What is professional negligence?
Professional negligence can be described as the failure of a professional to perform their responsibilities to the standard that is required of them, or a breach of a duty of care by a professional. Examples of professional negligence include providing a poor service, a breach of confidentiality, provision of negligent advice, or failure to identify serious issues regarding their client’s affairs.
You may be able to bring a claim for professional negligence against anyone who claims to have expertise in a particular field, if you can prove that the service they provided fell below the expected standards and you have suffered a loss or damage as a result. You must be able to prove the causal link between the negligence and the loss or damage for a professional negligence claim to be successful.
The grounds for a professional negligence claim can be based on the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. The Act states that there is an implied term: a term in a contract that it not expressly agr... More in every contract that the professional advisor will carry out their service with a reasonable level of attention and care, meaning that there is no need for an express contractual clause regarding the expected standards the professional must meet.
Professional negligence claims
When a professional is instructed, they are expected to provide expert assistance. If, however, the professional fails in their duty, makes a mistake, or provides exceptionally poor advice to their client, a professional negligence claim could be made against them.
A professional negligence claim can be made on such grounds as:
- If it can be proven that other competent professional advisors in that field would have offered different advice
- If it can be proven that the professional advisor in question failed to adhere to the common standards of practice in their field
Professional negligence claims can arise when a professional gives advice on matters that are beyond their expertise, or when they pass the case onto a colleague that does not have the relevant knowledge required.
Cases our professional negligence solicitors can assist with
At South Bank Legal, our professional negligence solicitors have experience dealing with a wide range of professional negligence claims. We have helped our clients make professional negligence claims after receiving poor service or advice from:
- Accountants: An example of an accountant’s negligence may include failure to detect fraud: in the context of commercial dispute resolution (as o... More
- Barristers: An example of professional negligence from a barrister may include the failure to cross examine a key witness in a case
- Financial advisors: An example of financial advisor negligence may include recommending a certain investment type, leading to a financial loss for a client
- Insurance brokers: An example of negligence on the part of an insurance broker may include failure to inform of any risks which should be insured against
- Solicitors: A common cause of professional negligence claims against solicitors includes failure to keep to time limits in personal injury claims
- Tax consultants: An example of negligence on the part of a tax consultant may include failure to advise on consequences of late filing of tax returns
- Architects: A common example of professional negligence by architects includes failure to locate design flaws in plans
- Surveyors: Claims against surveys are common for issues such as a failure to note specific defects within a property.
If you have been let down by a professional and have suffered a loss as a result, get in touch with South Bank Legal today for expert legal advice from our professional negligence solicitors.
Professional Negligence Solicitors: Proving professional negligence
In a professional negligence case, it must often be proven that the negligence in question would not have been committed by a competent member of that profession in the same circumstances. Providing evidence from a specialist expert in the relevant area will often be required to support a professional negligence claim. This evidence is typically provided in the form of a report that has been prepared by another professional, which will highlight what the correct conduct and professional advice should have been.
This expert evidence will also explain what the expert believes an appropriate professional should have done in those circumstances. Professional negligence is a particularly complex area of law as each negligence case is determined by individual facts. Therefore, it is important to instruct a professional negligence solicitor who will be able to assist you by obtaining this expert evidence.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
When possible, our professional negligence dispute resolution team helps clients resolve their disputes using alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR is an effective method of resolving professional negligence disputes without the use of any formal court proceedings. Alternative dispute resolution can reduce the amount of time needed to settle a legal dispute and is a cost-effective resolution method.
Alternative dispute resolution methods typically include mediation, arbitration and informal negotiations.
- mediation: in the context of litigation and dispute resoluti... More involves a mediator who encourages both parties to come to a settlement.
- Arbitration is a formal resolution method in which an arbitrator will make a decision based on the evidence that both parties provide.
- Informal negotiations can be entered into at any time when both parties negotiate an agreement to settle.
Our professional negligence resolution team can analyse your legal case and discuss any options available to you, as well as advise you on how you should proceed.
If you are deciding whether or not to enforce or defend your legal rights, either through the UK Courts and Tribunals system or via an alternative means such as mediation, you can contact one of our litigation and dispute resolution solicitors for an initial confidential discussion today.
Court litigation: the bringing of a lawsuit or legal claim in cour... More
Under the Pre-Action Protocol, parties should attempt to settle a case through an exchange of pre-action correspondence if it is possible; however, cases cannot always be settled in this stage.
If your legal dispute cannot be resolved through the pre-action process, or through use of alternative dispute resolution methods, then your case may be taken through the court litigation process.
If court action is required on your case, our skilled commercial litigation lawyers have substantial experience representing our clients in all court jurisdictions.
Our litigation solicitors will attend conferences with their clients to discuss the case and prepare their case for trial. At the trial, the solicitor will usually instruct a barrister to present the case and will ensure that their client understands exactly what is going on throughout the trial.
Our solicitors are experienced in all areas of professional negligence law and have the relevant knowledge to represent clients in the courtroom.
Time limits for making a professional negligence claim
The limitation period for making a professional negligence claim is six years from when the professional negligence took place, although there may be some exceptions to this rule. We would suggest that you initiate your claim as soon as possible after the negligence took place as the details will be more relevant at this point, and you will be more likely to have all of the required documents to hand.
Failing to recognise or comply to the relevant limitation period or date could result in you forfeiting your opportunity to pursue your potential claim; therefore, if you believe you have a potential claim, you should get in contact with a professional negligence solicitor as soon as possible.
How can South Bank Legal assist?
Our legal solicitors have vast experience handling a range of professional negligence disputes. In cases, small or large, we consider that it is vital to control the costs of litigation to ensure that perspective is not lost and that legal costs do not grow out of proportion to what is at stake. Professional negligence claims of any description can be hard-fought where the professional is insured and has a reputation and livelihood to protect, so it is crucial to have an experienced solicitor on your side.
Our client profile is incredibly diverse. As professional negligence solicitors, we have represented a diverse range of persons and companies.
At South Bank Legal, our legal team have experience in all areas of law. We work closely with our clients and provide the legal advice and services that they require to reach the best conclusion for their case.
For more information, you can contact South Bank Legal via email at email@example.com or telephone 0203 1266 584 for a confidential discussion with a professional negligence solicitor today.
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