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Capita Alternative Fund Services (Guernsey) Ltd & Anr. V Drivers Jonas (Comm) 9/9/11


The claim arose out of the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in a Grade II* listed structure for £62,850,000 in the Chatham Historic Dockyard which was to be converted in to a factory outlet shopping centre. The Defendants had provided advice about the commercial prospects of the investment and its valuation which the Claimants alleged was overstated. The Claimant alleged that the Defendant's analysis was defective because they had failed to consider properly the likely ability of the outlet centre to attract consumer spend and that this was essential to providing a proper valuation. Although the consultant's had not taken this in to account and this amounted to a breach of duty, the expert evidence adduced by the Claimant to show what should have been the correct conclusion of the report could not be relied upon. However other aspects of the report which were defective including the failure to carry out proper due diligence as to the intended developer's identity, lack of market credibility and appro priate expertise was significant failures and the disadvantages of the design, layout and listed building status of the site and the consequences this would have for attracting consumer spend, tenants and running costs. Further the taking of a rental figure at the top of the range was inappropriate. The correct valuation was £44,800,000 and ignoring the enterprise zone allowance £34,375,000 as compared to the valuations of £62,850,000 and £48,150,000 and the Claimant was entitled to damages in the sum of £18.05m.