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Misunderstanding client instructions

A negligence claim against Withers has reinforced to solicitors the importance of adopting best practice when dealing with clients, believes Ross Baker

2 June 2014

A recent High Court decision (Wellesley Partners LLP v Withers LLP [2014] EWHC 556 (Ch)) has sparked discussions among solicitors who fear the consequences of misunderstanding a client’s instructions and are uncertain of their duties to obtain clarification.

In 2008, Withers, a firm of solicitors, acted for Wellesley, an executive search consultancy firm,
in connection with the admission of a number of partners, including a Bahraini bank called Addax. Addax agreed to make a £2.5m capital contribution to Wellesley in order to acquire a
25 per cent interest in the partnership.

Withers drafted a new LLP partnership agreement and it was agreed that Addax would have an option to withdraw 50 per cent of i...

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