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Bonus bad deal at airport highlights executive authority and solicitors’ dilemmas

12th November 2012

The case hinged on the authority of an executive director to approve changes in the contracts being drafted by the commercial solicitors.

Professional negligence solicitors for the airport argued that lawyers acting for NIAL during the negotiations should have pointed out various changes to executive bonus remunerations.

However, the judge rejected the argument that the solicitors acting for NIAL should have had reason to doubt the executive director’s authority, saying, “Life would be very difficult for commercial solicitors if they were required to check the word of apparently authorised agents against the minutiae of all the documents in the case.”

Professional negligence solicitors have suggested that this is a very helpful decision for lawyers and insurers as it shows that solicitors have the right to take their clients at face value, especially where there has been full disclosure to the firm.

Further, the case builds upon a number of other recent cases which have rejected clients’ attempts to claim compensation from solicitors for what essentially have merely been “bad deals”.

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