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Sutcliffe v Thackrah and Others; HL 1974

References: [1974] AC 727, [1974] 1 All ER 859, [1974] 2 WLR 295, [1974] 1 Lloyds Rep 318
Coram: Lord Reid, Lord Hodson, Lord Morris and Lord Salmon, Viscount Dilhorne
In acting under clause 66 of the ICE conditions, the Engineer was in the intermediate position of a quasi-arbitrator. The House described in terms of ‘fairness’ the duty of an architect when acting not as an arbitrator or quasi-arbitrator but in the role of valuer or certifier.
An action for damages for negligence will lie against a valuer to whom the parties have referred the question of valuation if one of them suffers loss as the result of his negligent valuation.
Lord Reid spoke of a duty to act in a fair and unbiased manner or fairly and impartially. Viscount Dilhorne regarded an honest exercise of professional skill and judgment as enough.
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Canterbury Pipe Lines v The Christchurch Drainage Board ((1979) 16 BLR 76)
    (New Zealand Court of Appeal) ‘In Hatrick the term ‘fairness’ was avoided in the judgments, Richmond J saying that he resisted it partly because of its vagueness and partly because it might be regarded as equivalent to natural justice. . . . In our . .

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