Professional Negligence

Businesses and individuals must rely heavily on professional advice to move projects forward. From building an extension on your family home to a multi-million pound M&A transaction, our clients invest in and trust the advice they receive from Architects, Solicitors, Financial Advisors, Accountants, Engineers, and Surveyors to name but a few. If negligent advice is given, the financial consequences can be catastrophic. Our highly experienced Professional Negligence Solicitors can provide the advice and representation you need to bring a claim and receive appropriate compensation for the damage you have suffered.

Based in our Coventry city centre offices, we are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with streamlined, modern, and highly effective civil litigation advice and representation.  Our solicitors have many years of experience which means that we have a robust reputation for excellence with the UK’s best Barristers  and Queen’s Counsel , forensic accountants, industry experts, insolvency professionals, and surveyors who will, when needed, bring additional support to our Civil Litigation Department.  Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses.

Below are some common questions we get asked about professional negligence claims.

Why is it important to establish if a professional negligence claim is based in contract or tort?

As a general rule, professionals are assumed to have taken responsibility for the advice they give to their clients and therefore have a duty in contract and tort. In some cases, the contractual obligations are greater than the duties owed under tort. The most important reason to clarify whether professional negligence constitutes a breach of contract or negligence, however, is to do with limitation periods. In most contract and tort claims, a Claimant has six years to bring a claim in Court. The distinction lies in when the limitation period begins. In contract law, time starts to run as soon as the contract is breached. In tort, however, no cause of action accrues until all elements of duty, breach and damage are present; therefore, although a claim for breach of contract may be time-barred under the Limitation Act 1981 an action in tort remains possible.

What are the basic requirements of negligence?

Anyone bringing a claim in negligence must prove, on the balance of probabilities, the following:

  1. The professional who advised you owed you a duty of care,
  2. They breached that duty of care, and
  3. As a consequence of the breach you suffered damage.

Element c) is known as causation and is often the most difficult aspect of proving that a professional was negligent. As a Claimant you must prove that:

  • but for the Defendant’s negligence, you would not have suffered loss; and
  • the causation was not too remote from the loss.

Our Professional Negligence Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge regarding the intricacies of negligence law. You can be confident that we will quickly assess the facts of your claim and establish the best strategy for achieving your desired results.

What is the ‘but for’ test?

The ‘but for’ test is a test applied by the Court to establish causation. It involves comparing the Claimant’s current position to what their position would have been had the professional they relied on not been negligent. For example, in the case of Barnett v Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee [1969] 1 QB 428 a man was sent home from a hospital despite complaining of stomach pains. He died a short time later of arsenic poisoning. The Court ruled that causation could not be proven as regardless of whether or not the victim received treatment, he would have died of the poisoning.

We have years of experience in establishing causation in professional negligence cases. You can trust our Professional Negligence Solicitors will carefully examine the details of your case and advise you on your chances of winning your claim.

Will I have to go to Court?

In most cases Professional Negligent claims are settled through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as negotiation and mediation. If Court proceedings prove inevitable, however, we will be ready to fight tenaciously to ensure your best interests are protected.

Why choose us?

Professional negligence disputes are hugely varied and can threaten the completion of multi-million-pound projects or deals. We are alive to the stakes involved and have the talent, experience, and resolve required to get the outcome that benefits you as an individual or your business.

People choose and recommend us because we get results and in a majority of cases settle disputes outside of Court. Our Professional Negligence Solicitors will take care of your case, ensuring you understand the options available and get the advice you need to protect your best interests.

To talk to us about a Professional Negligence claim, please call us on Coventry (02476) 231000, email or visit us at our city centre offices in Coventry.


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