Professional negligence is where a professional, who owes their client a duty of care, has breached that duty by failing to represent their client’s interests at the standard expected of others in their profession.

In order to make a claim, the breach of duty must cause their client a loss which can be quantified. If there is no quantifiable loss there cannot be a claim for professional negligence.

The claim will be brought by the entity or individual who suffered the harm and is typically brought against the professional in addition to their insurers.

Knowing whether you have grounds for a claim can be complicated and thought of taking legal action may be off-putting. However, our team can offer clear advice on your legal position and rights, then handle the whole claims process for you, keeping things as simple and straightforward as possible.

Our professional negligence claims expertise

Our team has experience across a wide range of professional negligence claims, including:

  • Professional Negligence Claims against Solicitors
  • Professional Negligence Claims against Accountants
  • Professional Negligence Claims against Architects
  • Professional Negligence Claims against Surveyors
  • Professional Negligence Claims against Financial Advisers

See our professional negligence case studies section below for more information about our specific experience.

Professional negligence claims FAQs

What is involved in bringing a professional negligence claim?

Prior to bringing a professional negligence claim your business should take legal advice from a solicitor so they can advise you as to whether or not a potential claim exists.

If there is merit to your case, on the face of it, we will write to the other side and set out the legal basis of your potential claim and see if we are able to resolve the dispute at an early stage with them. If settlement is not possible, we can advise you on the next steps, which may involve issuing court proceedings.

For further guidance as to what is involved in bringing a claim, please read our quick guide to commercial dispute resolution.

How do you prove professional negligence?

You need to be able to show that:

  1. A professional owed you a duty of care.
  2. That duty of care was breached.
  3. You suffered losses as a result.

Various pieces of evidence may be used to support these points, including any contracts you had in place, correspondence between you and the professional (including email, texts and letters) and expert testimony on whether the advice was negligent.

Our professional negligence solicitors are highly experienced in building these cases, so will work closely with you to ensure all of the necessary information is brought together to give you the strongest possible case.

What compensation can you get for professional negligence?

This will entirely depend on the circumstances and what losses you have suffered as a result of the negligent advice you received. The general principle is that the compensation should aim to ‘put right’ the harm you have suffered.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that if you are helping to be partially responsible for any losses you have suffered, this can lessen any amount of compensation you may be able to claim.

During your initial consultation with our team, we will be happy to discuss your situation, including any losses you have suffered, and give an initial opinion on the level of damages you may be able to claim.

How long do you have to bring a professional negligence claim?

You normally have six years to bring a claim for professional negligence. This will be counted from the time when the negligence occurred or the date when you first become aware of it and/or that you had suffered harm as a result.

Professional negligence claims case studies

Claim against a solicitor for negligent advice on transfer of assets from insolvent company

We acted for a client who transferred assets out of his company on advice from his previous solicitor at the time when the company was technically insolvent. This advice left the client open to later claims by the liquidator of the company and the Department of Trade and Industry. We solved these issues and settled a claim against the client’s former solicitor to recover losses incurred as a result of the negligent advice.

Claims against accountants for negligence final accounts

We acted for a client whose accountants had negligently produced final accounts for the client’s company, which had then been sold to a third party. The client was then sued for a breach of warranty by the purchaser. We successfully recovered damages for the Client.

Professional negligence claim against architects for failure to monitor building works

We acted for clients whose architect had failed to monitor building works, resulting in an extension being pulled down and re-built. Despite the architect going into liquidation, we managed to achieve a successful recovery against their insurers.

Professional negligence claim against surveyor for defective Homebuyer’s Valuation Report

We pursued a client’s surveyor who had been retained to produce a Homebuyer’s Valuation Report. This report was defective in failing to identify numerous problems within the property, particularly in relation to problems with subsidence, which should have been brought to the client’s attention at the time of purchase. We successfully recovered compensation for the client.

Professional negligence claim against IFA for advising client to make an investment outside of their risk profile

We dealt with a significant claim against an IFA who negligently advised a client to make an inappropriate investment that fell outside the client’s risk profile – namely foreign investment trusts which were high risk by nature – and to invest in foreign currency hedge funds with no proven track record, so as to totally unbalance the client’s investment portfolio. We succeeded in recovering a substantial settlement following mediation with the IFA’s insurers.

Contact our professional negligence claims solicitors

For practical advice on making a professional negligence claim, as well as any other business legal advice you need to reach your goals, get in touch with your local Ashtons Legal team in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, and Norwich.

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