The Court of Appeal’s latest approach to solicitors’ duties highlights the need for practitioners to exercise caution when advising clients, say Laura Taylor and Peter Maguire

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal has allowed Levicom’s appeal of the first instance judgment in their £37m loss of chance claim against Linklaters.

The case involves advice given by Linklaters to Levicom relating to a dispute with a Swedish telecoms group. Levicom alleged that, had Linklaters not given negligently over-optimistic advice, it would have settled its dispute at a much earlier stage, on more favourable terms, rather than embarking upon arbitration that settled on unsatisfactory terms.

Although the judge at first instance found that Linklaters’ advice was negligent in certain respects, he held that the negligence caused no loss to Levicom – he did not accept that the company would have acted differently i...

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