Can I Sue a Barrister?

Jan Samuel

Since 2000, it has been possible for clients who have been let down by barristers, to sue them for professional negligence. Prior to 2000, barristers had enjoyed immunity from negligence claims, but that was changed by the case of Arthur J S Hall & Co v Simons. It was decided that it was no longer fair to clients that they were unable to sue a barrister who had been negligent and caused them loss. 

There have been many claims brought against barristers since 2000, but some cases have qualified the general rule that if a barrister gives negligent advice, you can sue them. For example, in the case of Moy v Pettman Smith in 2005, it was confirmed that barristers did not have to tell clients what the full reasons were for their advice, so long as they gave advice in clear terms which their clients could understand. 

The case of Pritchard Joyce & Hinds v Batcup confirmed in 2009 that barristers had not been negligent for failing to tell clients about a time limit for bringing a claim against a solicitor. The Judge in that case said that barristers did not have a duty to advise clients about every single possible claim they might have. 

The time limit for bringing a negligence claim against a barrister, is generally 6 years from the date the negligent advice was provided. This may seem like a long period of time, but if you think that a barrister has been negligent, it is a good idea to seek legal advice straight away. 

At Samuels Solicitors, we have several decades of experience in bringing claims for professional negligence against all types of professionals, including barristers. This is a specialist area of law, and if you think you have a claim, it is important that you get the right advice from the very start. 

If you have a very strong claim for negligence against a barrister, we may be able to act for you under the terms of a conditional (no win no fee) agreement. If this is not possible, we are happy to discuss other flexible funding options with you. 

For a free discussion about whether you can sue a barrister, contact us today on 01271 343457.