High Court ruling vindicates business pair

Advocate 'negligent' in Street Heritage case

An Island businessman has won a landmark victory in a long-running legal dispute over the collapse of his family firm.

Jonathan Irving and his son Jamie Irving are suing their former advocate Jerry Carter, after he failed to contest the winding-up in court of Street Heritage Ltd, seven years ago.

A High Court judgment has ruled that in failing to represent the Irvings properly, Mr Carter acted negligently, and was in breach of contract.

The case centres on Mr Carter's late attendance at the hearing in February 2010 - a lapse which meant a winding-up order for Street Heritage Ltd was granted in his absence, the Deemster having left by the time he arrived.

The company was in financial difficulty and planned to meet a tax bill of almost £183,000 through the sale of land in Peel.

Mr Carter had advised the Irvings he would likely have the order adjourned, giving them time to put together a rescue package.

But the opportunity was lost. The Irvings say the winding-up left the company's assets worthless and it became insolvent - resulting in 'catastrophic' financial losses.

In his judgment, Deemster Corlett said Mr Carter acted negligently and was in breach of contract for failing to know the time of the case, and for not asking the Deemster to return to court.

He said the action was capable to causing the loss claimed by the Irvings, including that incurred in the 2010 Bay Music Festival.

Damages will be decided at a future hearing.

More from Isle of Man News