Professional Negligence Claims

Professional Negligence Claims

Professional Negligence Compensation Claims

Have you been provided with bad professional advice, or dealt with a service that has caused you harm or left you out of pocket? If so, the professional negligence solicitors at Clough & Willis can provide you with the help and guidance you need to make a successful claim for compensation. 

When looking to make a negligence claim against a professional that has failed to uphold their duty of care, it is important to obtain the right legal guidance. The expert team at Clough & Willis has years of experience offering a professional negligence service that can help you achieve the best possible outcome, with personalised support at every stage of the process. 

We can assist you with the following cases of professional and corporate negligence on a no-win, no-fee basis: 

  • Negligence claims against accountants, financial advisors and insurance brokers
  • Estate agent and landlord negligence claims
  • Complaints against architects, surveyors and engineers
  • Medical complaints, including cases of negligence in nursing
  • Negligence complaints against solicitors

For more information on how we can help you make a negligence of duty claim, call us on 0800 083 0815 today, or complete the online enquiry form on the side of this page to request a call back at your convenience. 

What is professional negligence?

Every individual will need to rely upon some form of professional advice at some point in their lives, whether this comes in the form of legal guidance, medical care, financial consultation or property advice. 

Professional advisors are there to provide essential help and guidance on complex topics and key life decisions - but sometimes, these professionals can make mistakes, resulting in poor, careless or incorrect advice that leads to serious consequences. If you have suffered physical harm or financial loss as a result of this kind of failure, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. 

When considering whether you have experienced professional negligence, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do you think you received incorrect advice? Do you believe you would have received different advice from another professional in the same field that would have led to a better outcome?
  • Was your case passed on to someone else who did not have the necessary experience to make an educated decision?
  • Did your advisor fail to adhere to the accepted standards of professional practice? 

How we can help

If you have experienced a negative outcome due to professional negligence, the qualified solicitors at Clough & Willis are here to help. 

Your professional negligence case will be handled by our Partner and Head of Litigation Chris Macwilliam, who will deal with your claim personally. We pride ourselves on providing personalised, tailored and responsive legal guidance, and we do not ‘buy in’ claims or pay referral fees. 

Once we have discussed the particulars of your claim with you, we will work to obtain the relevant papers and properly assess how much compensation you could expect to receive. Depending on the details of the case, we may be able to work on a no-win, no-fee basis. 

FAQs about professional negligence claims

How can I prove professional negligence?

If you have been let down by a professional you trusted, compensation can be an important step in putting things right. But in order to make a professional negligence claim, you will need to demonstrate that the professional in question had a duty of care to provide a particular level of service, and that their failure to do so resulted in harm.

One of the most common scenarios arises when people make personal injury compensation claims. Solicitors should fight to secure as much compensation as possible for every client, but if your legal representatives settled for an offer far below the maximum amount of compensation you could have expected, this may be considered professional negligence.

In this case, the evidence that we will need to resolve the situation and pursue compensation is the same evidence that supported your initial case. By reviewing how your claim progressed and the evidence that was used to prove that you were owed compensation, our professional negligence lawyers can determine whether there was a failure on the part of your previous solicitor. We can also calculate how much compensation you should have received for an injury, compared with how much your solicitor managed to secure, as evidence of any negligence that may have occurred.

For other scenarios - such as if you received negligent advice from an accountant, surveyor or other professional - the evidence we need to pursue your claim will differ according to the specific circumstances. As such, your best step to start the process is to speak to our professional negligence solicitors at the earliest opportunity.

By talking through your experiences in detail, we can evaluate whether negligence took place, advise you on your eligibility to make a claim, and offer expert legal advice that can improve your chances of success. At that stage, we would begin to build a claim on your behalf, explaining the types of evidence you need to collect and supporting you through the process. Thanks to our experience in this area, we can support you to build the strongest possible case, demonstrate that the other party subjected you to negligence and establish their liability in the strongest terms.

What is the limitation period for professional negligence?

A professional negligence claim must generally be brought within six years from the date of the act or omission that gave rise to the claim. However, there are some exceptions that help to ensure that people have a fair chance to claim.

