Rushbond PLC (claimant/appellant) v JS Design Partnership (defendant/respondent)

Wednesday 17th November 2021

The Claimant (C) appeals from the order of O’Farrell J dated 30/7/20

-striking out the claim and awarding summary judgment to D;

-ordering that C pay D’s costs of the action;

-extending time for filing the Appellant’s Notice to 4/9/20.

The claim arises out of a fire in 2014 at a property (a cinema) owned by C. C’s case is that the architect employed by D left the access door unlocked for an hour while visiting the property with an engineer and surveyor to carry out an inspection on behalf of a potential purchaser.

C’s case is that one or more intruders were able to access the property through the unlocked door and, once inside, started the fire. Damages of more that 6.5 Million pounds were claimed in respect of damage caused by the fire.

The matter before O’Farrell J was D’s application to strike out the claim and/or for summary judgment on the basis that the statement of case disclosed no reasonable grounds for bringing the claim.

The judge held that D did not owe a common law duty of care to C as it was a case of pure omission and did not fall within any of the exceptions to the general rejection of a duty of care in pure omission cases.

Lower Court Judgment:

Rushbond Plc v The J S Design Partnership LLP [2020] EWHC 1982 (TCC) (24 July 2020) (

View hearing:

Part 1

Part 2