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Barrister and solicitors cleared of negligence over court settlement

Cara Guthrie successfully defends a barrister who advised a claimant to settle her road traffic claim on a full and final basis on the morning of a liability trial. He was found not to be negligent even though it has since become clear that the claimant’s injuries were very much more severe than was apparent at the time.

The claimant brought a professional negligence claim against her former solicitors and barrister alleging that she had been advised to settle her personal injury claim at an undervalue at the court door. Elisabeth Laing J heard the issues on breach of duty and dismissed the claim against both defendants. Laing J was not persuaded that the barrister defendant “had assessed the evidence incorrectly, still less, negligently.” The barrister did not have the luxury of saying that he could not settle the case because he did not have enough information about quantum. On his non-negligent assessment of the situation, he faced fighting and losing, or agreeing a settlement. He was not negligent in doing his best to assess quantum on the medical evidence that was available to him.

Anneliese Day QC and Cara Guthrie appeared for the defendant barrister.

News 4 Feb, 2016

Authors

Michael Bowes QC

Call: 1980 Silk: 2001

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