Summary of recent cases on Professional Negligence - second quarter 2016
Our quarterly round-up of significant professional negligence can be accessed here.
All four are claims against solicitors, three of which relate to disputes stemming from transactional matters. These cases highlight to solicitors, in particular, the importance of ensuring that all parties are aware who is being professionally represented (particularly where there are directors and companies involved) as well as emphasising the importance of remaining alert to the potential for fraud in transactional matters.
The Court can also be seen in these cases as reiterating the established position that:
- It will only extend the duty of care owed by a solicitor to a third party in limited circumstances; and
- A lower standard of care is does not apply to less experienced professionals.
It has been suggested that the number of claims against solicitors may be falling as the limitation expires in respect of claims arising from the last financial crisis in 2008. However, this recent run of cases would suggest that transactional law continues to be arena in which negligence disputes will arise. Furthermore, it would appear that the under-settlement of a disputes remains an area where claimants will seek to recover their losses (as previously discussed here).