News and Events

H of L abolished Advocates' Immunity from Suit

  • Posted

Not strictly employment, but sufficiently of interest to everyone...

The House of Lords has just handed down judgment abolishing advocates' immunity from claims of negligence in civil proceedings.

In Arthur J.S. Hall v Simons (and conjoined appeals) (HL 20th April 2000), a 7-member House of Lords unanimously held that advocates can now be sued for negligence arising out of their conduct of civil hearings. The principle of advocates' immunity, as set out in Rondel v Worsley, should be abolished.

Although not the central issue of the case, the House of Lords split down the middle on whether to retain the immunity for criminal cases. Three members held it should be retained, two held it should be abolished (subject to certain safeguards), one said it should be abolished absolutely, and one member did not express an opinion.

The transcript can be downloaded from

Doubtless BMIF and SIF will be in touch with us soon concerning a nice little increase in premiums...