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Your guide to property solicitor negligence

Property solicitor with clients

The vast majority of solicitors are highly qualified and professional individuals, with years of training and expertise that makes them invaluable to those buying or selling property.

Unfortunately, there are instances where solicitors make mistakes in overseeing a property deal – and the effects can cause significant losses to the client, as well as a great amount of stress and trauma. If a solicitor fails to advise you properly when it comes to matters regarding the sale or purchase of property, you may be entitled to compensation for professional negligence.

The definition of professional negligence

To understand whether your solicitor was negligent, you need to be aware of what constitutes professional negligence. By law, professional negligence is when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the standard expected of them. This failure to meet the duty of care they owe to their client must also cause financial loss for it to be classed as negligent.

If you’re planning to pursue a professional negligence claim against your solicitor because of a property matter, you’ll need to prove three things:

  • That you were owed a duty of care by your solicitor
  • That the solicitor breached that duty of care
  • That the solicitor’s negligence caused you financial loss

At Your Legal Friend, we understand just how overwhelming it can be to consider a professional negligence claim against your solicitor who is likely to have years of experience in dealing with the intricacies of the law. 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.

A solicitor’s role in property transactions

Most people opt for a conveyancer when they’re in the process of buying or selling property – but there are times when it’s more appropriate for a solicitor to take the helm. Particularly difficult transactions require a fully qualified solicitor with experience in dealing with property transactions – say, for example, if there is a dispute over boundaries, or if the sellers are using more than one solicitor.

Having a legal expert to cut through the regulations and legislation and close a deal can be invaluable for clients. But a small mistake or some misguided advice could see the deal fall through, leaving the client in a very difficult position – and often with a viable claim for professional negligence.

Professional negligence claims against property solicitors

If you’ve lost out financially because your property solicitor acted negligently, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against them. Here are some examples of negligence by property solicitors:

  • The solicitor failed to offer proper advice regarding the terms of a lease, tenancy agreement, licensing issue or commercial property
  • The solicitor did not ensure that the property plans were accurate with regard to boundaries
  • The solicitor failed to advise on the existence of a right of way on or adjacent to the property
  • The solicitor failed to follow the client’s instructions
  • The solicitor didn’t offer appropriate advice on a rent review
  • The solicitor did not notice a defect or error on the title or ownership deed of the property

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list – there are many other actions that could potentially be classes as professional negligence by a solicitor, thus leaving them open to a claim.

The consequences of property solicitor negligence

Financial loss is the most obvious consequence of a solicitor’s negligence. If a property purchase or sale falls through because of incorrect advice or the failure to spot a problem with a title, the client could possibly lose thousands of pounds and be put through a lot of stress and trauma to boot.

Claiming against a property solicitor

At Your Legal Friend, we have the skills and experience to help you pursue a successful professional negligence claim. So that we can represent you effectively, we’ll need to know the following things:

  • The name of your solicitor
  • When you instructed them
  • What you instructed them to do
  • How you think they were negligent
  • The estimated value of the loss you suffered as a result of their negligent actions

It may be that we discover that the solicitor’s actions didn’t amount to negligence. In this case, we’ll help you to report the solicitor in question to the appropriate regulatory body, which may be able to offer compensation as well as disciplining the solicitor.

Once you’ve supplied us with these details, we can start investigating the case and advising you on your next steps.

Most solicitors have professional indemnity insurance which will ensure you recover the full amount from them when you win your case.

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.

How Your Legal Friend can help

We know that the prospect of taking a solicitor to court can be daunting. But our experienced team of professional negligence solicitors has the skills and experience to ensure your solicitor 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