A professional negligence claim against international firm Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) has been struck out by a judge who found no reasonable ground for bringing the claim. 

Stephen Finnan, a retired professional footballer and businessman, alleged he was negligently advised by the firm in relation to a dispute with his brother over their property businesses. He claimed to have lost ‘of at least £6m’ as a result.

The firm denied all allegations against it and argued Finnan’s claim was without merit.

Master McQuail found that ‘the only partial counterfactual’ on which Finnan sought to rely, which was not formally included in his particulars of claim, was that he should have been advised to demand repayment of director’s loans.

The judge added: ‘However, the claimant’s own evidence is that demands were made and that evidence is entirely consistent with CRS’s letters which include such demands. Accordingly, the pleading is not of a partial counterfactual, but of what in fact occurred. Since the demands were in fact made the outcome of their being made is known.’

Striking out Finnan’s claim and particulars of claim, the judge said the documents ’disclose no reasonable ground for bringing the claim’.

‘The cause of action in tort is incomplete in the absence of any pleaded causation of loss and the cause of action in contract could lead to no benefit to the claimant and pursuit of that claim would be wasteful of the resources of the parties and the court,’ the judge said. 

Declining to give Finnan an opportunity to amend his particulars of claim, the said:  ‘There is nothing in the claimant’s evidence which supports a credible and realistic case that any different and better outcome than he achieved could ever have been achieved.’