Posted by Nicola Cutler, Associate
Barrister Negligence Claims on the Rise
As more barristers act for clients directly the number of barrister negligence claims are on the up.
Suing a barrister may seem a daunting task. After all, they are the experts in their field and a claim for negligence will be putting their reputation on the line. However, where a barrister’s service and quality of advice falls below the standard expected of them, a barrister negligence claim may be possible.
The role of the Barrister
Barristers are expected to provide high quality, expert legal advice on complex issues where there is often a lot at stake. If a legal matter has progressed to the stage that a barrister’s opinion or advice is being sought then it is likely that the value of the claim or potential claim is very high or that the potential consequences of winning or losing the case are very serious for the parties involved.
Duty of Care
For these reasons, solicitors and their clients turn to barristers for expert legal advice. Where a solicitor is instructed to advise the client and the solicitor then seeks the expert advice of a barrister, there will be no direct link between the barrister and the client. For this reason, claims against a barrister often include a claim for solicitor negligence at the same time.
That said, it is increasingly common for the client to miss out the solicitor and instruct the barrister themselves, creating a direct duty of care between the barrister and his client.
Suing your Barrister
Whether or not a solicitor is involved, in order to bring a claim for barrister negligence it is necessary to show that they provided negligent advice, either in writing or verbally in a conference, or acted negligently in court which led to the client suffering some financial loss as a direct result.
For example, a barrister could provide negligent advice which results in the client accepting an unfavourable offer to settle a case where they could have been much better off had they received better legal advice from their barrister.
If you have suffered a financial loss as a result of solicitor negligence or barrister negligence it is important to seek professional advice as soon as possible. Contact a member of the Professional Negligence Team today for free impartial advice.
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