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Five common sources of claims for Solicitors

By Deborah O'Riordan
Practice Leader - Risk Solutions

As a leading indemnifier of Solicitors practises we consider it a failure when a successful claim is made. It costs time, reputation and money for all parties involved. From our experience, here are five common sources of claim:


Failure to identify the client
For example whether the solicitor is acting for an individual, his company, or the shareholders of the company; for a husband and/or a wife; for a lender and/or a borrower or for pension fund trustees or the employer company

Missing time limits/failure of diary system
In our experience simply missing something is a much more common source of claims against solicitors than getting something wrong

Failure to identify and properly deal with conflicts of interest
Conflict issues can be difficult to deal with when they arise, assuming that they are identified in the first place. They can occur where the solicitor does not consider whether all clients have the same interest in the matter e.g. where advising directors or partners in relation to restructuring of the business

Failure to distinguish role from that of other professionals
It is common for other professionals to be involved in the same transaction as the solicitor, for example in pensions and tax advice where accountants and other professionals may be involved

Inadvertently advising third parties
There is a well established line of authority supporting the proposition that a solicitor can take on a duty to a third party who is not his client.

Cost effective mitigations against these risks and other insights regarding the risks to Solicitors practises are available, without obligation, from 

Your contact

Your contact

Deborah O'Riordan

Deborah O'Riordan

Practice Leader - Risk Solutions

Tel: +44 20 7105 5528