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Southampton practice embroiled in negligence claim

Southampton-based architect Richard Ludlow-Fisher has avoided what could have been a £200,000 legal battle after deciding to settle out of court this morning.

The firm was being sued for damages by clients Roderick and Edita Collins, who were demanding compensation for what they claimed was negligence and breach of contract over the construction of their home in the New Forest, Hampshire.

According to the writ issued in London's High Court, the case centred around a contract made in July 2000 for Ludlow-Fisher's services.

The Collins' representative Ms Frances Alderson, of Fladgate Fielder Solicitors, said: 'The claim was over the design of the new house. The proceedings had started more than three years ago, and after that the option to settle was offered.

'However, it took a lot of time to come to an agreement with the architect's insurers over the size of the settlement.'

Alderson's clients, Mr and Mrs Collins, have chosen not to talk publicly about the case.

Had the RIBA-registered firm not settled, it would have been ordered to pay £200,000 in damages plus all legal costs dating back to when the proceedings began more than three years ago.

The firm, which specialises in private residential projects, was not available for comment.

by Richard Vaughan

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