What is the duty of a solicitor to warn a client of the consequences of a breach of their contract?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Ronald Gunraj v. Chris Cyr, 2012 ONSC 1609 (CanLII):

In Polischuk v. Hagarty,[26] Henry J. emphasized the importance of a lawyer's duty to his client to inform them of proposals for deviation from the terms of a contract and to advise them of the consequences of such a deviation. The solicitor must inform the client of the implication of the proposed course of action and apprise them of the risks inherent in it. Only then, if the client has nevertheless decided to proceed with the proposed course can they be said to have assumed the risk of loss themselves. In Polischuk v. Hagarty, the defendant did not discharge that duty to his client and so he was in breach of his retainer. Henry J. concluded that he could not then look to them to assume the risk of loss that they had had no opportunity to appreciate and to accept, properly informed.

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