Professional Negligence Solicitors
The Professional Negligence Solicitors at Lupton Fawcett are experts in their field.
If you have suffered losses as a result of incorrect or inadequate advice, inexperience, a lack of attention to detail or other unreasonable mistakes by an individual or company that have undertaken a service for you, please get in touch with us to discuss the details of what happened in a free, no obligation initial consultation.
We’ll help you determine if you have the basis for a professional negligence claim and help you through each stage of the process of bringing a claim.
A failure by a professional to do their job correctly can have significant consequences for your finances, property and personal health. You may be entitled to claim compensation for losses you have suffered and the wider consequences of the negligence.
Please call our expert team of Professional Negligence Solicitors today on 0333 323 5292 to discuss whether you have grounds to make a professional negligence compensation claim.
Alternatively, fill in the enquiry form on this page to send us the initial information we need, so we can then contact you to take things further.
What is professional negligence?
Individuals and businesses often require professional support when it comes to legal, technical or financial matters. Most people rely on the advice of accountants, law firms and insurance companies at some point in their lives, and you may also have cause to rely on the expertise of an IT professional, architect, surveyor or construction company too. Many of the biggest decisions we take in life will be based on the professional advice we receive from those providing their expertise as a service for which they are paid.
Professional negligence occurs when the legal obligation to provide professional services with reasonable standards of care and attention to detail, known as a ‘duty of care’, is not met.
What is ‘duty of care’ in relation to professional services?
According to the Collins English Dictionary, a duty of care is defined as ‘the legal obligation to safeguard others from harm while they are in your care, using your services, or exposed to your activities’.
On that basis, professionals normally owe a duty of care to their clients. For example, when preparing a tax return an accountant may owe a duty of care to ensure that the client’s financial position is correctly reported to the HMRC and that the client is not exposed to fines or an investigation.
Breach of Duty of Care
It is vital in a successful claim for professional negligence to prove that the professional breached their duty of care, and that this breach has caused your loss.
To breach the duty of care a professional must have failed to meet the minimum standard of care expected by law. In the case of professional negligence this is considered against the standards of a “reasonable person” within that profession.
For example, it would be difficult to bring a professional negligence claim against an accountant for failing to advise you about a very obscure tax rule which could have been of benefit to your unique circumstances, if that rule is so obscure and unusual that another typical accountant is unlikely to have been aware of it either.
You will not be able to make a claim against a professional for negligence unless you can prove that the actions of the professional person in question led directly to a loss. Some losses will be deemed “too remote” to be recoverable. For instance, if the advice you received from a financial adviser was to invest in a business, and that advice proved to be negligent, you would not be able to recover losses you suffered as the result of, for example, a car accident whilst driving to the business premises to review financial accounts.
If you can prove that there was a breach in the duty of care, and that a loss was caused as a direct result, there is a strong possibility that you have the basis of a professional negligence claim.
As a general rule, damages in a professional negligence claim are calculated with the aim of putting the claimant back into the position they were in before the wrong occurred.
Time Limits for Professional Negligence Claims
The time limit for issuing a professional negligence claim is usually within six years of the date on which the negligence occurred.
However, in certain circumstances this can be extended. We recommend you speak to a member of our team to clarify what applies in your specific situation.
Professional Negligence Claims
A decade ago, the majority of professional negligence cases were brought against service providers in the medical, legal and financial sectors. However, in recent years as we rely more on professionals in the IT sector for data storage, virus protection and software development there has been an increase in the number of professional negligence cases against IT Professionals, as well as other professionals such as architects and surveyors.
In some cases, you may suffer direct out of pocket expenses that are easy to quantify – for example due to having to pay somebody to fix an architect’s mistake or replace the incorrect materials used. In other cases, you may experience a loss of value, e.g. due to property subsidence, damp or rot, or an inaccurate valuation. In both cases, you may be entitled to make a professional negligence claim for compensation.
It is likely that you will be able to bring a claim against the service provider, if you can demonstrate that:
1. the professional owed you a duty of care
2. they failed to discharge that duty properly, and;
3. you suffered as a result
If so, then in principle it is likely that you will be able to bring a claim against the service provider.
