If my solicitor has made a mistake what can I do?

Judith Thompson

It can be devastating when a solicitor makes a mistake with your case, but what can you do about it?


What is professional negligence?

When you pay for legal services, you are entitled to expect that your solicitor will carry out their work with reasonable skill and care. If your solicitor has fallen short of these standards and has made a mistake, this  is professional negligence.  

If your solicitor has been negligent, you may well have a claim against them.


Common mistakes by solicitors

Solicitors make a huge range of mistakes, and at Samuels we have been helping clients put those mistakes right for many decades. Examples of the types of professional negligence claims that we have dealt with are:

  • failing to ensure that wills are drafted properly which means that disputes arise between beneficiaries after someone has died;
  • failing to identify boundaries properly, when a property is being bought or sold, which can lead to long-running and damaging disputes between neighbours, and problems when you want to sell the property again;
  • failing to identify the tax implications of settlements or contractual arrangements which can mean that you are paying more tax than you need to;
  • missing court deadlines which can mean that all or part of your case is struck out, or you have to pay unnecessary costs to your opponent;
  • failing to preserve rights of way which can mean that the value of your property is affected;
  • failing to draft contracts or terms and conditions properly which can mean that costly disputes arise at a later stage; and
  • providing poor advice about the strength of your claim which means that you pursue a case and end up having to pay your opponent's legal costs. 

If your solicitor has made a mistake similar to these, or an entirely different mistake altogether, we will be able to help you. 


What should I do if my solicitor has been negligent?

When you have been let down by a professional, it is important that you get expert legal advice as quickly as possible, as there are strict time limits for bringing a claim against a solicitor. In some cases you might not have found out about the mistake until many years after it was made, such as when you are selling your property, and in those circumstances, you might need to take action very quickly indeed. 

Samuels Solicitors has a formidable reputation in this specialist area of professional negligence claims, built up over many years. Our senior partner, Jan Samuel, is one of the region's leading experts in claims against solicitors. 

We understand that it can be difficult to pay for advice when you have already suffered a loss, so we always discuss funding options with clients at the outset. In some very strong cases, conditional fee agreements might be available.  

If a solicitor has let you down, contact us for an initial assessment of your case. 

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