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Dispute Resolution

Professional Negligence Solicitors

When you instruct a trained professional, you expect to receive quality advice, assistance, and an accurate service. Professionals owe you a duty of care, and where the duty of care is breached, you could be eligible for compensation.

Our professional negligence solicitors recognise the frustration and emotional impact professional negligence can have on a person and their loved ones, particularly where it leaves you out of pocket.

We have extensive specialist experience with these matters, having supported many clients in all manner of scenarios to resolve their complex situations. We recognise seeking professional assistance after a previous bad experience can be a daunting prospect, but we will always provide clear, realistic advice you can trust. Our professional negligence solicitors will tirelessly fight your corner to achieve an outcome that best suits your circumstances.

At Roythornes, our professional negligence claims lawyers can advise in respect of all kinds of professionals, including:

  • Solicitors
  • Architects
  • Accountants
  • Surveyors
  • Conveyancers
  • Valuers
  • Financial Advisers
  • Insurers 

We have strong foundations in place to avoid unnecessary and contentious court proceedings. Our professional negligence claims solicitors are qualified and highly skilled in using alternative dispute resolutions methods to ensure all matters are dealt with in a non-confrontational way, where appropriate.

How we can help you

Professional negligence claims against solicitors

Where you have received professional negligence from a solicitor, we can assist with matters, including:

  • Not gathering key evidence for claims
  • Failure to obey court instructions
  • Incorrectly drafting documents

Professional negligence claims against architects

Our professional negligence lawyers can help with architects claims, such as:

  • Inadequate plans
  • Negligent construction supervision
  • Poor project management

Professional negligence claims against accountants

Our team can assist with professional negligence claims against accountants, including:

  • Incorrect tax advice
  • Failure to submit a tax return on time
  • Miscalculating

Professional negligence claims against surveyors

Our professional negligence solicitors can assist with surveyors' claims, including:

  • Incorrectly valuating
  • Failure to identify property defect
  • Insufficient knowledge 

Professional negligence claims against conveyancers

Our professional negligence lawyers can assist with conveyancers' claims, such as:

  • Failure to carry out property searches
  • Missed restrictive covenants
  • Incorrectly drafting a deed

Professional negligence claims against valuers

Our professional negligence lawyers can help with valuers' claims, including:

  • Overvaluing property
  • Undervaluing property

Professional negligence claims against financial advisers

Our professional negligence claims solicitors can assist with financial advisers' claims, such as:

  • Failure to properly warn investment risks
  • Failure to disclose a conflict of interest

Professional negligence claims against insurers

Our professional negligence lawyers can help with insurers' claims, such as:

  • Failure to properly advise on the conditions of an insurance policy
  • Failure to secure an agreed policy

How professional negligence claims work

What counts as professional negligence?

Put simply, a professional is a person who has significant experience in the service they are offering. For example, a solicitor has trained for several years and has the qualifications and experience required in their role to offer legal assistance. ‘Negligence’ occurs where the professional:

  • Owed you a duty of care
  • Breached their duty of care
  • Caused you a loss that was ‘reasonably foreseeable'

Whilst mistakes do occasionally happen, where they caused you harm and loss, you could have grounds to make a professional negligence compensation claim.

What can you claim for professional negligence?

Some of the possible things that can be claimed in a professional negligence compensation claim could include:

  • Loss of chance
  • Diminution in value
  • Wasted expenditure
  • Additional legal fees
  • Mental and physical distress
  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity

Where it is a commercial professional negligence claim, it is possible to claim compensation for:

  • Loss of management and staff time
  • Loss of profit/income

How long do professional negligence claims take?

It isn’t necessarily possible to place an exact time frame on the length of a professional negligence claim. There will be different matters involved as well as external factors related to the case, meaning each professional negligence claim will ultimately vary.

Our team will work proactively to ensure there are no unnecessary delays. Where possible, we will aim for a resolution outside of court, meaning the average length tends to be around 12 months. Where court proceedings are necessary, this can take between 12 to 18 months to settle.

Starting a professional negligence claim

When pursuing a professional negligence claim, the claimant will send a preliminary notice which will set out the claimant, a brief overview of the claim and an indication of the claim’s financial value. The defendant will have 21 days to respond to this. Once a response has been received and investigations are carried out, a letter of claim can be sent. This will include a chronology of the case, the claimant’s legal argument, evidence to prove the claim and calculation of loss due to the defendant’s professional negligence.

The defendant can either respond by offering a settlement or denial of the claim. Where this occurs, the claimant can pursue negotiations or issue court proceedings where required.

Defending a professional negligence claim

When a defendant receives a preliminary notice, they are required to respond to it within 21 days, and they do this through a letter of acknowledgement. This is usually where the defendant will contact their insurer and gather all the necessary evidence in case of court proceedings later down the line.

The claimant will send a letter of claim, and the defendant is required to respond with a letter of acknowledgement. At this point, the defendant can take action, usually through a letter of response. Should the defendant want to offer a settlement, they will also send a letter of settlement.

Explanation of the Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence

For all professional negligence claims, the professional negligence pre-action protocol should be used. This was done to help prevent a large number of court proceedings, instead encouraging involved parties to resolve their matter through other means.

The protocol helps parties to understand what exactly needs to be identified and any corresponding evidence. It lays several steps that should initially be followed, including:

  1. Preliminary notice
  2. Letter of acknowledgement
  3. Letter of claim
  4. Letter of acknowledgement
  5. Letter of response
  6. Letter of settlement
  7. Further correspondence

Time limits for professional negligence claims

When it comes to professional negligence claims, there are generally three professional negligence limitation periods, including:

Primary limitation period – where you have received professional negligence and are aware of it, you have six years to make a professional negligence claim

Secondary limitation period – if you were a victim of professional negligence but were not aware of this till many years later and new evidence has come forward, it is possible to make a claim for three years further than the initial six years from the ‘date of knowledge’

‘Longstop’ limitation period – This is the absolute cut-off point. No claims can be made past 15 years

Get in touch with our dispute resolution solicitors

For further information about our dispute resolution services, get in touch with our team in AlconburyBirminghamNottinghamPeterborough or Spalding