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Solicitors' Claims

Solicitors' Claims
A Practical Guide
ISBN:  9780414031821
Published by:  Sweet & Maxwell
Publication Date:  20 Sep 2013
Subscription Information:  Non-Subscribable Product
Format:  Paperback
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The purpose of Solicitors’ Claims: A Practical Guide is to assist those involved in solicitors’ professional indemnity—whether they are insurers, partners or lawyers in law firms, directors of risk or brokers—by drawing together the legal and practical issues which most commonly arise in these types of claims. Where the context permits, chapters highlight potential problem areas and then discuss the legal principles which the courts will apply in determining issues of liability. Thereafter, an attempt has been made to summarise the factual matters which should be considered when a claim or potential claim arises, together with risk management issues and practical guidance as to how potential pitfalls can be avoided in the future.

Chapters in the Guide:

  • In respect of claims by third parties was any duty of care owed?
  • What were the scope and limits of the solicitor’s retainer?
  • Was there a breach of duty?
  • Is there a limitation defence?
  • Causation – what difference did the alleged breach of duty make?
  • Quantum
  • Are there any other potential contributors?
  • Underlying causes of claims
  • Practical claims handling issues
  • Settlement: strategic considerations and cost issues
  • The April 2013 Jackson reforms: key provisions, strategic considerations and potential pitfalls



  • Introduction
  • In respect of claims by third parties (i.e. non-clients) was any duty of care owed?
  • What were the scope and limits of the solicitor’s retainer?
  • Was there a breach of duty
  • Is there a limitation defence?
  • Causation – what difference did the alleged breach of duty make?
  • Are there any potential contributors?
  • Underlying causes of Claims
  • Practical Claims Handling Issues
  • Settlement: strategic considerations and cost issues
  • The April 2013 Jackson Reforms: key provisions, strategic considerations and potential pitfalls


Editor: Anna Crew, CMS Cameron McKenna 
Contributors: Zoe Burge, Joe Campbell, Richard Curd, Sophie Davies, Estelle Duxbury, Diane Jerry, Alys Jones, Peter Maguire and Lucy Russell.


'There is now a vast jungle of authorities on solicitors’ liabilities.  It is not always easy to find one’s way through that jungle, as I know from my own experience.
This book, written by Anna Crew and her colleagues at CMS Cameron McKenna, does precisely what its title suggests.  It provides a clear and practical guide through the jungle of substantive law and through the procedural issues as well.  This is precisely the sort of book that busy practitioners need for the day to day business of bringing and defending claims.'
Lord Justice Jackson

'In his first major speech as Lord Chief Justice on 21st October 2013, Lord Thomas surveyed his inheritance. He observed ten issues that the judiciary needs to address. High up at three and four are ‘the growth in the costs of litigation’ and ‘the need to make better use of information technology’. He identified two lessons from his historical sweeping analysis of the development of the law. The second was that ‘lawyers are always reluctant to see change’. Chiming with these themes in this ground making new book, Anna Crew and her co-contributors, foresee that the application of the proportionality test to solicitors recoverable costs in civil litigation after April Fools Day  is ‘likely to give rise to a period of uncertainty’ and that ‘satellite litigation is inevitable as case law develops’. Solicitors, in the post-Jackson world, will have learn and practise new skills in project managing their cases, costs budgeting and control of them and how to use technology in the efficient disclosure and use of voluminous electronic evidence. Otherwise, they will suffer the ignominy of losing their clients, not recovering their costs, reporting their defaults to their insurers, appearing before a battery of judges in the Court of Appeal and going out of business.
Lawyers, who are skilled in professional indemnity work such as CMS Cameron McKenna, are well placed to give sound advice on how to adapt to the change and survive in these generally straightened times under the new procedural rules. This book gives excellent and clear practical guidance on what to do and what not to do in the conduct of civil litigation. The first and fundamental imperative, it rightly observes, is simply to know the rules and obey them, something which many have regrettably and indeed negligently failed to do in either or both respects but being fortunate to have avoided the consequences. This fortune will no longer smile upon the benighted if the threat by the new Master of the Rolls of sanctions with no relief from them is fulfilled by the judiciary.
The book offers a succinct and yet comprehensive guide to the practice of modern civil litigation. The more complex areas that many will be unfamiliar with such as ‘electronic disclosure’ are simply explained. Even the non costs lawyer will understand about budgeting, DBA’s and proportionality & reasonableness in the assessment of costs, bemoaning the loss of dear old necessity, by the time they have closed their eyes after their bedtime reading.
It is wonderful for CMS Cameron McKenna to have written this book- if solicitors read it and heed its lessons then the professional indemnity lawyers at Anna Crew’s firm will have no cases to do. However, I suspect they may well have a lot from those who are ‘reluctant to see change’: look out for a Second edition in the near future!'
His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC


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