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Professional Negligence Claims

Misleading advice from a qualified professional could result in significant financial loss or other damage.

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I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

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Poor professional advice can lead to serious financial difficulty.
Search for more specific professional negligence types that have affected you.

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

Making a claim for professional negligence

Every day, thousands of people rely on professional advice in various areas of their lives. From estate agents advising on property purchases to insurance brokers ensuring that their clients are protected at home, on holiday and in their cars, professionals offer vital advice and perform a multitude of essential tasks on behalf of their clients.

When you seek professional advice from a qualified solicitor, architect, financial advisor, surveyor or insurance broker, you expect their expert guidance to be consistent with the best practice for their particular sector. Unfortunately, in some cases, this advice is misleading or inaccurate – and you may incur a substantial financial loss as a result.

All professionals, whatever their area of expertise, have a duty of care to their clients. If this duty of care is breached, and the breach directly results in any form of financial loss or damage to the client, it may be possible to make a professional negligence claim. These types of claims have become more common in recent years, as individuals become more aware of their rights and gain increased access to professional legal advice.

When making a professional negligence claim, it’s essential to turn to a specialist legal firm with experience of these complex and challenging cases. Your Legal Friend are experts in professional negligence and employ a team of experienced solicitors who deal solely with this type of case.  We’re committed to using all our knowledge and expertise to help our clients secure the compensation they deserve.

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Our Financial, Property and Professional Claims team is headed by senior solicitor Claire Critchley who has over 10 years’ experience dealing with complex legal claims against a variety of professionals.Woman in office with client

This includes claims against surveyors, architects, estate agents and solicitors, in addition to dealing with financial disputes involving mis-sold mortgages and interest rate swaps.

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This is not about a claims culture. We just want to defend the rights of the people who are suffering because of this.

Claire Critchley

Head of Professional Negligence

Your questions... answered

What is professional negligence?

Professional advice comes in a variety of forms. It may be advice from a qualified solicitor handling a house purchase or a divorce, it could be an architect or surveyor advising on an extension to your home, or it could be a financial advisor managing your investments or pension planning.  Whichever professional you engage, you expect their expert guidance to be consistent with the best practice for their particular sector.

However each professional could act negligently in the way they execute your instructions or the quality of the advice they provide.  Below are some of the most common types of professional negligence, all of which could result in a considerable financial loss for their clients and open the way for a compensation claim.

What is 'duty of care' in professional negligence cases?

Firstly, you’ll need to prove that the professional in question owes you a duty of care. If there’s a retainer or contractual agreement between the professional and the client, this can be used as evidence of this duty of care. In some cases, there may not be a written agreement or contract to fall back on – but if the professional has claimed to have particular expertise and is offering advice to a client, it can be assumed that they have this all-important duty of care.

In most cases, the claimant is the person who originally instructed the professional – but in certain circumstances, the professional may owe a duty of care to a third party (for example, a solicitor preparing a Will may owe a duty of care to their client’s relatives).

The next thing you’ll need to prove is that the original duty of care was breached by the professional. It’s important to make the distinction here between wrong advice and negligent advice, and it can be challenging to prove that negligence took place if the professional can claim that their advice or actions were the result of a difference in opinion. If the professional demonstrates that they acted in a way that their professional body approves of – even if the advice they gave was technically wrong – they may not be found to be negligent.

In order to establish a clear breach of duty, you must be able to show that their actions or advice fell below the standards one could expect of a reasonably competent professional in the same field – whether that professional is newly-qualified or has been in the business for decades.

What do I need to know before starting a professional negligence claim?

Before you start your professional negligence claim, there are a few factors that you may wish to consider:

  • Proportionality

If your case is particularly complex, and the professional accused of negligence is likely to defend it until the end, there’s a chance that the legal costs of the claim could spiral. In some cases, this puts the cost of pursuing the claim much higher than the value of the claim. It’s always worth considering how much you’re willing to spend on legal fees and additional costs before seeking to pursue a case.

  • Funding

At Your Legal Friend, we offer a range of payment options to ensure that our clients can select the option most suitable for their budget and their specific claim. We do not offer a no-win, no-fee option for professional negligence claims, so it’s vital to consider the risk factor of your claim before you commit to pursuing it.

  • Time limits

Every professional negligence case has a time limit of six years from the date the negligence took place. However, there are a few exceptions which cause this time limit to be extended. If the negligence only became apparent at a later stage, the limitation period becomes three years from the date the negligence became apparent. Regardless of when the claimant became aware of the negligence, there is also a long stop date of fifteen years. We always advise clients to move quickly when seeking legal advice to ensure their claim is made within the applicable limitation period.

Professional advice comes in a variety of forms. It may be advice from a qualified solicitor handling a house purchase or a divorce, it could be an architect or surveyor advising on an extension to your home, or it could be a financial advisor managing your investments or pension planning.  Whichever professional you engage, you expect their expert guidance to be consistent with the best practice for their particular sector.

However each professional could act negligently in the way they execute your instructions or the quality of the advice they provide.  Below are some of the most common types of professional negligence, all of which could result in a considerable financial loss for their clients and open the way for a compensation claim.

Firstly, you’ll need to prove that the professional in question owes you a duty of care. If there’s a retainer or contractual agreement between the professional and the client, this can be used as evidence of this duty of care. In some cases, there may not be a written agreement or contract to fall back on – but if the professional has claimed to have particular expertise and is offering advice to a client, it can be assumed that they have this all-important duty of care.

In most cases, the claimant is the person who originally instructed the professional – but in certain circumstances, the professional may owe a duty of care to a third party (for example, a solicitor preparing a Will may owe a duty of care to their client’s relatives).

The next thing you’ll need to prove is that the original duty of care was breached by the professional. It’s important to make the distinction here between wrong advice and negligent advice, and it can be challenging to prove that negligence took place if the professional can claim that their advice or actions were the result of a difference in opinion. If the professional demonstrates that they acted in a way that their professional body approves of – even if the advice they gave was technically wrong – they may not be found to be negligent.

In order to establish a clear breach of duty, you must be able to show that their actions or advice fell below the standards one could expect of a reasonably competent professional in the same field – whether that professional is newly-qualified or has been in the business for decades.

Before you start your professional negligence claim, there are a few factors that you may wish to consider:

  • Proportionality

If your case is particularly complex, and the professional accused of negligence is likely to defend it until the end, there’s a chance that the legal costs of the claim could spiral. In some cases, this puts the cost of pursuing the claim much higher than the value of the claim. It’s always worth considering how much you’re willing to spend on legal fees and additional costs before seeking to pursue a case.

  • Funding

At Your Legal Friend, we offer a range of payment options to ensure that our clients can select the option most suitable for their budget and their specific claim. We do not offer a no-win, no-fee option for professional negligence claims, so it’s vital to consider the risk factor of your claim before you commit to pursuing it.

  • Time limits

Every professional negligence case has a time limit of six years from the date the negligence took place. However, there are a few exceptions which cause this time limit to be extended. If the negligence only became apparent at a later stage, the limitation period becomes three years from the date the negligence became apparent. Regardless of when the claimant became aware of the negligence, there is also a long stop date of fifteen years. We always advise clients to move quickly when seeking legal advice to ensure their claim is made within the applicable limitation period.

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