Suing a Solicitor for Professional Negligence
It can be daunting to consider suing a solicitor for professional negligence. Sometimes solicitors make an error which can be put right quickly and easily. On other occasions, solicitors' mistakes can cause serious losses to their clients, and be far more complicated to put right. If your solicitor has made an error which has caused you financial loss, you will probably need legal help to sort out the issue.
What is Solicitor's Negligence?
Negligence is when your solicitor's work falls below the standard you can reasonably expect as a client. If the solicitor's negligence causes you financial loss, then you can bring a claim against the solicitor for damages to compensate you for that loss.
Claims against solicitors are a type of professional negligence, a particular area of niche expertise for our firm.
What are Common Mistakes Made by Solicitors?
Some examples professional negligence made by solicitors are:
- missing a limitation date or court deadline;
- making an error when you were purchasing or selling a property;
- failed to explain conveyancing searches;
- advising you to settle a claim for too little;
- not understanding your claim properly and failing to give you proper advice about how to proceed;
- advising you that you have a strong claim, which you subsequently lost;
- making a mistake with the boundaries of your property;
- not drafting a will properly;
- mistakes in divorce settlements;
- not dealing with probate of a loved one's estate properly;
- failing to instruct a barrister properly or to prepare for trial properly; and
- failing to advise about the consequences of a particular course of action.
There are many different ways in which a solicitor can be negligent, and this is not an exhaustive list. If your solicitor has been negligent but their mistake does not appear in this list, we should still be able to help.
What can you do if your solicitor was negligent?
If your solicitor has been negligent, and you have suffered financial loss as a result, it is important to take independent legal advice as soon as you can, and to act quickly. There are strict time limits for professional negligence claims which have to be observed, otherwise you can lose your right to bring a claim.
If you instruct Samuels Solicitors to help you, the first thing we would do would be to obtain your file from your previous solicitors. Once we have it, we can often advise you very quickly whether or not you will be able to make a claim for compensation against your previous solicitors.
When you know whether you have a claim, we will be able to advise you about the different options available to you at that stage. The first stage is usually to send your previous solicitor a letter of claim. After a response is received, it may be appropriate to mediate the dispute, or to go to Court.
How much do professional negligence cases cost?
We are usually able to discuss your case with you for free initially, and usually we will be able to obtain your previous solicitor's files without making any charge to you. When we have the files, if they are particularly extensive, we may well need to make a charge for reviewing them, but this is decided on a case by case basis.
When solicitors make mistakes, it can be costly to put right. However, the good news is that the solicitor you are suing will almost certainly have professional indemnity insurance and their insurer will be able to pay your damages, and a large proportion of your costs when you are successful.
We understand that many clients will find it difficult to fund a claim up front, particularly if you are already suffering financially because of a mistake a solicitor has made. In some cases, we will be able to act for you on a conditional (no win no fee) basis. In other cases, we should be able to offer you one of our flexible funding options, to help you with your legal fees.
What should I do next if my solicitor has made a mistake?
Samuels Solicitors have been acting for clients from all over the country for decades, helping recover damages for professional negligence. We are experts in putting these problems right. You will need an expert to help you decide whether your solicitor has been negligent and we have the experience and knowledge to help you.
If you think you have a professional negligence claim against a solicitor, contact us today for a no obligation discussion about how we can help.
Latest Suing a Solicitor for Professional Negligence News
In a recent judgment, the fees a North Devon firm sought to charge have been slashed by a judge, after they provided unrealistic advice to their client.08/11/2023
A law firm that failed to advise a client she was entitled to half her husband's large pension in a divorce, has had to pay her £400k in compensation.25/05/2023
The way in which damages are calculated in professional negligence claims is changing, but how will this affect you if you want to sue a professional?06/12/2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a multitude of issues for legal practitioners, not least for those dealing with conveyancing transactions. It is predicted that this will lead to a large increase in claims against solicitors.04/11/2021
Supreme Court to consider whether claimant settled personal injury claim for too little23/04/2019
A recent Court of Appeal decision made it clear that even where a buyer had defrauded the mortgage company, the solicitor was not able to avoid a professional negligence claim.30/01/2019