Negligent solicitors advice about tax avoidance scheme leads to compensation award

Jan Samuel

In a case decided at the end of 2017, Baxendale Walker Solicitors were found to have been negligent for failing to tell their client that a tax avoidance scheme had a significant risk of failing.

Giving a client a "general health warning" about a tax avoidance scheme was not enough - the court was clear that a specific warning to the clients should have been given. 

The court said that solicitors should tell clients that each case is fact sensitive and the court might interpret the viability of a scheme differently from the solicitors. Even if a solicitor is correct about a scheme, an appropriate warning may still need to be given.

It is always difficult for solicitors to strike a balance between giving clear and confident advice to clients, and giving the appropriate warnings about that advice. This case serves only to illustrate how difficult that balance can be.

At Samuels Solicitors, based in Devon, we have decades of experience in assisting clients with professional negligence claims against tax advisors, accountants, solicitors and surveyors. 

We are happy to find creative solutions to the issue of paying legal fees, and in many cases we are able to act for clients under the terms of a conditional (no win no fee) agreement. 

If you think that you have had bad tax advice, or if you have been let down by any other type of professional, contact us today for a free initial discussion about what you can do. 

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