How Do You Prove Professional Negligence?

Portrait of Helen Hall
Helen Hall
Associate Solicitor, Dispute Resolution

To prove professional negligence, it must be established that:

  • The professional owed a duty of care towards you
  • They breached this duty of care
  • You’ve lost out as a result of their negligence

Proving the above can be challenging, and especially daunting when you’re claiming against a professional like a Solicitor or an Accountant, who will be more knowledgeable on complex legal matters. But you shouldn’t let this put you off making a claim if you’ve been let down by a professional, who failed in their duty of care to advise you.

Our Professional Negligence Solicitors have helped many people make a successful claim for compensation after they lost out because of the negligence of a professional adviser.

We’ve can help you with claims against:

  • Barristers and Solicitors
  • Surveyors
  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Independent Financial Advisers (IFA)

Get in touch with our friendly and approachable team today for free initial legal advice.

Call us on 0808 239 9426 or request a callback

What is Duty of Care?

All professionals have a legal obligation to their clients to provide a service that meets their professional duties and is of a reasonable standard. If they fail to do so, they may be liable to compensate you for any loss you suffer. This is called the duty of care.

If it can be proven that the professional’s actions fall below the standard expected and have caused loss to you, and that another person in the same profession wouldn’t have acted in the same way, then this may be seen as professional negligence.

Examples of Professional Negligence

There are a few different ways in which a professional can be negligent when handling your case, and examples will differ depending on the type of professional you’re dealing with.

Some key examples of professional negligence include:

  • A Solicitor missing a deadline or time limit for something like a personal injury claim or a house purchase, as there will often be strict time limits in place. It’s your Solicitor’s responsibility to keep you informed of any time limits or deadlines that could affect your claim, and make sure they’re complied with
  • A Conveyancer or Solicitor failing to advise you about the potential risks of a rising ground rent clause or short lease term when you bought a leasehold property
  • A Solicitor or Barrister advising you to settle a personal injury claim for too little because it doesn’t factor in your long-term injuries or medical needs
  • Incorrect or insufficient advice e.g. an Accountant gives you incorrect tax advice or a Barrister misinterprets the law when advising you on your case
  • A Surveyor failing to identify problems such as damp, asbestos or structural issues with a property,
  • Incorrectly drafting documents e.g. a Will or an agreement
  • Taking on projects or advising on matters that are beyond their expertise
  • Mismanagement e.g. of an Estate or Trust

How Can We Help You Prove Professional Negligence?

To establish whether we think you’ve got grounds to make a claim, one of our Professional Negligence Solicitors will ask a few questions about your case including the advice you were given or not given, and how you’ve lost out as a result.

If we think you’ve got a strong chance of making a professional negligence claim, we’ll request the paperwork from the professional you dealt with to look for signs of negligence. As experts in this field, we know exactly what to look for and how to put forward a claim to the professional.

What happens next will depend on whether or not the professional accepts liability (fault). If they deny liability, and we still think you have a strong claim, we can issue Court proceedings. Our Professional Negligence Solicitors have successfully taken cases to the Court of Appeal, so even if you end up needing to go to Court, you can rest assured that your case is in the right hands.

If you’d like to chat about your case in more detail, get in touch today and one of team will be happy to help you. We can often handle these cases on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

For free legal advice call our Professional Negligence Solicitors

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.