Atkins v Dunn and Baker (A Firm): CA 19 Feb 2004

The claimant’s father had made a will leaving everything to her, but he had then remarried. He instructed his solicitors to prepare a will to revive the gift to her. They sent him a draft but did not chase it when it was not approved. It was agreed that the claimant was owed a duty of care. The recorder had concluded that there was no duty further to chase a client who may not have wished to take the matter any further.
Held: There may not always be a duty to chase up a client. This client was known to be meticulous, and his failure to reply seen properly as choosing not to go ahead. The appeal failed.


Lord Justice Pill Lord Justice Thomas Lord Justice Jacob


[2004] EWCA Civ 263




England and Wales


CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Wills and Probate

Updated: 03 July 2022; Ref: scu.194417