Woman claims lawyers should have told her divorce would end her marriage

Seeking damages for professional negligence, the British woman argued that the lawyers should have made it clear that a divorce would result in her marriage being terminated

Tomas Jivanda
Friday 10 January 2014 14:28
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File image: A British woman cited the fact that her lawyers had not advised her that divorce proceedings would end her marriage in a case of professional negligence against them
File image: A British woman cited the fact that her lawyers had not advised her that divorce proceedings would end her marriage in a case of professional negligence against them

A British woman attempted to sue her former lawyers for professional negligence, claiming that, alongside a number of other allegations, they failed to advise that finalising divorce proceedings would inevitably cause her marriage to end.

The curious case - made against two solicitor firms - had already been rejected by the court, but was revealed in the transcript of a later appeal by the claimant against the dismissal of other aspects of her case.

Jane Mulcahy had argued that the lawyers should have made it clear that a divorce would cause her marriage to be terminated - something which she apparently wanted to avoid.

The lawyers failed to regard her Roman Catholic faith and should have recommended judicial separation - a step down from full divorce - as an alternative course of action, she said.

The allegation was revealed in a subsequent appeal court judgment last month, in which Lord Justice Briggs said: “The most striking of Mrs Mulcahy's many allegations of negligence against her solicitors was that, having regard to her Roman Catholic faith, Mrs Boots had failed to give her the advice which was requisite in view of her firmly held belief in the sanctity of marriage…

“…either in terms of the alternative of judicial separation, or about the impossibility of pursuing divorce proceedings to a clean break settlement, without thereby inevitably bringing about the final termination of her marriage, which she wished to avoid.”

The appeal was also dismissed.

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