In some cases, the negligence you experienced might not be apparent straight away. Under these circumstances, a different limitation period applies. This allows you to bring a claim within three years of the “date of knowledge” - the date on which you learned (or reasonably should have realised) that the negligence took place or that you experienced harm as a result of it.

For people who were under the age of 18 at the time that they were affected by professional negligence, the limitation period does not begin until they turn 18. Before this, a parent or guardian can make a claim on their behalf at any time. They will then have six years from the date that they turn 18 to make their own claim.

If the person does not have the capacity to make their own decisions, it may be that no time limit applies. A litigation friend - someone who is appointed by the court to represent the legal interests of a protected person - can make a professional negligence claim on their behalf at any time.

There are other exceptions that may apply on a case-by-case basis, such as scenarios in which the negligence involved fraud or where professional contracts set their own time frames, so it is important to speak to a solicitor at the earliest opportunity to avoid missing your opportunity to claim. Courts sometimes have the discretion to extend time limits in exceptional circumstances, but this is rare and should not be relied upon.

This means it is important to act quickly, and start the process of making your claim straight away. Starting your claim early also makes it easier to collect the evidence you will need to prove that you experienced professional negligence. Evidence like witness testimonies and documents are often easier to gather in the immediate aftermath of an incident. However, you should not be dissuaded from trying to make a professional negligence claim if events happened a long time ago - get in touch today to learn how we can help.

Can you claim against a solicitor for professional negligence?

Yes, professional negligence claims against solicitors are among the most common types of claims we deal with. You can claim against a solicitor for professional negligence if you believe that their actions or omissions led to a loss on your part, and that their conduct fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent professional in the same situation. This could mean that you received negligent advice, or that the solicitor did not secure the maximum amount of compensation to which you were entitled.

However, as we have discussed above, there are certain things you need to prove in order to be eligible to make a professional negligence claim:

  • You must establish that the solicitor owed you a duty of care.
  • You must show that the solicitor breached that duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable skill and care in their work.
  • You have to prove that you suffered loss as a direct result of the solicitor's negligence - this is often financial loss, although in professional negligence claims against other professionals this could also include physical or emotional harm.
  • You will often need to quantify the financial loss you have incurred due to the negligence, to calculate how much compensation you could be owed.

You are not limited to only claiming against solicitors, as other professionals owe you a duty of care. If a professional fails to uphold this responsibility or their service falls below the standard expected of their position. A professional person could be a financial adviser, a doctor or medical professional, an accountant, an architect, or someone else. Speak to our team about your experiences to learn more about the possibility of making a claim.

What is the professional negligence claims process?

The claims process never unfolds in a straight line, but it will generally progress through the same key stages each time. It begins when you consult a solicitor about your claim and launch the process. Our team will build evidence to support your case and demonstrate that the other party failed in their duty of care to you.

Once we have built the strongest possible case, the next step will be to send a formal "letter of claim" to the solicitor or other professional you are claiming against. Some professionals in the UK (including most solicitors) have professional indemnity insurance, which will usually cover the cost of claims made against them, and in these cases we will also send a copy of the letter of claim to the relevant insurance provider.

The letter of claim outlines the facts of the case, the alleged negligence, and the losses incurred. At this stage, the other party might decide to accept liability, in which case we can negotiate your compensation amount. However, in rare cases, court proceedings may be necessary. Your solicitor will represent you during these proceedings and present your case to the court. If the liable party has professional indemnity insurance, this can be a route for financial recovery if your claim is successful and enable you to claim back your legal costs.

Need help right away?
Contact Clough & Willis

At Clough & Willis, we have a wealth of experience in dealing with professional negligence. We understand the duty of care that professionals must deliver, as we always strive to meet these requirements in the services we provide to our clients. If you have suffered due to negligent treatment by a professional, we can help.

To learn more about the process or take the first steps towards compensation, contact a professional negligence solicitor from the team at Clough & Willis today. Call us on  0800 083 0815 or fill in our online enquiry form to arrange for a member of the team to call you back at your convenience.


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