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Have you had free advice from a friend who is a Solicitor? They had better watch out!

March 30, 2017

As a specialist dental negligence solicitor I am often asked by friends and relatives about potential dental claims and the law. 

 

In fact, one of the first topics of conversation when I meet somebody normally goes something like this:

 

"Q:What do you do then?

 

A:I am specialist dental negligence solicitor....

 

Q:A what?....I bet your dentist loves you and you must get Rolls Royce treatment....Hang on...about 2 years ago, I went to the dentist with a pain in my tooth and ......"

 

You get the idea!.

 

Now, I read with dismay this week in the Law Society Gazette (27.03.2017)  that the Court of Appeal is about to give a judgement on a claim worth £256,000 by a London couple suing their neighbour (who were in fact previously good friends) for allegedly negligent advice on a garden project.  The gist of the claim is that an architect had given free advice to his friend and neighbour on a garden landscape project that he wanted to do.

 

The Gazette seeks to allay fears stating that dispute resolution lawyers have stressed that Solicitors should near fear the implications of a case in which an architect gave free advice to his friend - but should still exercise caution.

 

Alarm bells have gone off within the profession as Solicitors still potentially owe a duty of care to deliver a professional service, even if this is free advice to a friend.  The High Court Judge HH Judge Nissen QC called the case a "cautionary tale" and pointed out that just because there is no contract was not a protection from liabililty.

 

It is only one small step from architect to solicitor.

 

The outcome of this case may make solicitors think twice before giving free legal advice especially on a complex area like dental negligence claims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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