Construction professionals beware

On 07 April 2017, the Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision in Burgess v Lejonvarn - in which it was held that an architect who provided assistance to her friends for free, owed a duty of care in tort when carrying out those services (despite it being found that no binding contract was in place).

The Court found that the first instance judge was entitled to conclude that there had been an assumption of responsibility and that the architect did owe a duty of care in tort, to exercise reasonable skill and care in the provision of her professional services. In particular, it was noted that:

“the context was a professional one. It was not informal or social. There was an obvious relationship of proximity. Although she was not going to be paid initially the expectation was that she would be paid for later work. She held herself out as having professional skills. She said she would perform professional services and did so. She was aware that the Burgesses would be relying upon her to properly perform those services and it was foreseeable that economic loss would be caused to them if she did not.”

Read the full article and our commentary on the judgment here.

The Court of Appeal judgment in Lejonvarn v Burgess can be found here.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.