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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