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Professional negligence update

Katie Papworth and Sophie Davies review the scope of a solicitor’s duty, issues surrounding the termination of a retainer and the practicalities of running a professional negligence claim

16 April 2012

Scope of duty

In recent years the scope of a solicitor’s duty to his client has been extended and given practitioners and their insurers much cause for concern. However, in 2012 the courts have rejected claims against solicitors on the basis that the standard expected of the solicitor was too high and therefore a duty could not be imposed.

In Shepherd v Pinsent & Co [2012] EWHC 43 (TCC), the claimant construction company had instructed the predecessor firm to make amendments to JSB sub-contracts. Some years after, the payment arrangements under the sub-contracts failed and the claimant sought damages from Pinsents on the basis that there was an ongoing ret...

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