How to sue a barrister

Jan Samuel

If you want to sue a barrister, you need to prove that:

  • The barrister owed you a duty of care. This is usually fairly simple. 
  • The duty of care was breached. This can be more complex, and will often require advice from a lawyer to say what the barrister has done wrong.
  • The breach of the duty of care caused you financial loss. In some cases you will need expert evidence to prove what your losses are, if the case is very complex.
  • The negligent advice caused your loss. If you suffered losses for some reason other than the negligent advice, then you would not have a claim. 

Barristers can be sued if you have instructed them directly yourself, or through a solicitor. Barristers are usualy instructed to carry out specific pieces of work, rather than to advise you generally. For example, they can be instructed to give you a written opinion, to prepare court proceedings, or to represent you at a hearing.

If a barrister makes a mistake in relation to any of the work they do for you, then you could be entitled to compensation. 

What compensation could I claim?

If a barrister's negligence has caused you loss, you are entitled to compensation, also known as damages, to put you in the position you would have been in, if the negligence had not happened. 

For example, if you fought a case all the way to trial as a barrister had wrongly told you you had a very strong claim, but you then lost at trial, you would probably have to pay your opponent's costs (as well as having to pay your own). In those circumstances, you could claim those costs back from the barrister. 

Another example would be if a barrister advised you not to defend a claim, and you paid damages to your opponent. If the barrister was wrong, and your defence was actually a strong one, you could claim the damages you paid back from the barrister. 

The good news is that barristers have to be insured in case they are negligent, so if you are entitled to compensation, you will almost certainly be paid by the barrister's insurer.

What should I do next?

If a barrister has made a mistake, and given you negligent advice, you need to act quickly. The first step is to find a solicitor to help you, who is experienced in dealing with this type of claim. This is important, as there are specific protocols and procedures which need to be followed for a claim against a barrister and any mistakes made at the outset can affect the costs you recover. 

At Samuels Solicitors, we have been advising clients about professional negligence claims for decades and have successfully recovered compensation for hundreds of people. In many cases, we have been able to assist clients on a conditional (no win no fee) basis. 

If a barrister has let you down, contact us today for a free initial discussion with a professional negligence expert. 

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