Professional negligence is a common law tort (a civil wrongdoing), and broadly occurs where a professional fails to perform his responsibilities to the required standard. Professional negligence claims against professionals (such as solicitors, surveyors, accountants, financial advisers and professional trustees) are now commonplace. The increase in professional negligence claims can be attributed to a number of factors, including a greater awareness of the legal rights of claimants and an increase in the complexity of work undertaken by professionals.

The courts have introduced a Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence claims. This protocol sets out the procedures that the courts will expect parties to a dispute to have followed before issuing proceedings.

A successful claimant will need to demonstrate that

  • He or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant professional
  • That the professional breached the duty of care, and
  • That the breach caused a loss to the claimant

It is also worth bearing in mind that there may be a claim for breach of contract and/or statutory duty, or, in some circumstances, misrepresentation and/or fraud in this type of case.Professionals do make mistakes and the lawyers in our Dispute Resolution team specialise in resolving these mistakes through negotiation, mediation and litigation if necessary. Contact the team by clicking here.

If the negligence that you have suffered relates to a medical situation then please get in touch with our medical negligence team. More information on Clinical Negligence here.

To read a recent professional negligence case study that the team successfully settled click here.