Solicitor’s Duty to Non-client

Ask the Editor

Although a mortgagee’s solicitor disclaims liability, can an explanation of the law to an unrepresented third party cause a duty of care to arise, despite the solicitor’s saying he was not acting for the third party ? I have a mortgagor client who on a remortgage bringing in another to share his title, received a pro forma sheet describing the difference between holding property as a joint tenant or as a tenant in common. He made a choice he subsequently regretted and which might well have been different had he been advised to seek independent advice. Alternatively, even if no legal liability arose, is this a situation which could come within the ambit of the Legal Ombudsman?

A Response to Roger Sceats Thank you for posting your question on Ask the Editor Clearly any situation depends on the specific facts and communications sent to a person by a law firm, but in general terms, cases have held that solicitors can owe a duty of care to non clients and a potential implied retainer …
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