EVIDENCE, RETAINERS, ATTENDANCE NOTES AND WITNESS CREDIBILITY

Civil Litigation Brief

There have been a number of recent cases where disgruntled clients have attempted to sue their lawyers.  The judgments highlight the difficulties for trial judges who have to assess evidence after some lapse of time.  They also highlight the importance of contemporaneous documents, attendance notes and, in the case of Lyons -v- Fox Williams LLP [2016] EWHC 2427 (QB) the need for a detailed retainer.

THE CASE

The claimant was bringing an action against  his former solicitors alleging negligence when the claimant was attempting to bring a claim under various insurance policies.

THE CHALLENGE FACED BY THE TRIAL JUDGE

Mr Justice Turner outlined the challenges caused by the evidence.
  1. The resolution of this issue has been bedevilled by a number of problems:
i) The dispute over the scope of Mr Custance’s retainer did not arise until years after the events to which it relates. Consequently, for the most part, the…

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