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 (151 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

'Zimbabwe polls were meant to start new era'

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 31 Views

Police 'cooked up documents used to drag Biti from Zambia

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 34 Views

'Punish Zimbabwe's rogue soldiers'

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 34 Views

Tshinga Dube won't let go

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 39 Views

Electoral outcome predetermined

by Maxwell Sibanda | 18 August 2018 | 26 Views

General Valerio Sibanda issued statement under duress, says Mutsekwa

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 36 Views

Grace Mugabe enjoying life

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 29 Views

Mnangagwa splashes over $1 million on new limo

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 30 Views

Chivayo, Kadungure in trouble

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 29 Views

'Biti acted illegally'

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 60 Views

'Poop at my doorstep'

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 44 Views

Church leader wanted sex

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 51 Views

Mliswa under attack for visiting Johane Masowe shrine

by Simbarashe Sithole | 18 August 2018 | 67 Views

Kofi Annan dies

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 53 Views

Exposed Chief's wife goes berserk threatening all and sundry!

by Concerned Murowa Ward Community | 18 August 2018 | 104 Views

'Senzeni na' guitarist dies

by Stephen Jakes | 18 August 2018 | 78 Views

Chiwenga's trip to Russia suspicious

by Stephen Jakes | 18 August 2018 | 142 Views

Nkayi youths train on active citizenship

by Stephen Jakes | 18 August 2018 | 60 Views

Inside Chamisa's Campaign

by Sam Wezhira | 18 August 2018 | 111 Views

Nkomo pledges to donate to Gwampa ECD

by Stephen Jakes | 18 August 2018 | 51 Views

Chief Justice gives Chamisa deadline

by Staff Reporter | 18 August 2018 | 85 Views

Grace Mugabe 'fake' degree gets UZ vice-chancellor suspended

by Staff Reporter | 18 August 2018 | 64 Views

Zimbabwe police warns against illegal gatherings

by Staff Reporter | 18 August 2018 | 50 Views

Chamisa is not a factor in parliament, which is good

by Igomombe | 18 August 2018 | 69 Views

'Con-Court must be free to decide,' says Chiwenga

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 56 Views

Chamisa in dilemma

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 93 Views

Prophet blew cover on $1m gold theft

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 51 Views

'Proving poll rigging allegations an uphill task'

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 58 Views

Man in 'fiery revenge'

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 56 Views

Trapped artisanal miner dies after five days in mine

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 40 Views

WATCH: Donel Mangena back in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 41 Views

High court reverses AFM church evictions

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 52 Views

Zimbabwean breaks SA wine auction record

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 46 Views

'No valid application before the court'

by Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba | 18 August 2018 | 66 Views

Challenges for Chamisa's SA lawyers

by Staff reporter | 18 August 2018 | 50 Views