Many people who wish to make a personal injury claim would think that the person they chose to represent them was a qualified lawyer. In a recent case, an unqualified legal adviser was held to be professionally negligent in the handling of a clinical negligence case.
In the case, a claimant was left considerably out of pocket in relation to legal fees incurred in a fairly straightforward person injury claim. The claimant was told that the adviser was 'as good, if not better, than any solicitor or barrister'. The contract also implied that the firm was regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
The claimant brought a claim against the unregulated firm and won. The case is interesting because the legal adviser was held by the court to the standards of a competent legal adviser. Of course, a case against an unregulated firm is only worth anything if firm is properly insured and the claimant can recover losses from that firm in the event of a problem arising.
Any consumer wishing to appoint a legal adviser should check that the adviser is properly regulated. This is particularly important due to the decrease in public funding for personal injury matters. This means that legal aid is not available for many litigation claims and so consumers might be more likely to employ the services of someone purely on the basis of cost. A regulated solicitor is required to have professional indemnity insurance in place to ensure that no member of the public suffers loss the event that their advice falls short of what is required.
To discuss this or any other litigation related matter contact us.