A solicitor had undertaken to look after certain passports, but failed to do so. The husband had twice previously kidnapped his children whose custody was an issue before the court. Once the husband regained the passports, he again fled with the children.
Held: The court should be prepared to find a duty of care on the part of someone who undertook to act in a particular capacity to the plaintiff and to the court as custodian of the plaintiff’s children’s passports, notwithstanding that the solicitor also owed a conflicting professional duty of care to his client. He had accepted a duty to act as an independent custodian of the passport subject to the direction of the court and the joint directions of the parties, and in that capacity owed the opposing party a duty to take reasonable care to keep the passport in his possession (save as the opposing party might otherwise agree) and to inform it if for any reason it ceases to be in his possession.
Donaldson L MR, Dillon LJ, Bingham LJ
 1 QB 665,  EWCA Civ 13,  1 All ER 833
England and Wales
Cited – Myers v Elman HL 1939
The solicitor had successfully appealed against an order for a contribution to the other party’s legal costs, after his clerk had filed statements in court which he knew to be misleading. The solicitor’s appeal had been successful.
Held: The . .
Cited – Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc ComC 3-Feb-2004
The claimant had obtained orders against two companies who banked with the respondent. Asset freezing orders were served on the bank, but within a short time the customer used the bank’s Faxpay national service to transfer substantial sums outside . .
Cited – Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc CA 22-Nov-2004
The claimant had obtained judgment against customers of the defendant, and then freezing orders for the accounts. The defendants inadvertently or negligently allowed sums to be transferred from the accounts. The claimants sought repayment by the . .
Cited – HM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL 21-Jun-2006
The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
Cited – Connolly-Martin v Davis CA 27-May-1999
A claim was brought by a party against counsel for his opponent who had gone beyond his authority in giving an undertaking for his client.
Held: The claim had no prospect of success, and had been struck out correctly. Counsel offering to the . .
Cited – Steel and Another v NRAM Ltd (Formerly NRAM Plc) SC 28-Feb-2018
The appellant solicitor acted in a land transaction. The land was mortgaged to the respondent bank. She wrote to the bank stating her client’s intention to repay the whole loan. The letter was negligently mistaken and the bankers allowed the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Professional Negligence, Legal Professions
Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.192620