See no evil — the consequences of clients failing to read documents
By Edward Coulson
Two recent solicitors’ claims deal with the consequences of clients failing to read documents: the first-instance decision in Proctor v Raleys and the Court of Appeal’s decision in Newcastle International Airport v Eversheds.
In Proctor, the claimant recovered £11,141 as general damages and for handicap on the labour market for Vibration White Finger disease. He subsequently complained that the defendants, his solicitors, had failed to advise him about a claim for compensation for services required as a consequence of his injury. He was awarded £5,539.50 after a 50 per cent discount reflecting the value of his lost chance of recovering damages for services.
The defendants had in fact written to him on three occasions advising him of a possible services claim but the trial judge, His Honour Judge Gosnell, held that they should have been aware the claimant was ‘not highly educated’ and should have interviewed him face to face. Had they done so, they would have elicited his misunderstanding of the position regarding a services claim — he thought it was necessary to make payments to a third party to justify a services claim. It was not reasonable for them to rely on questionnaires and standardised letters (as they had) even though that enabled them to deal with ‘a very high number of claims at limited cost’…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Mills & Reeve briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
News from Mills & Reeve
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Mills & Reeve
There is a widespread belief in the concept of ‘common law marriage’, which couples think will protect them when they buy property together. This is incorrect.
Mills & Reeve offers top tips for those looking to move or get their foot on the housing ladder.
Analysis from The Lawyer
The trend for unbundling legal work is advancing through the law firm ranks but there is still resistance in some quarters - namely in-house. We asked why