Solicitors in Essex Ordered to Pay Out £400,000 to Former Divorce Client
Cunningtons Solicitors in Essex made headlines in the legal press this week after they were ordered to pay out £400,000 to a former divorce client, Joanne Lewis. Lewis claims that her matrimonial lawyer failed to advise on her entitlement to her former-husband’s pension, which has been reported in to be worth close to £1m.
His honour Judge Coe KC, sitting as a judge of the Hight Court said –
“The client had been ‘desperate’ after the end of her 23-year marriage in 2012. Her husband’s police pension was by far and away the largest asset which should have been ‘actively considered’ by the solicitors.” (The Law Society Gazette)
Divorcing spouses often fail to realise that the pension pots of one or both spouses can be a massive hidden asset of the marriage, and ought to be investigated thoroughly.
We recently successfully represented a client in almost identical circumstances. She had spent many years as a homemaker, which led to her personally accruing little to no pension. Her estranged husband however had been a long-serving senior police officer.
The client had been understandably pre-occupied with securing a roof over her head during the previous divorce negotiations. She believed she had agreed to a fair deal whereby she kept her modestly valued home.
It was later noted that her divorce solicitor had failed to investigate the value of her former husband’s police pension, which was valued at around £800,000.
We represented the client in a claim against her previous divorce solicitors, in respect of their negligent failure to investigate the pension. Which helped her recover £100,000 in damages.
To speak to a member of our professional negligence team at Mulderrigs please call 0800 0523 693 or contact us by email.