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The lawyer should send you photographs and plans to support their allegations - you should ask them to disclose those in pre-action proceedings to try and narrow the issues and avoid litigation. Their surveyor should have picked up on the knotweed prior to purchase too - it is not for you to commission a surveyor and the onus is on the buyer to do so. As such, I would dispute their claim and say to them that if they do issue proceedings, you will apply to the court to strike out their claim based on insufficient prospects of success and no merit. If they do this and you want to apply to the court to strike out their claim, you will need to fill out and send form N244 (attached) and pay a fee of £255 payable to HMCTS - there would be a hearing and you can ask the court for an order that the claim is struck out. You could ask an advocate to attend for you (I recommend LPC Law which is a nationwide advocacy service).
If you send the solicitor's a letter to outline the above advice, invite them to drop their claim - hopefully it should get them to reassess their prospects of success.
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