Home / Expertise / Services for individuals / Financial adviser negligence

Financial adviser negligence

In basic terms financial adviser negligence is the same as any other professional negligence case. It is where the professional, in this instance a financial adviser, fails to perform to the professional standards required of them.

Professional advisers have a “duty of care” to their clients and financial advisers are no different. They have to perform their job with the skill and care to be expected of a reasonably competent financial adviser.

If you feel you have a claim against your financial adviser, it is important you seek expert legal advice from an experienced negligence solicitor. It is important that solicitor is familiar with both claims in negligence and the financial product you are complaining about.

Our team of professional negligence solicitors have experience of handling a variety of matters relating to claims against financial advisers

"Sarah Perry and Susan Hopcraft are recommended.” And “Former CMS lawyer Susan Hopcraft is ‘smart' and ‘switched on', with particular expertise in professional negligence cases"

Legal 500

Our team have experience of handling a variety of claims against financial advisers, including:

  • Failure to advise properly in relation to Accelerated Payment Notices.
  • Advising to invest in unsuitable pensions and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPS).
  • Negligent advice relating to unsuitable high-risk investment products and unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS). 
  • Negligent advice relating to tax avoidance schemes; including (amongst others) Film Fund Schemes, SDLT schemes, Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT) and Employer Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRB or EFRBS).
  • Advising clients on investing in financial products that are not suitable for their needs.
  • Failing to ensure that a client can afford the financial product or investment. 

Claims against financial advisers have been increasing in recent years as a consequence of poor advice and administrative errors.

We regularly see the following common issues where financial advisers have acted negligently:

  • providing advice on areas where they have no expertise 
  • not fully explaining the implications of particular financial products 
  • failing to assess their client’s financial situation adequately to advise correctly on suitable products.

Current issues

Have you been issued with an Accelerated Payment Notice (APN)? This is currently a real issue in relation to financial adviser claims and we are acting on many claims arising out of APNs. Under the Finance Act 2014, HMRC can now demand payment on account of a tax advantage received from participating in a tax avoidance scheme.

An APN can be issued by HMRC if a taxpayer has received a tax advantage from participating in a scheme; HMRC has an open enquiry or appeal into that tax advantage; and the scheme in question has been declared as a tax avoidance scheme under DOTAS. 

If you have received an APN as a result of negligent advice it is imperative that you seek legal advice. Correspondence between your financial adviser and HMRC in relation to an APN is disclosable under any professional negligence proceedings therefore it is important that your legal, as well as financial interests, are protected.

"A strong commercial team frequently instructed in very high value disputes in High Court commercial centres."

Legal 500


  • Time limits for claims?

    As with any negligence case there are strict time limits in place, known as the limitation period. In the majority of cases there is a six year time limit to bring a claim against a financial adviser from the date of their negligent advice. If the negligence doesn’t immediately come to light or is not evident until later it may still be possible to claim that the time period can start from 3 years from the “date of knowledge” of the negligent act.

    It is important that you contact a solicitor as soon as you realise you have been given negligent advice that has caused you a loss or you may find your claim has become time barred.

  • How do you know if you have a claim?

    If the negligent advice you were given by your financial adviser has caused you a financial loss or if your adviser didn’t carry out your specific instructions correctly it may be possible to make a claim.

    It is important to note in cases against financial advisers that a financial loss on its own is not enough to prove negligence. The volatility of financial markets can mean investments can lose money, the loss has to be caused by negligent advice and your adviser has breached their duty of care in order to bring a successful claim.

  • How much is my negligence claim worth?

    The value of your claim will be based on how much you have lost and what your financial position would have been had you received appropriate advice. 

    Our team have the experience to work with you and if necessary your new financial adviser to determine an estimated value for your claim based on the information you give us when you choose to sue your financial adviser.

  • How much will it cost me to sue my financial adviser?

    One of the concerns many of our clients have is how to pay for legal advice in order to make a claim. There are many funding options available depending on your claim including ‘no win, no fee’ or other conditional fee agreements.

    You may also have legal expenses covered on some of your insurance policies that you may not be aware of; it is often listed as Family Legal Protection. We will discuss all of your funding options as part of our assessment of your claim.

Our team

Our team of over 20 solicitors are experts in professional negligence claims relating to complicated tax and financial arrangements. We have over 30 years’ experience in bringing claims against financial advisers, solicitors, accountants and surveyors.

We can work with other financial advisers (such as accountants and financial advisers) to resolve tax and financial arrangements that have gone wrong and seek to recover any losses where negligent professional advice is to blame. 

" ... ability of the team to "put in the right resources" and "offer a collaborative service."

Chambers UK
How can we help?
01926 732512