Is there a conflict of interest

In May 2018 I was riding my Goldwing on the outskirts of Guildford with my wife on the back and happily going along listening to music. A young lady was waiting in her car at a junction to our right, about 60 metres or so away and indicating left. She pulled out on us giving me no time to react and there was a collision in which we were both hurt, Marge worse than me by quite some way.  My insurer appointed a solicitor to act for us both and all has been well until recently. I have been acting as litigation friend for my wife due to the nature of her injuries, providing instructions on her behalf to our solicitor. The car driver’s solicitor is now alleging that I was partly to blame for exceeding the speed limit (which I deny) and says there is now a conflict of interest and my wife and I should have different solicitors. My solicitor says this is not needed. Who is right please?
Ron Jacobson, Byfleet

Answer

If the Defendant is pursuing an allegation of contributory negligence against you, i.e. that you were partly at fault, you and your wife need separate solicitors. Your wife is bound to succeed in full with her claim either entirely against the other driver or with your insurer making up the balance of the claim relating to your degree of fault. Also, I do not think you can continue to be her litigation friend and she should find an alternative one who is not a party to the claim.

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