Case details

BPE Solicitors and another (Respondents) v Hughes-Holland (in substitution for Gabriel) (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2014/0026

Case summary

  1. Whether the losses suffered by the appellant were losses which the respondent owed a duty to protect him against;
  2. Whether the losses suffered by the appellant are otherwise recoverable from the respondent.

Mr Gabriel agreed to loan £200,000 to a friend's company, a special purpose vehicle formed for the purpose of developing a property at Kemble Airfield. Mr Gabriel claims that the friend, Mr Little, fraudulently induced him to make the loan by telling him that money would be used to develop the property, against which the loan was to be secured by way of a first charge. The purpose of the loan was recorded in a facility agreement drafted by Mr Gabriel's solicitors, BPE. In fact, Mr Little and his companies did not intend to use the money for the property's development and did not do so. In the event, the company which borrowed the money did not repay the loan and no development or substantive development was carried out at the property. As the adequacy of Mr Gabriel's security depended upon the loan being used for the property's development, Mr Gabriel was unable to recover the sum loaned from its sale.

Mr Gabriel sued Mr Little in deceit. He sued BPE for failing to advise him that Mr Little and his companies did not intend to use any of the money loaned for the purpose of developing the property and for transferring the money to Mr Little's company in that knowledge. The trial judge found that BPE had acted in breach of their duty to Mr Gabriel and, accordingly, that Mr Gabriel was entitled to recover the sum of the loan from them. He dismissed Mr Gabriel's other claims. The Court of Appeal reversed the Judge's finding that BPE were liable to repay the loan on the basis that BPE owed no duty to protect Mr Gabriel against the losses that he suffered and that the losses were not caused by BPE's breach of duty. Mr Gabriel appeals against the Court of Appeal's decision to allow BPE's appeal.

Judgment appealed

[2013] EWCA Civ 1513



Peter Hughes-Holland (Trustee in Bankruptcy to Mr Richard Gabriel)


BPE Solicitors LLP



Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date

14 Dec 2016

Hearing finish date

15 Dec 2016