Ministry of Housing v Sharp [1970]

Clerk drawing up certificate of official search for
land charges negligently omitted to mention a charge.
Court of Appeal held although there was no statutory
obligation on clerk, was liable under common law duty to take care.
Lord Denning MR stated the case came within Hedley Byrne principles.
Tortious duty to use due care did not arise only when
there was voluntary assumption of responsibility.
[Some argue this case stands for proposition that someone
under duty to make statements cannot
plead they were not made voluntarily.
But case was unique in many respects (as Salmon LJ
recognised).
Case best seen as limited exception regarding land
registries.
Best justified on basis that whole purpose of Land
Charges system is that both parties should be protected.]