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Leap in negligence claims in England & Wales

20 July 2010

The number of professional negligence claims against solicitors rose by more than two and a half times in 2009 compared with 2008, according to data collected by London legal firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC).

A total of 210 claims were begun in the High Court last year, a rise of 163% on the 2008 figure of 80 – itself a big increase on the mere 31 actions raised in 2007.

RPC suggests that investors (including banks and subprime lenders hit by mortgage fraud) who have lost money in the recession are looking for someone to blame, with professional advisors being among the first in line. The growth of speculative "no win, no fee" arrangments is also likely to be a factor.

Paul Castellani of RPC said: "There is always a temptation during a recession when people have suffered losses to look for someone to blame... Solicitors represent an easy target and they are seen as having deep pockets."

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