Solicitors Must Not Sugar Coat Advice


In 2001, a firm of solicitors and a barrister told a client that her clinical negligence claim against the NHS was unlikely to be successful and that she should not bring a claim. The client was unhappy with the advice she received and brought a negligence claim against her solicitor and the barrister who had given her that advice.

At trial, the judge decided that the advice given by the solicitor and the barrister was correct.

However, the client appealed that decision, and the case went to the Court of Appeal. Last week the Court of Appeal gave its decision about whether the solicitor and barrister had been negligent.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the first judge. Lord Justice Jackson said that where a client has a weak case, the solicitor and barrister had a duty to tell them so. Jackson stated: "it is no kindness to the client to soften the advice or to encourage them to press on anyway".

If a solicitor advises a client to continue with a weak case, which they then lose, that solicitor could be guilty of negligence and the client could bring a claim against them for the losses they have suffered. These losses could be considerable, particularly where a losing party has had to pay their opponent's costs.

At Samuels, we are experts in advising clients who have been badly advised by their solicitors, with professional negligence claims having been our niche specialism for many years. We act for many clients on a no win no fee basis, where they have a strong claim. 

If you have lost a case, we may be able to assist. Contact us today for a free initial appraisal of your case. 


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