Compensation for negligent solicitor and barrister advice
At Nelsons, our team of professional negligence claims solicitors are experts in bringing solicitor and barrister negligence claims and are able to guide you through the steps required to bring about a successful conclusion to your case. This includes explaining the options for funding a claim and the legal procedures required to bring a claim through the Court.
We are able to offer a no obligation initial telephone assessment to give you an understanding of the merits of your potential claim, so please feel free to call us or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back to discuss your case.
Solicitor and barrister negligence claims
Solicitors can be instructed for a number of different reasons:
- To assist in the sale/purchase of a business or property;
- To deal with a dispute between parties;
- For advice about the breakdown of a relationship, to name but a few.
Barristers are usually instructed to assist in litigation, whether that is providing early advice on the merits of a claim or representing a client at a trial or Court hearing.
What is common between the two professions, however, is the duty of care they both owe to their clients to perform their work with reasonable care and skill. If they fail to do this and you suffer a loss as a result, then you may be able to bring a claim for professional negligence against the solicitor, barrister or both of them.
Examples of solicitor and barrister negligence
The list below is not intended to be exhaustive, so if you think you have a professional negligence claim against your solicitor or barrister, and you cannot see an example below, please contact us for a no obligation initial telephone assessment.
Acting in the sale or purchase of a property
Whether acting for the seller or buyer of a property, solicitors must ensure, amongst other things, that all reasonable searches are undertaken and the appropriate advice given about those searches.
If a solicitor fails to do this and a problem is later found, then a client may be able to make a negligence claim against the solicitor. Similarly where searches are undertaken but either not passed on to the client or the advice about them is incorrect, the solicitor may have been negligent.
Acting for a client in a dispute
A solicitor is under a number of duties when acting for a client in litigation. A solicitor must ensure that cases are progressed expeditiously; they should not miss Court deadlines or allow limitation to pass (meaning the client is out of time to bring their claim).
A barrister is under a duty to ensure that a client’s case is fully argued at a hearing in line with a client’s instructions. This includes presenting the case to the Court using reasonable skill and care. Where this does not happen and it causes a client to suffer a loss, there may be cause to bring a professional negligence claim against the barrister.
Acting for a client in a family matter
Solicitors and barristers acting for individuals in matrimonial cases must ensure that they take detailed instructions on their client’s circumstances (including income and assets) and that this is presented in an appropriate way.
If a solicitor fails to include the correct information it could result in one party being financially better off than they should have been. This in turn may allow a client to pursue a negligence claim against their solicitor.
Acting in the sale/purchase of a business
Solicitors regularly act for businesses which buy and sell other companies. A solicitor is under a duty to ensure that all the legal documents are read and the implications explained properly to the client. They will also be under a duty to undertake a detailed due diligence exercise.
Where they fail to do any of these activities and this causes a loss, then they may be liable for negligence.
Acting for an estate, beneficiary or someone making a Will
A solicitor is under a duty to ensure that the client’s instructions are followed when drafting a Will. The solicitor must also ensure that their client’s wishes can be effected in the way the client wishes – for instance where the client wants to gift money or where the client wishes to gift property.
A solicitor may also be under a duty to the beneficiaries of a Will (even if they did not instruct the solicitor).
How Nelsons can help with solicitor and barrister negligence claims
Bringing a professional negligence claim against a solicitor or barristers can be brought by both individuals and businesses alike.
Here at Nelsons, we have an experienced team of experts, who can help and guide you through these complicated claims from start to finish. The team is led by Partners, Cathryn Selby and Daniel Brumpton, who are both leading individuals, recognised in independently researched legal directories, such as the Legal 500.
Nelsons have acted in numerous solicitor and barrister negligence claims, for example:
- We acted for a liquidator of a company who had a claim against the company’s former solicitor for failing to advise on the insolvency implications of a property transaction.
- We acted for a developer of land whose solicitor failed to secure a right of way over adjacent land.
- We acted for an individual who had a professional negligence claim against his financial adviser for wrongly advising him to transfer out of a pension scheme into one which was less advantageous but then a series of different solicitors failed to advise or wrongly advised about the time limits for bringing that claim with the result that it was out of time. We successfully pursued the solicitors involved for the pension losses suffered by the individual.
- We acted for an individual who was advised to transfer her estate into a Trust for herself and her children. The Trust ultimately failed to achieve what the client required and so the solicitors were held to be negligent.
- We acted for a family who bought their ideal family home only to discover that the conveyancing solicitor had failed to identify that a significant portion of the garden was not included in the title that had been purchased.
- We acted for an individual whose conveyancing solicitor failed to take the appropriate deposit from a potential purchaser of property and failed to notify our client of this.
- We acted for a partner in a business whose former solicitor failed to ensure appropriate tax advice was obtained on the settlement of a dispute which involved dissolution of the partnership.
- We acted for a liquidator of a company and the trustee of two bankrupt individuals against the solicitors and barrister who had previously acted for them in litigation. The claim was that the solicitors and barrister had failed to ensure key documents were included in the trial bundle resulting in a loss at trial and an order to pay £3.25m.
- We acted for individuals who were involved in a dispute with their neighbour in relation to a right of way where their solicitor provided incorrect advice on the legal position with the result that the individuals were faced with injunctions and protracted litigation.
- We acted for an investment consortium in relation to the negligent drafting by their solicitor of an agreement, including an overage provision where the development in question was a shopping centre.
- We acted for a business where the solicitor negligently advised about the time for serving a break notice meaning the business was legally committed to a further 3 years in premises which they wished to vacate.
- We acted for a business where they received negligent advice from their solicitors about their liability to Stamp Duty Land Tax arising from the settlement of a partnership dispute under which various properties were transferred. Issues arose as to the appropriate valuations of the properties and whether the transactions should be treated as “linked”.
- We acted for two individuals against solicitors who had dealt with their investments into an offshore property scheme in Brazil where the solicitors had failed to properly understand and advise the clients as to the structure of the scheme.
For more information about solicitor or barrister negligence claims, please contact our specialist Professional Negligence claims team in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham via email or call 0800 024 1976 for a guaranteed response.
“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. 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.”Legal 500