Limitation of Liability, terms of business

Inadequate terms of business will leave you exposed.  We can advise you what to include, to cover (for example):

  • Consumer issues (even a commercial firm may ‘accidentally’ find itself acting for a private individual);
  • Compliance with statutory duties, and getting it clear where those trump the firm’s duty of confidentiality;
  • Provisions required where acting for joint clients, under the ‘common interest’ exception;
  • Securing an entitlement to charge the client for overheads;
  • How to ensure that you can sue on an interim bill.

Limitations of liability can be an effective risk management tool, but they are only enforceable if they satisfy the legal and regulatory requirements.

If your current limitation of liability clause is only a couple of lines long, it is probably ineffective.

A clause has to cover more ground than might be anticipated, if it is to be valid, and the SRA’s rules present further challenges.  There are few reported cases.

  • We regularly draft limitations of liability for law firms’ terms of business.  We have advised 14 of the UK Top 100 firms on the issue.
  • We have drafted a one-off case specific limitation of liability clause for a law firm acting in multi-billion pound litigation;
  • Frank Maher has acted as an expert witness on the enforceability of limitation of liability clauses between solicitor and client.

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