Adviser in £81k dispute with brother over Devon hotel

Philip Milton, who runs Philip J Milton & Co Independent Investment Consultants, is claiming £81,000 against his brother after engaging him to do some refurbishment work on the hotel he now owns.

The building, called Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, is an 11-bedroom property, based near Woolacombe on the North Devon coast.

Mr Milton, who has been a financial adviser for 28 years, intended to run the hotel while living there with his family.

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Mr Milton commissioned his brother, David Milton, to do some building work on the property, which Philip Milton and his wife Helen claimed was not carried out with “reasonable skill and care” or “to a reasonable standard”. Neither was the work done “within a reasonable time”.

Philip Milton claimed his brother went ahead and carried out work without his authority and did not obtain relevant building regulations. The financial adviser claimed David Milton caused damage to the hotel and he was critical of his brother’s assessment of his invoices.

In a defence and counterclaim, seen by Financial Adviser, David Milton denied he failed to complete the work to a satisfactory standard and without adequate consultation with his brother. He also denied he failed to obtain the correct building regulations and that he did not cause damage to the hotel. David Milton also disagreed with the assessment of his invoices.

Philip Milton, who stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party in the last general election, said: “The decision I regret is engaging my brother for the building work. If that hadn’t happened I would have had a fully functioning hotel. I’ve only got myself to blame.” The hotel is now operational.

Judith Thompson, a partner of Samuels Solicitors representing David Milton, said: “It’s inappropriate for our client to make any comment on claim and counterclaim while litigation is ongoing.”