What is the Pre-Action Protocol?
The Pre-Action Protocol, which came into force in July 2001, is a protocol which encourages both parties in a professional negligence dispute to resolve the issues out of court by the early exchange of information about the nature of the alleged negligence, and the response of the professional against whom the allegation is made.
Except in limited circumstances, the protocol is mandatory and must be completed before court proceedings are started. This means that before escalating a case, alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation, may be used. If the issue cannot be resolved through such methods, then the case will be taken to the courts.
Here at Lupton Fawcett, we have a dedicated team of mediators that will work to resolve your issues out of court in a fair manner.
Please call our expert team of Professional Negligence Solicitors today on 0333 323 5292 to discuss whether you have grounds to make a professional negligence compensation claim, or provide your details using the enquiry form on this page and we’ll contact you.
Professional Negligence Issues
Cases of professional negligence typically occur when one party has been given poor legal, medical or financial advice, or a professional fails to meet the standards required of them.
Issues that could result in a claim include the following:
● An incorrectly drafted will
● Bad advice in relation to a mortgage
● A lack of or poor medical advice
● Undervaluation or overvaluation of residential or commercial property
● Poor investment advice
We have acted for, and against, a range of professionals, including (among others) the following:
● Estate Agents
● Financial Advisors
● Insurance Brokers
● Loss Adjusters
Most professionals will have some level of insurance in place to compensate victims of negligence. We have considerable experience in dealing with insurance companies and determining early on the extent of insurance in place.
Professional Negligence Claims Against Solicitors
Solicitors, lawyers and barristers are highly trained professionals working in a highly regulated industry design to protect consumer. Standards in the industry are generally high and most solicitors deal with their clients in an efficient and competent manner. However, as in any profession, there are times when things go wrong.
If you feel you have been let down by a solicitor acting on your behalf, you may need to take advice from a team with professional negligence expertise.
Some common areas of complaint that lead to professional negligence claims include:
● Missing an important deadline
● Under settling a personal injury compensation claim
● Filing incorrect paperwork
● Failed to take a vital step on your behalf which caused your case to be unsuccessful
● Suing the wrong person
● Errors in drafting a Will
● Failures in relation to planning permission
The consequences of such mistakes can not only be very costly financially but can also lead to further legal complexities that need resolving, wasted time and unnecessary stress.
Solicitors are required to act in your best interests, and they can be held liable if they fail to do so.
For larger complaints, our own team of professional negligence lawyers can help you recover any losses you have suffered when your legal advisor has failed to meet the required standards.
Talk to us now on 0333 323 5292, or provide your details using the enquiry form on this page and we’ll contact you.
Our Team of Professional Negligence Solicitors
Here at Lupton Fawcett, our Professional Negligence Solicitors have a wealth of experience of bringing and defending professional negligence cases. We provide full transparency on costs and litigation funding options will form part of our advice to you. We are dedicated to providing our clients with a successful outcome and a claims process that avoids unnecessary delays.
When you engage the services of a professional, you are entitled to expect a skilled and competent service, especially when you are paying fees for these services (and even sometimes when you aren’t). Unfortunately, professionals can and do make mistakes, which could be very costly to you or your business. If you have any concerns at all, please contact us today.
No Win No Fee Professional Negligence Claims
Although claims against professionals for negligence are becoming increasingly common, the financial implications of litigation are the biggest fear potential claimants have. We believe that everyone is entitled to be compensated for losses they have suffered as a result of the negligent actions of others, whether they have the financial ability to pay for a lawyer to help them or not. That’s why many of the professional negligence claims we handle are done so on a ‘no win, no fee basis’.
This means that if we are not successful, we don’t charge you anything. If we are successful, our fees will be paid out of the compensation awarded.
We have successfully conducted professional negligence claims on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis arising out of many types of cases, so please get in touch to talk about what happened to you so we can offer our expert advice about what to do next.
Contact Us Today
To speak to our team about a professional negligence issue or for legal advice on the subject, please call 0333 323 5292, or provide your details using the enquiry form on this page and we’ll contact you as soon as possible.