Thanks for this info and I understand what you are saying here.
The thing is, the Solicitor has destroyed the file after 6 years so my mothers instructions at the time sadly destroyed with it.
My mothers partner is denying having ever seen the Declaration and to be fair, I only have the Solicitor's word that my mothers instructions were that she'd take the Declaration and did not ask him to retain a copy on the file.
This all happened 17 years ago. My mother never used the Solicitor again for anything and she was not personally known to him.
It seems amazing to me that he can suddenly remember that her instructions 17 years ago was to take the only copy away - unlikely he'd remember one client telling him that ?
He has no file notes to go now as they were destroyed 11 years ago - so how can he show that these were my mothers instructions ?
Obviously telling me this is the easiest way out for him if he destroyed a copy by mistake.
I agree with your earlier view that it would normally be 100% standard practice to take a copy for his file, especially for something as important as this.
Plus he has kept an unsigned copy for 17 years on his computer because he realised the importance of this Declaration.
Therefore, could not show balance of probability applies here -
Could I not show that It's more likely than not that he did take a copy of the signed Declaration, placed it onto the Trust file, then destroyed it all after 6 years without scanning and keeping a copy on his computer.
Also, why would he make up a Trust file, if he was not going to have a copy of the Declaration to go in it ?
Could you not argue these points here to show that he probably did have a copy and is negligent by destroying it without transferring it to his computer ?