Our professional negligence solicitors are experts in their field. If you need any advice on making a claim please call us on 01926 886688.
Recovering from negligent professionals to put right the damage caused to businesses, whether large companies or smaller enterprises, has been at the heart of our commercial litigation practice for over 20 years.
Professional negligence claims for businesses
Typical problems we see are:
- solicitors drafting leases and contracts badly, lumbering their clients with expensive obligations or restrictions
- misleading tax and investment advice from financial advisers
- accountants who have given bad advice on issues such as Employee Benefit Trusts, retirement relief and holdover relief
- solicitors who fail to spot access problems with properties being purchased to develop
- financial advisers who fail to advise properly in relation to Advance Payment Notices.
- surveyors who overvalue sites being acquired
- solicitors missing limitation, security or dates to bring a claim at court
- surveyors who fail to identify property defects prior to purchase of premises
- insurance brokers who failed to make full disclosure to the insurer
All of these result in (often severe) financial damage and we are experts in recovering those losses. We deal with claims valued at several £millions, although we also deal with claims down to £10,000, recognising that a loss to a small business can be just as significant as a larger sum to a higher turnover company.
Claims against professional advisers
We advise on claims against:
If you think your business has been damaged by a negligent professional (whether a solicitor, accountant, surveyor, barrister, financial adviser, architect or insurance broker) be aware that time limits apply to bringing a claim. You generally have six years from when the damage occurred but this can be very difficult to assess so please get in touch urgently if you think you have suffered a loss. Generally professionals have insurance to pay for damage caused by their negligence, although it is also important that claims are made promptly to access that cover.
To make a claim you need to comply with the Professional Negligence Pre-action Protocol. This process enables the parties to define and refine the issues between them before a Claim Form is issued at court. The purpose of the protocol is to consider whether the claim can be settled without the need for legal proceedings. We have detailed knowledge of the requirements of the protocol, enabling your claim to be prepared efficiently and most effectively at the earliest stage. We aim to settle claims before the need to issue a Claim Form if that can be achieved, although it is sometimes the reality of a court timetable to trial that is required to compel the Defendant to recognise their liability and the true extent of losses that need to be compensated.
We also use mediation and any other suitable form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. This can be attempted pre-action or, when the case is more prepared and the evidence better developed, mediation can still be used before the claim goes to trial. Our approach is to assess the optimum method of recovering your loss at every stage and we have a very good record of success at mediation without the need to attend trial. Our team is well aware of the cost to a business of diverting resource to a court case and we keep a keen eye on any opportunities to settle early.
Our team has strength in depth in dealing with professional negligence claims and has handled several hundred cases for three major lending institutions involved in professional negligence matters including Bradford and Bingley Building Society -v- Hayes and Dumphys. Sarah Perry also acted in one of the leading cases on breach of fiduciary duties (Swindle -v- Harrison). The team is over 20 solicitors, all of whom have experience in handling professional negligence claims.
All of our funding options apply to business clients, including no-win, no-fee arrangements where you only pay our costs if we win (and your opponent should then already have paid the lion’s share). We can offer conditional fees and discounted fees to offer flexibility on funding your claim. Hand in hand with advice on funding comes advice on minimising the risks by after the event insurance; we have significant experience in obtaining appropriate cover. Please see our Guide to funding litigation claims for more information.
We are often asked about whether the distress caused by negligent professionals can be compensated in damages. The answer is almost always ‘no’ and the basis for this has again been set out in a recent case.Read more
In this claim the Bell Leisure Group claimed around £18m in damages for professional negligence against their accountants.Read more
The long awaited Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 (“the Act”) will come into force on 1 August 2016.Read more