Compensation for negligent advice

Professional Negligence Solicitors

When a professional gets an important part of their job wrong, the implications for clients can be monumental in terms of financial loss, wasted time and costs and personal distress. Fortunately, the law does provide a remedy.

At Nelsons, our solicitors in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham advise on professional negligence claims in order to win compensation for clients for the mistakes, lack of care and even fraud of their professional advisers. Any professional, including solicitors and barristersfinancial advisers, accountants, insurance brokerssurveyors and architects, could have a claim brought against them if they breach their duty of care to their client.

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How our solicitors can assist with professional negligence claims

Our team of specialist solicitors are experienced in all types of professional negligence claims. They are quick to get to the issues that really matter and they are incisive in their valuation of the claim, the assessment of the chances of success and the timescales and costs involved. They will guide clients through the correct procedures, always advancing the strongest possible case and looking for the best way of resolving the issues.

Our team is willing to look at alternative funding arrangements, such as Conditional Fee Agreements (No Win, No Fee) or Damages Based Agreements.

Experienced in negotiations, mediations and arbitrations, as well as Court advocacy, our team works hard to get the right result as quickly and inexpensively as possible. The team is also recommended by the independently-researched publication, The Legal 500, as being one of the top teams of experts in the country.

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  • “Nelsons...client roster includes high-net-worth individuals, sports professionals and property businesses. It handles claims against solicitors and barristers, financial advisers, insurance brokers, surveyors and architects, among others..."

    The Legal 500
  • "...It has a notable specialism in defending professionals against claims where there is no insurance cover in place or where cover has been reserved. Although it predominantly acts for claimants, the team is also engaged by insurance companies on the defendant side.”

    The Legal 500 (Continued)
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Professional Negligence Claims FAQS

Below, we have answered some frequently asked questions concerning professional negligence claims

  • What is professional negligence?

    Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required standard, causing their client to suffer loss. This can apply to various professions, including solicitors, accountants, surveyors, and financial advisors.

  • How do I know if I have a professional negligence claim?

    You may have a claim if:

    • You received substandard professional service
    • This service fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent professional in that field
    • You suffered financial loss or other damage as a result
    • The loss was a foreseeable consequence of the professional’s negligence
  • What is the time limit for making a professional negligence claim?

    Generally, you have six years from the date of the negligent act or omission to bring a claim. In some cases, where you couldn’t have reasonably known about the negligence immediately, you may have three years from the date of knowledge, subject to a long-stop date of 15 years.

  • What kind of compensation can I expect?

    Compensation aims to put you in the position you would have been in had the negligence not occurred. This can include financial losses, costs of rectifying the problem, and in some cases, compensation for distress or inconvenience.

  • Will my case go to Court?

    Many professional negligence claims are settled out of court. However, if a settlement can’t be reached, court proceedings may be necessary. We always explore alternative dispute resolution methods before resorting to litigation.

  • How do I make a professional negligence claim?

    A successful professional negligence claim involves more than just establishing that the professional concerned gave bad advice or failed to spot a crucial issue. The error must amount to a breach of duty and it must have caused a direct financial loss. Sometimes it will be relatively easy to quantify that loss and, at other times, it will require some forensic work or expert assistance to establish just how much money has been lost or how much should have been gained had the professional’s advice not been negligent.

    Professionals often have insurance which will cover them for claims of professional negligence. However, that is not always the case and it is sometimes necessary to review and consider the implications of an insurer’s attempt to avoid cover.

    Embarking on a claim is as much about understanding and using the process as it is working out the ingredients of a claim. There are specific rules about what should happen before a professional negligence claim is issued in Court. Those rules aim to encourage the parties to consider settlement before the formal Court process begins, and there are penalties for non-compliance.

  • How long does a professional negligence claim take?

    The duration can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case and whether it’s settled out of court. Simple cases might be resolved in months, while complex ones can take over a year.

  • Can I claim if I've already complained to the professional's regulatory body?

    Yes, you can still pursue a professional negligence claim even if you’ve complained to a regulatory body. However, the outcome of the complaint may influence your claim.

  • What if the professional has admitted to making a mistake?

    An admission of error doesn’t automatically guarantee a successful claim. You still need to prove that the error caused you loss and that the loss was a foreseeable consequence of the negligence.

  • How much will it cost to make a claim?

    Costs vary depending on the complexity of the case. We offer various funding options, including conditional fee agreements (‘no win, no fee’) in appropriate cases. We’ll discuss costs and funding options clearly at the outset.

  • What if the professional is no longer in business?

    You may still be able to claim, often through the professional’s insurance company or, in some cases, through compensation schemes set up by professional bodies.

  • Can I claim for negligent advice given verbally?

    Yes, professional negligence claims can be based on verbal advice. However, these cases can be more challenging to prove, making contemporaneous notes or follow-up emails valuable evidence.

  • What is the process for making a professional negligence claim?

    The typical process involves:

    1. Initial assessment of your case
    2. Gathering evidence
    3. Obtaining expert opinions if necessary
    4. Sending a letter of claim to the professional
    5. Negotiating with the professional or their insurers
    6. If necessary, issuing Court proceedings
  • How can I protect myself from professional negligence?
    • Ensure you understand the scope of the professional’s work
    • Keep records of all communications
    • Ask questions if you’re unsure about any advice given
    • Consider seeking a second opinion on important matters

    Remember, every professional negligence case is unique. For specific advice about your situation, it’s best to consult with a qualified solicitor specialising in professional negligence claims.

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