The standard to be expected of a solicitor

Reliance on barristers

Solicitors sometimes rely upon assistance from barristers (often called “counsel” by solicitors), especially when dealing with court disputes. Traditionally, a solicitor who properly instructed a barrister could not be found to have been negligent if he relied on that barrister’s advice, no matter how outlandish that advice might have been. However, that position was modified in the 80’s when the Court of Appeal made clear that a solicitor must exercise his own judgment and cannot rely blindly, and with no mind of his own, on the barrister’s views. In short, if a solicitor reasonably thinks a barrister’s advice is obviously or glaringly wrong, it is his duty to reject it.