When using a barrister to provide you with legal representation, you naturally should expect the highest professional standards of service.

However, if you have been let down by the service your barrister provided to you and you have suffered a financial loss as a result of this service then it may be possible to make a professional negligence claim against the barrister. Here at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors our professional negligence team can deal with claims against barristers made by their clients.

Traditionally protection from professional negligence claims against barristers, particularly in connection with advocacy work, was available. Based on the argument that a barrister’s duty to the court should not be compromised by the risk of exposure to negligence claims made by a disgruntled client. However, since a decision in 2000 by the Law Lords in Parliament, claims against barristers have been possible. Barristers are now potentially liable if they provide negligent advice, for example, by way of a written report or as the result of a discussion at a conference with their client.

The immunity which barristers had previously enjoyed has more or less disappeared and barristers can also be liable for negligent advocacy provided their clients can show they have suffered a loss as a direct result of the advice from their barrister.

To provide you with more information about claims against barristers for professional negligence, we’ve put together the information on this page of our website. If you’ve recently employed a barrister and you feel that the advice and the service they provided to you fell well short of their professional obligations, to the extent that you have suffered a financial loss, then it may be possible to make a claim against your barrister.

For more advice call us on 0151 239 1000. Alternatively, complete the short online enquiry form on this site and someone from our professional negligence team will be in touch to discuss your case.

​Barrister negligence

Barristers play an important role giving legal advice to their clients, often in cases where there may be no legal precedent. In these cases a barrister will rely on his or her legal skills to present their client’s case in as favourable a way as possible, in an attempt to get an outcome that benefits their client. The vast majority of barristers in England and Wales offer high quality legal advice for people who are often in desperate need of their services. However there are occasionally barristers whose standards of service and quality of advice fall well below what should be expected by their clients and in these situations barrister negligence claims may be possible.

Barrister negligence can have a very serious impact on their clients. In civil cases the results could be financial losses for the client or a very unfavourable outcome to a case that might see their client much worse off than if they had received better legal advice from their barrister. The position is different in criminal cases since prosecuting counsel owes no duty of care to a defendant. Consequently, in these cases, the potential remedy is nearly always to appeal against conviction. However, it may be the case that barrister negligence claims may be possible against a defence barrister in certain limited circumstances where there has been obvious incompetence.

​Suing a barrister

Suing a barrister for professional negligence can be a daunting task. Barristers are amongst the most experienced and highly trained members of the legal profession and any claim for professional negligence made when suing a barrister will be putting their professional reputation at stake. It is therefore vital when suing a barrister to distinguish the whether your barrister has been negligent or whether they have merely provided an inadequate service. There is often an overlap between the two concepts but if you have suffered a financial loss as a result of a negligent act by a barrister then our solicitors can advise you if you have grounds for suing a barrister.

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