Call +44(0)161 941 4000
Call +44(0)161 941 4000
Our Professional Negligence team is rated by the independent Legal 500 and you can, therefore, be assured that you will receive the best possible expert care and advice.
The professional negligence team is led by Tim Norman, a member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association.
Tim has been recommended in each Legal 500 edition for litigation work since 2007. His breadth of experience is recognised by clients and peers alike.
In Legal 500 2018 Tim is described as “client-friendly” and “a very clear and incisive thinker”. In the last 12 months, Tim has settled professional negligence cases for clients totalling over £1.1 million.
Suzanne Carr is a Senior Solicitor in Myerson’s Dispute Resolution team and has dealt with a number of complex and high-value professional negligence cases over the course of her career including a claim against a senior barrister for negligent insolvency advice, a six-figure claim against solicitors for negligent advice concerning the transfer of land and failure to reserve a right of way and defending a local authority in a multi-party, multi-million-pound claim relating to a fire at a business premises.
Partner Adam Maher is described in Legal 500 as “a first-class litigator” and has been praised for his “razor-sharp commercial judgement, tenacity and excellent communication skills”; he “quickly identifies the core issues” and is “extremely robust under pressure”.
The team also benefits from the construction experience of Partner Neil Armstrong and the property litigation experience of Partner Sean Hackett to offer clients a breadth of knowledge in Professional Negligence cases involving Construction and Property.
We offer a no-obligation, free assessment of your negligence claim and we are as flexible as possible when it comes to funding claims. We will often work under a conditional fee arrangement (a “no win, no fee” agreement).
If you have suffered negligence as a result of a professional then please contact our specialist team today.
A professional has a duty of care to their client to perform their job to a reasonable standard and with reasonable care. Professional negligence is where the professional has not provided a reasonable level of skill and care and they fail to perform to the standards required of them which results in their client suffering damage or loss.
A professional is a person who is considered to have particular expertise and skills in the services they provide. A claim may be brought against any professional, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, builders, engineers, financial advisors, insurance brokers, architects, accountants, IT professionals, and professional trustees.
It is not always the case that receiving bad service or an error on the part of the professional means that you have a negligence claim against them. In the first instance, you should call us to speak to one of our specialists who will look at the facts of your case and advise you as to whether you may have a claim.
It may be the case that you do not have a negligence claim against the professional but there is another type of claim that you can bring against them, such as breach of contract and/or statutory duty, or in some cases misrepresentation and/or fraud. Our specialists can advise you on this.
To be successful with a claim you need to be able to demonstrate that you were owed a duty of care by the professional involved, the professional breached the duty of care, and the breach caused a loss to you.
You will also need to demonstrate that the services provided by the professional fell below the standards normally expected of a reasonably competent professional in that field of expertise.
In some instances, the professional may be insolvent or have limited assets. This is something that we will investigate and advise you on at the start of a claim. If this is the case, it may still be possible to pursue a claim against the professional as they may have professional indemnity insurance in place to deal with any legal claims against them.
You need to be able to prove that the loss that you have suffered was caused as a direct result of the negligent actions of the professional. This may or may not be straight forward depending on the facts of your case. Our specialists will be able to provide you with guidance as to what losses you may be able to claim for in your case and how they will be valued.
It is also important to be aware of factors such as mitigation of your losses which means that you must not do anything which increases the losses that you are claiming from the professional and you must take steps to minimise your loss and avoid decisions that increase your losses. How you do that depends on the facts of your case and our specialists will advise you on how to mitigate your losses and what it may mean if you do not mitigate your losses.
If your claim is successful, the money that you receive is called damages. As a general rule, damages are assessed from the date of the breach of the professional’s duty to you.
There are a range of funding options available and our specialists will talk you through all your options at the start of the claim.
In certain cases, we may be able to deal with your case on a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), or “no win no fee”, basis.
Other options may include legal expenses insurance if you have this option under an insurance policy or private funding.
If you believe that you may have a professional negligence claim, you should call us without delay. Our specialists will be able to advise you as to how much time you have to bring a claim in your particular case.
If court proceedings need to be issued, they must be brought within certain time limits. If the time limit has passed, you may not be able to bring a claim against the professional. If you believe you may be out of time, speak to one of our specialists who can advise you on your options.
In most cases, you will have six years to bring a claim from the date that the negligent act occurred. However, you may still be able to bring a claim after this period in certain circumstances where you only became aware of the negligence at a later date. If this is the case, you may have an additional three years from the date you became aware of the negligence to bring a claim.
In any case, it is important to speak to us as soon as you can to avoid being out of time to bring a claim.
Provided that there are no urgent issues as regards time limits, there are certain steps that should be taken before issuing court proceedings. After investigating the facts of your case, we will follow a procedure called the ‘Professional Negligence Pre- Action Protocol’ which is designed to encourage parties to settle a dispute without the need for court proceedings.
The first stage of the Protocol is to send a Letter of Claim to the professional involved. This letter will set out the factual and legal basis for your claim. The professional then has three months to investigate your claim. They should provide a Letter of Response in which they will either admit the claim and make proposals for settlement or they will dispute the claim. If the claim is disputed, the professional should set out their reasons in their Letter of Response.
In some cases, the professional may raise an argument called contributory negligence. This means that they are saying that you have caused or contributed to the losses you have suffered and which you are claiming from the professional. If this argument is raised, our specialists will be able to advise you as to the merits of these arguments and the effect that this may have on any award or settlement.
Once we receive the professional’s response, we will advise you as to your options for the next steps. If the claim is disputed, it may be that further correspondence with the professional is recommended to try to resolve the matter or we may recommend that court proceedings are issued.
The majority of cases do settle before trial, or even after proceedings have been issued as it is possible to settle a claim at any time. If the case proceeds to trial, it may be that you and any key witnesses will need to attend court to give evidence. However, our specialists will be there to provide guidance at every stage.
The use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is becoming an increasingly common way to try and resolve litigation outside of the courtroom.
This is a flexible, voluntary and confidential form of ADR, in which a neutral third party (the mediator) works with all the parties towards a negotiated settlement. Unlike a judge, a mediator will not decide the case on its merits but will work to facilitate an agreement between the parties.
All the parties must agree to submit the dispute in question to arbitration. Like a judgment, the decision of an arbitrator is final and binding on all the parties.
This is most commonly used in construction disputes. Adjudication is a statutory right that the parties cannot contract out of. A party to a construction contract has the right to refer a dispute to adjudication at any time. The adjudicators’ decision is binding on the parties. Adjudication can be a speedy and cost-effective way of resolving disputes.
Our specialist team of professional negligence lawyers have substantial experience of ADR. We have the experience and flexibility to be able to advise you on how best to deal with your dispute, including when will be the best time to try and settle the dispute. Often, this will result in a saving of time, costs and aggravation.
If you have any questions or queries about ADR, please contact one of our specialist professional negligence lawyers to discuss further.
Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.
Adam is a Partner and is Head of our Commercial Litigation department
Tim is a Senior Partner in our Commercial Litigation department
Suzanne is a Senior Associate in Myerson’s Dispute Resolution team
Sven is a Legal Director in our Commercial Litigation department.
Keep up-to-date with the latest legal news and our expert opinion.