It may seem that with the tight regulation surrounding the provision of much professional advice that negligent advice is rare. However, all the regulation in the world cannot prevent negligence and at Selachii we deal regularly with claims against professional firms of all shapes and sizes.
What is Professional Negligence?
For a successful claim for professional negligence to be made, there are three things that must happen:
- You must have acted on the advice given;
- You must have suffered a loss as result of acting on the advice and would not have taken the course of action you did if you did not take the advice; and
- You were owed a duty of care by the professional who gave the advice and that duty was breached.
These may seem to set a very high hurdle, but in practice, professional negligence cases can be successful in cases where it may seem that the criteria are only weakly satisfied. Also, most negligence claims are settled without the need for court proceedings.
View our Case Studies
Case Study 1
A wealthy couple who relied on a landscape gardener friend's guidance were successful in a claim against her when the project went wrong, despite the fact that they had not paid her for the advice. The fact that she expected to pick up a fee for her advice later was sufficient to mean that they could take legal proceedings against her.
Some examples of professional negligence claims which are commonly made are:
Accountants and Auditors
Audit failure leading to non-disclosure of liabilites
Failed tax avoidance schemes
Incorrect tax advice, tax planning or compliance
Missing deadlines for filing documents
Mergers and acquisition advice
Cases settled for the wrong sum because of negligent expert advice
Investor losses because of reliance on accounting information
Case Study 2
When a firm of accountants advised a lender with regard to the prospects of a start-up business, which subsequently failed, the court's decision that their advice had been negligent led to £15 million in damages being awarded.
Missing deadlines for filing documents
Errors in drafting contracts, wills, trust documents or agreements
Poor or negligent representation in litigation
Errors in transfers of property, trust documents and so on
Failure to advise on legal obligations or rights.
Case Study 3
A solicitor who attached the wrong plan when doing a property transfer and gave incorrect advice about Stamp Duty Land Tax was ordered by the court to pay his client more than £230,000 in compensation.
Failure to provide competent legal advice and respresentation.
Failing to carry our proper searches in property purchases
Failing to notify the existence of charges or rights over property
Failure to ensure necessary licences are held prior to completion
Failure to ensure policies cover appropriate risks
IFAs / Financial Advisors
Poor investment advice
Failure to match your investment risk preference with the investment strategy recommended
Surveyors / Engineers / Architects
Errors of all kinds in the design, construction and supervision of work to complete of buildings, installations of plant and so on
Incorrect valuations of work done and property valuation errors leading to losses
Bringing a professional negligence claim
If you think you may have a valid professional negligence claim take advice from us fast. The law relating to negligence is complex and often has strict court protocols. In addition, the limitation periods are tight.
We can examine the merits of your claim and suggest the appropriate a litigation strategy, which we will pursue with vigour and skill. With our wide range of expert contacts, we can assemble the best possible evidence on your behalf.
Defending a professional negligence claim
If you are accused of professional negligence, we will work with you and your insurers to evaluate the legitimacy of the claim on both the legal basis and to ascertain the true loss which the claimant has suffered. The scale of claims is often overstated and we can assist you to choose an appropriate expert to evaluate and prepare a report on the value of the claimed loss and whose evidence will carry weight in court.
When a couple were sued by their bank for more than £4 million after their hotel venture failed, they launched a claim against their solicitors alleging negligent advice. However, because they waited for more than a decade after the events, their claim was struck out as being 'out of time'.
How Selachii Can Help
Selachii, is a dynamic litigation and dispute resolution law firm based in Kensington, London, has expertise in these matters.
If you have been given negligent advice or accused of professional negligence, our skill and experience will assure you of the best result. We will always keep your best interests at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.
We don’t believe in simply handing out one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. We will focus on your specific circumstances before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping you achieve your aims.