How to tell if a solicitor has been negligent

Jan Samuel

A recent case decided by the Court of Appeal has highlighted again how important it is to establish at the very outset of a matter, whether or not a solicitor’s work has been negligent, as opposed to simply poor. 

In the matter of Dunhill v W Brook & Co the Claimant alleged that a barrister had been negligent in advising her to settle a personal injury action on the morning of the trial. She also alleged that her solicitors were negligent for sending a trainee to the trial rather than someone more experienced.

The Court found the barrister had given the advice to settle on the morning of the trial, because a key witness had not turned up, which was considered to be reasonable. The Court also said that the solicitors were not negligent in sending a trainee to the trial.

The Court confirmed, that for a negligence claim against a solicitor to be successful, a Claimant must show that the solicitor’s advice was “blatantly wrong”.  The negligent advice, must be advice that “no competent and experienced practitioner would have given”.

This case highlights how important it is to seek advice from experienced professional negligence lawyers if you are considering bringing a claim against a solicitor or a barrister. At Samuels Solicitors, based in Devon, we have a long history of advising clients in these circumstances. If your case is strong, it is possible that we would be able to assist you under the terms of a conditional (no win no fee) agreement. 

Contact us for a free initial discussion about your case.