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The Implied Retainer – take care not to offend your PI Policy

Authors: Simon Lusk

The duty to a lawyer’s clients is second only to a duty to the Court. A crucial and seminal part of that duty is to explain adequately, and preferably record, the scope of the lawyer’s retainer. The recent case of Polon v Dorian reemphasised that where solicitors do not establish a formal retainer, but act in a manner which conveys a lawyer-client relationship, a retainer may be implied.

This raises two key issues which are the subject of this article: the breadth of an implied retainer might extend to non-legal services; and this in turn may lead to coverage issues for lawyers under their professional indemnity insurance policies.

Significant cases, legislation or articles referred to

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