The standard to be expected of a solicitor

Reasonable Care & Skill

A full discussion on the standards required of solicitors would require a much more detailed analysis of the facts of each case but the general principle that ought to apply to all solicitor/ client engagements is that the client is entitled to expect that the solicitor will carry out his work and provide his advice with reasonable care and skill. This derives from section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, but what is “reasonable care and skill” in this context?

The standard of reasonable care and skill specifically applied to solicitors is what is described as that of the “reasonably competent solicitor”.

In a well known case on solicitor’s negligence (Midland Bank –v– Hett, Stubbs & Kemp), the court said:

a solicitor should not be judged by the standard of a “particularly meticulous and conscientious practitioner....the test is what the reasonably competent practitioner would do having regard to the standards normally adopted in his profession...”

So, in summary, a client can generally expect to receive advice and representation delivered with the reasonable care and skill of a reasonably competent solicitor.