Professional negligence cases arise in all key substantive areas of Katherine’s practice: will drafting, administration of estates and trusts, conveyancing, property valuation.
Katherine’s work regularly features problems arising from the negligent drafting of wills. In one case the residuary estate of a wealthy widow was left to a non-existent institution. An application to Court was necessary seeking a declaration as to the general charitable intention of the residuary gift and an order that one of the identified next of kin represent those unascertained. Thereafter an application was made to the Charity Commission for a scheme. A claim for damages, being the costs incurred in making the application to Court, for negligence against the third-party firm which had drafted the will was compromised.
Interesting questions about the correct quantification of damages often arise in professional negligence cases. In the case of Williams v Glyn Owen  PNLR 20, Katherine was instructed by the Defendant’s insurers. The appeal concerned the correct measure of damage suffered by the purchaser of a farm as a consequence of his solicitor’s failure to advise about service of a notice to complete. Inconveniently for both London Counsel and the Claimant, who was based in North Wales, the Court of Appeal sat, very unusually, in Cardiff.
In Oates v Pittman (1998) 5 PNLR 683 Katherine was instructed by the insurers of a licensed conveyancer and, again, the question on appeal was the correct measure of damages for negligence.