Professional negligence is an area of the law that deals with a situation where a person suffers a loss as a result of the advice, actions or failure to act on the part of a professional advisor.
In this situation the person that paid for and relied upon the professional adviser may have a claim for compensation for any losses suffered as a result of the negligent advice given.
The law aims as far as possible to provide a remedy that will put you back in the same financial position that you would have been in had the professional advisor acted with the reasonable skill and diligence expected from someone in his/her profession.
However, this is a complex area of law and specialist advice in assessing and pursuing your claim is necessary as such claims can be complicated. Further, there are certain criteria that you must first establish before being able to pursue such a claim and protocol that must be followed when pursuing a claim for professional negligence.
In certain circumstances you may still have a claim against a professional advisor if you are a third party and relied upon their advice where it was reasonably foreseeable that you would do so.
Solicitors owe a duty of care in tort to their clients to take reasonable care and skill in the conduct of their business and a solicitor has a duty to explain matters to the client. This tortious duty (that is a duty in civil law) runs concurrently with the duty owed by the solicitor under the terms of the contract with the client.
The extent of a solicitor’s contractual duty is contained in the instructions given by the client as set out in the retainer letter. The retainer letter limits the contractual scope of the duty of care.
Surveyors owe a duty of care in tort to their clients to take reasonable care and skill in the conduct of their business. However, unlike the duty of care owed by solicitors, surveyors are at risk of a negligent action by non-parties to their contract with the client such as lenders. There is a general standard of care and skill that a surveyor must exercise when advising.
Most professional are insured and when faced with a professional negligence claim they usually refer the matter to their insurers.
It is important to act promptly if you think that you may have a claim for professional negligence as there is a limitation period applicable in respect of such claims. Once you have gone past the limitation period you are time barred and cannot bring such an action against the professional adviser.
We have experience in dealing with professional negligence claims against surveyors, architects, solicitors, accountants, insurers, financial advisers and tax consultants. We have successfully negotiated favourable settlements in favour of our clients in negligence claims.
If you have been let down by a professional advisor and believe that he/she has been negligent then contact Quinn & Co on 01392 248858 or 020 7460 7545 and we will assess your claim and advise you on the way forward.