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Your guide to architect negligence

Architect and construction worker looking at plans

When you’re involved in some kind of construction project, you expect is to be able to put your faith in your architect. These professionals have trained for many years to ensure they deliver client’s projects successfully – and the vast majority of them perform their duties to a high standard.

Unfortunately, there are occasions where architects make mistakes as a result of negligence. Poor designs, failure to manage the project appropriately, health and safety breaches and mismanagement of project costs can all lead to catastrophic consequences for the client, who could be left out of pocket, or even without a home.

In these instances, there could be grounds for the client to sue their architect for professional negligence.

What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence occurs when a professional (architect, solicitor, estate agent, insurance broker, and many others) fails to perform their responsibilities to the standard that the client can reasonably expect.

If you want to pursue and win a professional negligence case against your architect, you’ll need to prove the following:

  • That you were owed a duty of care by the architect
  • That the architect breached that duty of care
  • That this breach caused you a financial loss

At Your Legal Friend, we understand that many people who have incurred losses as a result of their architect’s negligence find themselves in very challenging circumstances. Our expert team of highly experienced professional negligence solicitors will make the process as stress-free as possible and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

The role of an architect

Architects are heavily involved with most building projects, collaborating with the client in the early design stages and seeing the project through to its completion. The early stages of an architect’s work include developing a design with the client’s input, establishing a budget for the job and assessing the requirements of the proposed building.

Architects also work closely with engineers and contactors throughout the build, adhering to health and safety standards and helping to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget.

Naturally, there is a lot of pressure on architects to succeed in their role – entire building projects are at stake and the consequences for clients if they are negligent can be enormous.

Professional negligence claims against architects

If you’ve lost out financially because of an architect’s negligence, you may be able to make a claim against them. Here are some examples of negligence by architects:

  • Poor design or erroneous plans
  • Using unsuitable or wrongly specific materials
  • Failure to obtain the relevant planning permission for the project
  • Failure to recognise regulations relevant to the project
  • Insufficient supervision of contractors on site
  • Providing incorrect advice to the client
  • Breaching health and safety regulations
  • Failure to keep a project within its specific budget

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other examples of architect negligence that could also see the client eligible to make a claim.

The consequences of architect negligence

For the client, the consequences of an architect’s negligence can be significant. A client may be left significantly out of pocket if an architect’s plans are erroneous, or if they provide incorrect advice. A client wishing to build a home could see that home demolished if the architect doesn’t obtain the relevant planning permission.

All of these consequences could prove catastrophic for the client – and they would all be grounds for a compensation claim against the architect.

Making a claim against your architect

If you’ve suffered a financial loss as a result of negligence on the part of your architect, you may be able to make a compensation claim that will see your losses recovered. Our expert professional negligence solicitors will help you determine whether the errors made by your architect were negligent, as well as considering how best to pursue your claim and recover the compensation you deserve.

So that we can represent you effectively, we’ll need to know the following things:

  • Who was your architect?
  • What was your architect instructed to do?
  • Why do you think the architect was negligent?
  • What is the value of the loss you’ve suffered as a result?

Once you’ve supplied us with these details, we can start investigating the case and advising you on your next steps. Most architects have professional indemnity insurance which will ensure you recover the full amount from them when you win your case.

If we discover that the architect’s actions don’t qualify as negligence, we can still help you to report them to the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architects Registration Board.

Time limitations

  • Professional negligence claims must be brought within six years of the day on which the negligent act occurred. If you haven’t brought a claim by this deadline, you will be unable to do so.
  • Sometimes, claimants aren’t actually aware of the negligence when it first occurs, and so the first rule would be unfair to these people. In this instance, the claimant would have three years from the date of discovering the negligence to bring their claim to court.
  • There is also a ‘long stop’ date of fifteen years from the act of negligence. If this date passes, you will not be able to bring the claim, regardless of when you found out about the negligence.

How Your Legal Friend can help

We know that the prospect of taking an architect to court can be daunting. But our experienced team of professional negligence solicitors has the skills and experience to ensure your architect is held to account.  We’ll act quickly and provide you with sympathetic, practical, jargon-free advice to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way 

  • Specialist team of professional negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • Over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation