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Aldgate Construction v Unibar Plumbing & Heating

Kim Franklin acted for the successful claimant development company Aldgate in its claim against careless plumbers Unibar for loss of profits caused by fire. In March 2005, Unibar caused a fire which destroyed a newly built development property. Aldgate claimed profits lost by the inability to reinvest the proceeds of sales into further developments over a 3 year period. Unibar denied that Aldgate would have carried out the proposed developments and claimed that subsequent losses were irrecoverable. The case, which involved forensic accountancy evidence and comparative chronologies, raised interesting issues of causation and an application of the ‘but for’ test.

After a 4 day trial in the TCC, Mr Justice Akenhead gave judgment in Aldgate’s favour in May 2010. Relying on Allied Maples v Simmonds & Simmonds and the House of Lords decision in Jackson v RBS he held that Aldgate would have carried out three further developments and that, but for the fire, would have earned significant profits. Unibar’s application for permission to appeal was refused.

A copy of the judgment is available here.



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