What is the time limit for bringing a claim against a solicitor?

Jan Samuel

The primary limitation period for professional negligence claims is 6 years from the date your cause of action arose. This is said to accrue when you suffer actual loss and is not necessarily the date the negligent act or omission was done by the solicitor. These dates may be different and it is therefore not always straightforward to work out when the time period starts running.

You may also have only just become aware of the problem (for example if your conveyancing solicitor made a mistake, which only comes to light when you try and sell your house), and so there is a fall-back limitation date of 3 years from the date on which you had the knowledge required to bring an action against the solicitor.

Again, this is not always easy to determine but do not always assume you have no time to claim just because 6 years have passed.

The extensions to limitation periods for bringing claims against solicitors are however subject to a long stop date of 15 years, within which your claim must be brought.

If you think that you have a negligence claim against a solicitor, it is important that you act sooner rather than later, as your claim may be dismissed if too much time has elapsed since the loss arose. Unfortunately this is a win or lose situation and you are either in time to make a claim, or you are not.

It is therefore important to consider limitation issues carefully and quickly, especially if you have any doubt as to the relevant dates.

Professional negligence claims can be complex and we recommend you seek legal advice. Samuels Solicitors LLP, based in North Devon, has a long-established reputation as niche experts in the field of professional negligence claims.

To speak to an expert solicitor, contact us today.