Batten v Wedgwood Coal and Iron Company: ChD 18 Jan 1886

A solicitor was held to owe a duty to a party other than his client where, having carriage of the court’s order, he failed to comply with the duty (imposed by a rule of court) to lodge a request for the investment of money in court at the Chancery pay office and he was be liable to compensate the other party for the loss. Pearson, J. said: ‘The conduct of the sale rested with him because he was the solicitor of the Plaintiff, and as such he was discharging the duty which devolved upon him, and no other solicitor would have been entitled to charge for that which he was doing. But he was acting as an officer of the Court, and in that character, I conceive, he was liable to the Court for the due discharge of his duty. Until I am corrected by a higher tribunal I shall hold that the Court has a summary jurisdiction to make a solicitor liable for not properly discharging his duty under such circumstances. I think, therefore, that he is liable to make good to the receiver the loss of interest which has resulted from the non-investment of the money.’
Pearson J
(1886) 31 Ch D 346, [1886] UKLawRpCh 14
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedConnolly-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 . .

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Updated: 19 March 2021; Ref: scu.424847