To understand the effect and scope of Barrister negligence, it first needs to be understood that a Barrister is not an average Lawyer.
Barristers are amongst the most highly trained and competent people in the legal industry. They are highly trained legal advisors who have gained a high status after many years of training and experience of representing and advising clients in court, often on highly complex cases, on a daily basis. They are trained to deliver high-quality advice and to conduct advocacy at court with the utmost care. In addition, Barristers often have specialist knowledge of specific areas of law, which adds to their unique skill-set.
Barrister negligence is no different to other types legal negligence, including solicitor’s negligence. They are generally instructed by a solicitor to undertake legal work on behalf of a client, individual, or business, although they can now accept instructions directly from the general public, if registered for ‘direct access’.
If, as in most cases, your solicitor has instructed a barrister to provide advice or assist in any way regarding your legal matter, there may be no written contract between you and the barrister. As such, any claim against the Barrister would be in the tort of negligence.
Claims against Barristers may arise in the context of non-contentious work, for example:
Claims can also arise against Barrister in contentious work such as:
However, from time to time, mistakes can happen which cost clients who instruct barristers directly, or solicitors who in turn instruct barristers on behalf of their client’s, loss and damage.
We have discussed, that Barristers are unique to the legal profession, they demand respect and they are often highly esteemed, Barristers are very trusted professionals and have a code of conduct which emphasises that they must act in their client’s best interests at all times.
Given the role of barristers as highly trusted legal professionals, and their code of conduct which emphasises that they must act in their client’s best interests at all times, a high level of competence is always expected.
If your Barrister has given you the wrong advice and this negligence has caused you financial loss, the loss of something you stood to benefit from, or any other detriment, the consequences may be devastating. And this may be especially stressful if you had no direct contact with them to discuss the mistake which led to your financial loss or loss of chance.
If you have been let down by a barrister, and they have been negligent, we may be able to assist you to pursue a claim for the compensation you are owed.
We should emphasise we are not able to assist you if the service you received was simply poor. In this case, you may be able to submit a formal complaint, please refer to our ‘Negligence or just a compliant’ page for further information.