Representation - Lawyers - Duty to Opposing Parties. Yan v. Hutchinson
In Yan v. Hutchinson (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal addresses the limited nature of duties owed by representing lawyers to opposing parties:
 Fifth, a number of the defendants are lawyers whom Ms. Yan sued for their conduct in their roles as lawyers. The motion judge correctly noted: “In general, a lawyer owes a duty to his or her client and does not owe a duty to non-clients.” He cited Geo. Cluthe Manufacturing Co. v. ZTW Properties Inc., 1995 CanLII 10684 (ON SC),  O.J. No. 4897 (Div. Ct.), leave to appeal refused, 1995 CarswellOnt 4624 (C.A.). In that case, at para. 28, the court cited Lord Donaldson of Lymington M.R. in Al-Kandari v. J.R. Brown & Co.,  1 All E.R. 833, at p. 835 (C.A.): “I would go rather further and say that, in the context of ‘hostile’ litigation, public policies were usually required that a solicitor be protected from a claim in negligence by his client’s opponent, since such claims could be used as a basis for endless re-litigation of disputes”. This legal principle remains current: Ntakos Estate v. Ntakos, 2021 ONSC 2492, at para. 106.