Professionals will have to purchase indemnity cover until their death, following a surprise Court of Appeal ruling, claims a law firm.

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain said the decision in Cave vs Robinson, Jarvis & Rolfe meant claimants effectively no longer had a time limit to take action.

Previously, the Latent Damage Act 1986 meant that all claims were barred 15 years after the relevant events happened, unless any fact relating to the claim had been deliberately concealed by the allegedly negligent professional.

Partner Jonathan Davies said: “For professional firms it is quite a frightening scenario. They could face a host of claims rising from the dead. If this decision is not appealed to the House of Lords, the Law Commission should look at this latest ruling and urgently resolve the situation.”

He added: “The courts are interpreting the Limitation Act in a way that was never intended.”