Last week it was in the news that Raleys Solicitors were successfully sued by a former client for professional negligence in Proctor -v- Raleys.
Raleys had settled a claim for damages on behalf of their client regarding vibration white finger in the sum of £11,141.00. The claim however was found not to have taken into account a claim for activities that the client could no longer carry out (i.e. DIY, car repairs and gardening etc).
It would appear that Raleys had not actually met with their client (instead relying on questionnaires and standard letters). This was apparently due to internal systems being set up to enable them to deal with a high volume of claims. His Honour Judge Gosnell said it was “reasonably foreseeable” that a client may not fully understand how the system operated or what claims he was entitled to make and it was for the Solicitor to ask such questions.
The Judge ordered that Raleys pay £5539.00 to the client which represented 50% of the total services claim which should have initially been made.
I am sure many PI firms will now be anxiously reviewing similar internal systems.
On the plus side, this should provide a good argument when negotiating costs with Defendants Costs lawyers in the future. As it stands they will mostly insist that only minimal time should be recoverable for taking instructions from your clients and considering the claim.
On the down side, one wonders about future advertising campaigns…..
Were you satisfied with the amount of damages you received for your claim? If it wasn’t enough (or you have spent it all) come to us. We will sue your previous Solicitor on a no-win no fee basis. We will also give you a new ipad and/or a big wad of cash!!!
If I am honest my view is that you reap what you sow…maybe it is time for the band wagon firms of yesteryear to face the consequences of the “pile them high” attitude. It may also deter “PI super-firms” from being so easily able to undercut the genuine firms of Solicitors who continue to provide a quality service to their clients, albeit for less profit, particularly in these post Jackson times.
Please see Judgment
Proctor -v- Raleys