X v Woollacombe Yonge [2001] WTLR 308

John Dickinson

2 August 2001

John was lead by Christopher Sharp QC in acting for the claimant seeking damages for professional negligence against the firm of the solicitor who had attended the deceased who was terminally ill in hospital, to take instructions for revisions to her will. The deceased died before the solicitor returned to hospital with the revised will.

The case raised interesting issues as to whether a duty of care was owed, the nature and extent of the duty of care, the value of the evidence of expert witnesses and the breach of duty. This case remains the leading authority on the timescales in which a solicitor can be expected to act for an client giving instructions for a will, when they are in hospital.