Professional Negligence

Whether in business or our personal lives, we often have to rely on professionals to provide services and advice based upon their reputation, training and experience. If they make a mistake, however, it can lead to significant negative consequences, including financial losses.

Our professional negligence solicitors can help you take action against a wide range of professionals, helping you to achieve a fair outcome and secure financial compensation. We can help you determine if a professional’s mistake crosses the line into negligence, as well as how much compensation you may be able to claim. We can then support you through the entire process of making a claim.

Our team includes various members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association whose objective is to promote non-confrontational dispute resolution for professional negligence claims. This means we are often able to resolve claims without the need for court action, allowing you to achieve a positive result faster, at a lower cost and with less stress.

Our professional negligence claims solicitors regularly help clients throughout the UK pursue professional negligence claims against:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Banks
  • Barristers
  • Conveyancing solicitors
  • Estate agents
  • Financial advisors
  • Insolvency practitioners
  • Insurers / insurance brokers
  • Personal injury solicitors
  • Surveyors

Clients often ask us……

Who counts as a “professional” for negligence claims?

The exact definition of who is or isn’t considered a “professional” can be complicated and the list of which types of people you can bring a claim against is too extensive to list. If you believe you have grounds for a claim against someone but are unsure if they qualify as a professional, please get in touch and we will be happy to advise you.

How do professional negligence claims work?

There is a Ministry of Justice protocol for pursuing professional negligence claims called the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence. This sets out a strict procedure intended to make it easier and faster to resolve claims while allowing both parties to avoid the need for court action wherever possible.

The process involves various steps that provide a number of opportunities to voluntarily agree a resolution before a case gets to court.

Preliminary notice – Our first step is to notify the professional in question that you intend to bring a claim, what the claim is for and, if possible, how much compensation you are seeking.

Letter of Claim – We will then write to the defendant setting out the specifics of your claim, including exactly what you believe they did wrong, how their error or errors caused you specific losses and an estimate of those losses.

Letter of Acknowledgement – The defendant is required to acknowledge the letter of claim within 21 days of receipt. They will than have 3 months from this point to investigate the claim and provide a response.

Letter of Response/Letter of Settlement – They should then issue a written response, explaining why they accept or do not accept the claim of professional negligence. If they do accept the claim, they will likely make a written offer of a settlement at this point.

Your response – It is then up to you to decide whether to accept the defendant’s response and any offer of settlement they make. If you do not want to accept their response, we can then support you in taking further action to achieve a fair outcome.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – In most cases, we will attempt Alternative Dispute Resolution to find a positive result. This may include negotiation, mediation, arbitration or an Ombudsmen scheme.

Court action – If all other options have been exhausted, we can ensure you have the best possible representation in Court to make sure your case is presented effectively and give you the best chance of a fair result.

Please note: There are separate pre-action protocols for construction professionals and healthcare providers that we can advise you on if appropriate.

How are professional negligence claims funded?

Most professional advisors are required to have professional indemnity insurance to cover claims made against them where their advice is found to be negligent or cause financial loss to the client. This insurance may cover some or all of your legal costs if your claim is successful.

We will discuss our fee structure and the various funding options with you at the outset to ensure you are able to get the legal advice and support you need for your claim in a cost-effective way.

Contact our professional negligence solicitors

For a free initial assessment, please get in touch with your local Chattertons office or use our contact form to request a call back.