The High Court dismissed a former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool football player’s claim against a national law firm.
Steve Finnan filed a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor Charles Russell Speechlys, alleging they provided him with wrong advice. He claimed that he suffered at least £6m in losses after a dispute with his brother Sean Finnan.
Finnan ran a property development business with his brother, Sean, which focused on properties in South-West London.
The business was managed by his brother, but in 2016, he became concerned about how the money was being used. He contacted James Hyne, a partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, about a dispute with his brother.
The law firm filed two petitions under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 against his brother in 2016 but Finnan terminated his contract with his law firm in January 2018 after a pre-trial review on these petitions.
He switched to the law firm Candey. Before the trial, the brothers entered into a settlement agreement which included Seam agreeing to pay him £4m. He has since only been able to recover over £270,000 as his brother went bankrupt in 2019.
Finnan was concerned with the law firm’s advice to pursue the section 994 proceedings instead of pushing for repayment of the director’s loans. He issued legal proceedings against his former law firm over this.
In its defence, Charles Russell Speechlys said the claimant instructed it to issue the section 994 petitions following advice about his options from both the law firm and from counsel.
Master McQuail stated that his claim form failed to identify the causation of loss. She also noted that “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.”
The judge struck out his claim.
Charles Russell Speechlys was contacted for comment.