Who can sue the solicitor?

Non-clients

The ability to sue a lawyer for negligent advice can extend beyond the lawyer‘s client. Lawyers can also owe legal duties to people who are not their clients. This can be the case where a ‘special relationship’ is found to exist between the lawyer and person in question. There is no fixed definition of what will constitute a ‘special relationship’ but a key issue will be whether it would be reasonable to expect the lawyer to owe a legal duty to the person in question.

For example, where Mr A instructs a lawyer to draft a will for him leaving everything to Mr B, the lawyer can owe a legal duty to Mr B even if the lawyer has never met or spoken to Mr B. If the lawyer negligently delays in drafting the will and Mr A dies (with the result that Mr B gets nothing), it could be that Mr B has the ability to sue the lawyer.