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The customer is always right

Catherine Burtinshaw considers how to cope with the wrong instructions

26 February 2014

One could be forgiven, faced with the daily office pressures of hitting chargeable targets, completing administrative tasks, collecting CPD points, writing articles and enthusiastically participating in marketing, for occasionally losing sight of the fact that we exist to service our end users.

Is the client always right, however? There have been a number of occasions during my career to date where I harboured serious doubts. Sometimes I wish to receive instructions from a client to pursue a particular path, but am instead asked to proceed differently.

One recent example arose when my firm received, with no prior notice, an unless order requiring us to commence detailed assessment proceedings by a particular date or lose the right to recover any of our costs in a discontinued claim. To put this into context, we had received no indication from the claimants' solicitors that they intended to make an application.

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