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While the vast majority of work carried out by professionals is of high quality, we know that standards can occasionally slip and things may go wrong which can result in a professional negligence claim.

Contact our team about your case

What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence is when a professional adviser fails to meet the standard of care expected of that adviser.

The lines over who is a “professional” are now far more blurred than they were a century ago, but common examples include legal professionals, accountants, surveyors, architects, insurance brokers, IT professionals, medical practitioners, auditors and other financial professionals.

How do you know if you can make a professional negligence claim?

To make a claim, you need to show that the advice you received fell below the level of skill and care that you could reasonably expect from a professional working in the same circumstances and that this has caused you loss. 

There are four essential elements which make up a professional negligence claim:

  1. The professional must owe a duty of care;
  2. The professional must breach that duty of care;
  3. Loss must be caused by the breach; and
  4. The loss must be reasonably foreseeable

Ticking all four of the above boxes is not always easy to do even where you think that the professional has breached his duty of care to you. 

Estimating what your loss is can often require expert evidence, for instance, which is why our team regularly instructs and liaises with experts as part of the process of establishing your claim. 

What will you need to prove your claim?

Each case will turn on its own evidence, meaning there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach.

You should always seek legal advice before making a professional negligence claim. Our solicitors will work with you and professional experts (when required) to establish the facts of your case and provide a comprehensive strategy bespoke to your case. 

Is there a time limit for a professional negligence claim?

There is usually a six year contractual time limit on professional negligence claims, though this can be extended to twelve years if the negligence arises from the drafting of a deed (contracts for the buying and selling of land are usually done by way of deed). 

There is a long stop of 15 years from the date the cause of action accrued for claims that are pursued under the law of tort.

Will you have to go to court?

Our dispute resolution team will always endeavour to pursue the best possible route to a resolution and this may mean avoiding a court case.

Most professionals have indemnity insurance and whilst insurers often fight hard not to have to pay out, if there is a clear case to answer, insurers prefer to settle than go to court.

How can you fund your claim?

We know how stressful a claim can be, which is why our team offers a range of payment options including but not limited to Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) to Damages-Based Agreements (DBAs) and Fixed Fee Agreements.

Click here to learn more about how you can fund your case

We can also offer you an initial fixed fee review and advice on the merits of your case. Click here to learn more about our fixed fee options.

Need advice about a professional negligence claim?

Our dispute resolution team litigators have the capability to meet tight timescales and provide comprehensive dispute resolution services for those who are defending or making a professional negligence claim. Call us today to discuss your case or complete our enquiry form below.

Key Contact

Nick Clarke

Nick Clarke

Senior Partner | Head of Dispute Resolution

Nick became the firm’s Senior Partner in 2019, having been with Aaron & Partners for over 20 years, and he sits on the firm’s management board. He also leads the Dispute Resolution team.

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