Professional Negligence - Solicitor - Inadequate advice
Court of Appeal
28 April 2015
Tomlinson, Kitchin and Gloster LJJ
A law firm had failed to properly advise the claimant about bringing a
claim for services.
The claimant suffered from Vibration White Finger ('VWF') as a result of
using tools whilst working as a cool miner. The claimant instructed the
defendant to bring his claim under a compensation scheme and the claim settled
for the sum of £11,141, including a claim for general damages and handicap on
the labour market, but not including a claim for services. The claimant
subsequently brought a claim against the defendant for failing to properly
advise him about bringing a claim for services, stating that if he had been
properly advised, he would have brought such a claim and recovered an
additional £11,079.42. The claimant stated that he was not aware he could bring
a claim for services as assistance had been gratuitous. At first instance, the
claimant was successful and was awarded £5,539.50 as damages for lost opportunity.
The defendant were permitted to appeal on whether they were negligent in
failing to conduct either a meeting or telephone conversation with the claimant
to satisfy themselves that he fully understood the advice which they had
tendered in three letters.
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