negligence claim in the future. This highlights very clearly the potential pitfalls of pursuing a professional negligence claim without the advice of a specialist in the area.
How Can Nelsons Help?
Daniel Brumpton is a Partner in our Professional Negligence team, specialising in claims against accountants, financial advisers, solicitors and barristers, insurance brokers, surveyors and architects.
Our expert team are experienced in every type of professional negligence claim. If you feel that you may have a claim for professional negligence then we can evaluate your case and assess your chances of success and the timescales and costs involved.