Rawlinson of Kings Chambers secures judgment in solicitors negligence

Michael Rawlinson QC of Kings Chambers was instructed to admit breach of duty but deny causation on a novel basis in a A v Avalon Solicitors.

In an action brought by a former client of Avalon, Mr A, who alleged that he had suffered loss arising from Avalon’s negligent failure to pursue a claim on his behalf for services damages consequent upon his successful application for general damages made under the British Coal Respiratory Disease Scheme, Michael Rawlinson QC was instructed to admit breach of duty but deny causation on a novel basis.

The basis was that since Mr A had, in truth, never honestly believed himself to require services he could not now claim against Avalon damages representing a claim which could only have been made dishonestly pursuant to the maxim Ex Turpi etc.

Having heard the evidence HHJ Gosnell found that Mr A, despite his evidence to the contrary, could not have had a genuine belief in his need for services and hence his claim against Avalon was defeated by the maxim.

The approach adopted by Avalon permitted the Court to consider the underlying evidence in respect of the original claim, a step usually precluded by the rule that the subsequent trial is not to consider the underlying merits of the action in any detail.

This in turn placed a powerful tool in the hands of the defendants in defeating a claim found to have been made against them dishonestly.

This content was originally sourced from the Kings Chambers website.