February 2, 2023

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Law firm ordered to pay $150,000 to client

The High Court has ordered Suva law firm, MA Khan Esquire, to pay $150,000 to a former client for professional negligence.

The plaintiff, Daya Shankar Sharma of Wailoku had sought legal services from the firm after suffering injuries from a fallen tree branch in 2006.

The law firm had instituted in 2009 but there was no evidence that they withdrew at any time until the action was struck off for want of prosecution.

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It was admitted that the case was kept in the court registry for more than a year.

The High Court concluded that the law firm had not filed any intention to proceed as required by Order 3 Rule 9 of the Fiji High Court Rules.

Even after the matter was struck out, no appeal was filed within the stipulated period, supported by an affidavit of the “Practice Manager” of the law firm, which was later withdrawn on October 17th, 2011.

According to the evidence, Sharma had visited the defendant’s office in 2010 several times yet no action was taken for over a year when the matter was struck off on March 3rd, 2011.

An additional $3000 is to be paid by the law firm within 21 days as the cost of the action.

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