Our professional negligence lawyers help individuals, partnerships, companies and trustees claim compensation where they have been let down by a professional.
Professional negligence arises when a professional fails to perform their duties to the required standard of skill and care. Claims can be brought in contract, tort, or for breach of a fiduciary or statutory duty.
In short if you have received “bad advice” from a professional, it could be that you have suffered professional negligence and should contact us to discuss the prospects of bringing a professional negligence compensation claim.
Our team have helped clients claim for professional negligence in a wide range of situations and offer advice where there has been a:
- breach of professional duty of care,
- breach of contract, or
- fraud by a professional.
We have helped clients who have been the victim of professional neglect against a broad type of professionals including:
- financial advisers
- solicitors, barristers and other lawyers
- tax consultants
- insurance brokers
- property professionals, such as architects, builders, civil engineers, surveyors and valuers
- patent attorneys
Professionals can be individuals who present themselves as having an expertise in a particular area or discipline and as such the above list is not exhaustive.
To bring a professional negligence compensation claim we will need to prove:
- that you were owed a reasonable duty of skill and care from the professional,
- that this duty of care and skill was breached, and
- that the breach has caused you to suffer a financial loss or a loss of chance.
Why should I bring a professional negligence compensation claim?
Receiving bad advice or advice that is below an acceptable standard can be devastating. It can result in you making a bad investment, losing significant sums of money or to take risks that are unnecessary. Negligent advice in extreme situations can result in the failure of a business or personal bankruptcy and as such a professional negligence claim may help restore you to the position you would have been had the negligence not occurred.
How to prove a professional negligence compensation claim?
If a duty of care and skill was owed it must be found as part of the case that an error was made that no reasonable member of the profession would have made in the circumstances.
Evidence from an expert in the specialist area of expertise that you were let down by the professional in will be needed to support your claim. This expert evidence tends to be a report prepared by another professional and it will look to highlight what the correct advice and / or conduct should have been. The expert evidence will also look to explain what expert believes a reasonable professional would have done in equivalent circumstances.
The measure of skill and care in a contractual claim is slightly different to that of a tort claim in that the case is looking to ascertain what would be deemed as reasonable care and skill. Whereas the measure in a tort claim is an objective test that looks to ascertain what a reasonable man might expect.
Professional negligence is a complex area of law and each case is determined by the individual facts. It is therefore important to seek help from a specialist solicitor early on should you want to bring a professional negligence compensation claim.
What is the process to bring a professional negligence claim?
Our professional negligence solicitors can guide you through the process of bringing a professional negligence claim. This can include correspondence with the professional who has let you down to provide you with the opportunity to resolve matters outside of the court process if that is what you want it.
We often help to facilitate early offers of compensation and work through dispute resolution procedures such as mediation with our clients. Mediation if appropriate can provide the opportunity for a quick and cost effective resolution but is not the right solution for everyone.
Our team have extensive experience at every stage of the process all the way through to trial.
Is there a time limit to claim?
You usually have six years from the date of neglect to bring a professional negligence compensation claim but this can vary depending upon the circumstances of your case. The time limit is called a limitation period.
Whilst there are time limits it is best to not delay speaking to a professional neglect solicitor if you believe you have grounds for professional negligence compensation claim as it is better to discuss potential claims early on.
Do I have to go to Court?
Usually there will be an exchange of “pre-action” correspondence to attempt to resolve matters if possible. Dispute resolution methods like mediation or offers to settle can also be explored if they are appropriate. However, if a Court claim is needed and matters do proceed to trial then it is likely that you would then need to attend as a witness in the case. We will work with you to make sure that you are fully prepared for any court attendance.
How much does it cost to bring a professional negligence claim?
The size and complexity of the case will dictate how much the matter is likely to cost. There is an opportunity to recover some of the legal costs on a successful outcome, and costs can be a reason for both sides to explore an early settlement.
Our professional negligence lawyers are happy to discuss fee options and advise clients under a wide range of fee structures including working under:
- an existing legal expenses insurance,
- a fixed fee,
- traditional hourly rate retainers, or
- a “No Win, No Fee” basis.
A large number of clients search for “professional negligence solicitors – no win, no fee compensation claims”. Whilst this can be a good way to fund a claim it may not always be the best option for you. Our team will be able to provide full information on fee structures once we have completed the free initial case assessment. Once the free initial case assessment is conducted we will be able to let you know if a professional negligence Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), often referred to as a professional negligence no win, no fee agreement is right for you.
In addition to working with existing legal expenses insurance policies, such as household insurance, we can also explore options with After the Event insurers and where appropriate litigation funders.
The Next Steps
If you have been let down by an expert, wish to find out more or to start your professional negligence compensation claim please call our professional negligence lawyers on Freephone 0808 164 0808 or contact us online.
Lime Solicitors is a business name of Shakespeare Martineau LLP a top 50 law firm and offers professional negligence services nationwide from our offices in London, Birmingham, Solihull, Leicester, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and Stratford upon Avon.