Coltart law firm ordered to pay a client +$12,000 for bungling a case

Coltart law firm ordered to pay a client +$12,000 for bungling a case
Published: 26 May 2018 (112 Views)
A law firm in which controversial MDC politician Mr David Coltart is a senior partner has been ordered to pay a client more than $12 000 after bungling a case. A former High Court judge, Justice Francis Bere, blasted Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners for "lacking" professionalism.

Justice Bere, who is now Supreme Court judge, lashed out at Mr Coltart's law firm in his judgment following an application by Mr David Addenbrooke citing Messrs David Coltart, Josphat Tshuma and Norman James Pattison as defendants.

Mr Addenbrooke sought an order directing the defendants to compensate him after the sale of his property following a default judgment entered against him due to an act of negligence by Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners.

Mr Addenbrooke, who was now being represented by Job Sibanda and Associates, lost property worth $10 300 after it was sold in execution as a result of the mess up by Mr Coltart's law firm.

In a landmark ruling, Justice Bere ordered the defendants to compensate Mr Addenbrooke $10 300 plus $2 507 being the legal fees he incurred in the lawsuit.

"In the result, the defendants be and hereby found liable jointly and severally, the one paying the others absolved in the following amounts: (1) The sum of $10 300 being the proved cost of the plaintiff's sold goods.
"(2) The sum of $2 507 being legal fees paid by the plaintiff to Messrs Hwalima-Moyo Legal Practitioners
"(3) Interest on the amounts granted from the date of summons to date of payment in full and costs of suit," ruled the judge.

The plaintiff's property which was auctioned included a Toyota Cressida and household property.
Mr Addenbrooke was in August 2011 involved in an accident in which one Ms Portia Mhere sustained injuries.
He was arrested, convicted of negligent driving and fined $400.

After Mr Addenbrooke's conviction and sentence, Ms Mhere through her lawyers Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners approached the High Court seeking $15 000 compensation for the injuries she sustained during the accident. In her lawsuit, she cited Mr Addenbrooke as the defendant.

Mr Addenbrooke in turn engaged Mr Coltart's law firm to defend the claim against him.
According to papers before the court, despite having been paid for the services, Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners failed to properly handle the matter resulting in a default judgment against Mr Addenbrooke, which led to his property being attached.

Justice Bere condemned Mr Coltart and his partners for their conduct, saying they were liable for the "mess up" after assigning an inexperienced professional assistant to handle Mr Addenbrooke's case.

He warned law firms against using junior lawyers to represent clients without supervision.
"The plaintiff's criminal conviction bears no significance to the negligence of the defendants. The conduct of the defendants' professional assistant coupled with the conduct of an advocate they had engaged made them (defendants) vulnerable. They cannot escape liability. Perhaps this case is a clarion call to all law firms that it is a monumental risk for them to allow inexperienced young lawyers to represent clients with little supervision," he said.

"Young and inexperienced lawyers must be kept on a tight leash until such a time that they are able to go about on their own to represent clients on behalf of the law firm."

- zimpapers

Tags: Coltart, Lawyer, Firm,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Chamisa to end Zezuru and Karanga fiefdoms

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 165 Views

Opposition must boycott Zimbabwe elections

by Gift Phiri | 18 June 2018 | 131 Views

'Primary elections increased intra-party violence'

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 110 Views

Chamisa's MDC challenges $286,000 lawsuit

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 121 Views

Tshinga Dube says he is wearing the right political jacket

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 133 Views

'Mugabe's planes' torment Joram Gumbo

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 133 Views

Khupe MDC-T to field 112 parly candidates

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 131 Views

Applications for Rhodes Scholarships open this year on truly global basis

by Rhodes House, Oxford | 18 June 2018 | 104 Views

Welshman Ncube fumes at Chamisa

by A Mhlongo | 18 June 2018 | 186 Views

I have not resigned: Gumbi breaks silence

by A Mhlongo | 18 June 2018 | 100 Views

'Vote Mnangagwa to conclude Mugabe coup'

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 160 Views

Chamisa threatens Alliance partners

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 175 Views

Zanu-PF warns Dinha 'pull out or face the music'

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 160 Views

Obert Mpofu fingers Grace in Mugabe ouster

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 161 Views

Zimbabwe launches 'HIV prevention' pill

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 158 Views

Mnangagwa commandeer his full motorcade to Chicken Inn

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 162 Views

Zimbabwe defers ARV drug roll-out

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 102 Views

Bankc card cloning on the increase, police warn public

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 124 Views

Chamisa in freak accident

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 141 Views

Chiyangwa donates

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 92 Views

Zanu-PF candidate launches 'Bhora Mugedhi' campaign

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 110 Views

'Mugabe neglected us'

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 122 Views

Mnangagwa warns Tongaat Hulett

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 119 Views

Zanu-PF Mat South eyes poll clean sweep

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 81 Views

Grandpa (80) goes missing from hospital

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 108 Views

Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF expels disloyal cadres

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 103 Views

Mugabe coup was a matter of life and death, says Obert Mpofu

by Staff rpeorter | 18 June 2018 | 77 Views

Andy Muridzo to release Ndebele songs

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 94 Views

Poultry import permits remain frozen - Shiri

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 54 Views

Dog meat peddlers resurface in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 59 Views

Woman dumps baby to live with lover

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 72 Views

Mixed views on Schweppes sweeteners

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 91 Views

MDC-T records more cases of electoral violence than Zanu PF

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 126 Views

Gweru faces fire tender shortages

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2018 | 45 Views