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Reducing the blur

Peter Rogers considers the line of cases where solicitors are said to have been under a duty to give business, rather than legal advice

8 February 2016

Is it reasonable for clients to expect their lawyer to warn them, where appropriate, against entering into a transaction - even where the client hasn't asked for such advice? Most lawyers would instinctively say no. But do clients see it that way? Certainly there has been no shortage of cases where, in effect, clients have argued that their lawyer was under a duty to advise on the commercial wisdom (or otherwise) of a transaction. In this article I will look at:

  • The principles the courts use to decide such cases;

  • Key decisions; and

  • How fee earners can protect themselves from such claims.

The principles

Solicitors' breaches of duty can arise in the following ways:

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