You have been instructed to represent Janet Bramwell, who was seriously injured in an industrial accident. 12 months ago, you advised your Instructing Solicitors that a civil claim for personal injury was likely to succeed, and that proceedings should be commenced as soon as possible as the limitation period was going to expire in 6 months time. Today, your Instructing Solicitors inform you that proceedings were not commenced within the limitation period,and that a recent application to the court to allow proceedings to commence outside the limitation period was unsuccessful. You are also told that the solicitors failed to commence proceedings because the solicitor in the case was overworked and was unable to turn his attention to the case in time. What should you do?
Where there is a conflict of interest between a lay and professional client, for example, where the professional client may have been negligent, you must consider whether it would be in the lay client’s best interest to instruct another firm of solicitors.
If you consider that it would be, you must so advise, and take all steps you consider necessary to communicate this advice to the lay client – including sending her (and your Instructing Solicitors) a copy of your advice in writing