Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 19 (Jul)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWHC 1310 (Ch)
Court: Chancery Division

Laddie J

Representation Jonathan Seitler (instructed by Clifford Chance) for the claimant.
  David Halpern (instructed by Bond Pearce) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 2 July 2002


Solicitor - Retainer - Terms and limits of retainer - Claimant instructing defendant in relation to exercise of break option clause - Exercise of break option dependent upon service of six months notice and payment of £11,500 - Claimant alleging failure by defendant to warn that payment was condition precedent and that it was time critical - Whether defendant in breach duty of care owed to claimant.

The Case

In relation to the question whether a solicitor's duty of care extended beyond the express width of the instructions given, a solicitor was under no general obligation to expend time and effort on issues outside the retainer. However if, in the course of doing that for which he was retained, he became aware of a risk or potential risk to the client, it was his duty to inform the client. In doing that he was neither going beyond the scope of his instructions nor was he doing 'extra' work for which he was not paid.

Practice Areas

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