Careless, inadequate or inaccurate advice can give rise to a professional negligence claim where a client has suffered damage as a result.
A professional firm or adviser owes a duty of care to the client and in some cases to third parties.
There is no distinction between the criteria applied in ascertaining the standard of care of professionals from those applicable to any other person. Whether the Defendant is a builder, an architect or surgeon the primary question is whether in all the circumstances the Defendant acted with the skill and competence to be expected from a person undertaking their particular practice and professing their specific skill.
Problems arising in professional negligence include the fact that there may be disputes within the profession as to what constitutes proper practice. While a professional defendant will normally be worth suing as they are likely to carry negligence insurance it is the case that negligence actions are heavily defended not least because the professional’s reputation is at stake and the defence is covered by their insurance.
The test of whether a defendant conformed to the standard of the reasonable professional needs to be explained. The defendant must exhibit the degree of skill which a member of the public would expect from a person in his or her position.
In determining the standard demanded in a particular profession expert evidence of proper practice must be called. It should be noted that errors of judgement are often the essence of professional negligence. However, an error of judgement is not itself negligence. The issue in all cases is whether the error in question evidenced a failure of professional competence.
Quinn & Co have experience of bringing actions for professional negligence against firms of solicitors, architects, surveyors and accountants. We would be able to assist you should you need advice in this area of law. Should you wish to discuss a matter please contact Joseph Quinn on 01392 248858
This article is provided free of charge for information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such.