Law Society seeks repeal of limited liability prohibition

The Law Society is to seek the repeal of a prohibition against limiting the liability of a solicitor in a contentious business agreement.

The revelation came in a speech by Law Society president Peter Williamson at City firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert on Wednesday (23 June).

Williamson said that the Law Society’s current policy is to allow “individual firms to negotiate limitation of liability clauses with individual clients”. But he explained that Section 60(5) of the Solicitors Act 1974 currently prevents any limitation of liability.

He added: “It is not obvious to me that there is any continuing justification for that provision. I can see no reason why we should not press for that to be repealed, so that the question of limitations of liability in litigation is dealt with through our Rules and through the general law, rather than as a specific statutory provision.”

Williamson also spoke about conflicts and the ongoing Clementi review, stressing that he sees the Law Society as the “regulator of choice” for the future.