Professional Negligence

When a professional makes a mistake, it can prove costly to their client. Fortunately most professionals have  professional indemnity insurance in place to protect their clients, and to cover the cost of rectifying their mistakes.

Samuels Solicitors LLP have been assisting clients in making claims against negligent professionals for a number of decades.

We will advise you if you have a viable claim, and help you to pursue your claim in a cost effective manner.

What is Professional Negligence?

When the services of a professional fall below the standard you can reasonably expect, causing you financial loss, that's professional negligence.

Samuels Solicitors LLP have successfully sued various professionals for negligence in their particular field, recovering substantial damages for clients in many cases. 


Examples of Professional Negligence Claims against Solicitors

  • A client was not sufficiently advised when she signed a mortgage allowing the family home to be used as security to cover her husband’s debts. In that case, the client lost her home and the solicitors were found to have failed follow the guidelines for advice to be given in these circumstances set out in the Supreme Court case of Barclays Bank v Etridge.
  • A client successfully sued solicitors who failed to maintain a right of way over land which was being sold to another party. Samuels Solicitors LLP successfully recovered compensation for the loss in value of the retained land.
  • Samuels Solicitors LLP have acted against solicitors on several occasions where there have been mistakes in correctly identifying boundaries in conveyancing transactions. In one case, a client successfully sued even where a series of solicitors had failed to spot a boundary area where the garden in a new development had not been laid out according to the original plan.
  • Samuels Solicitors LLP have acted in numerous cases where incorrect advice had been given in relation to jointly owned properties. The most common mistake is where solicitors fail to identify whether the clients hold properties as joint tenants or tenants in common and also fail to identify where property should be held in unequal shares by reason of different contributions being made at the time of purchase.


Examples of Professional Negligence Claims against Accountants

  • Samuels Solicitors LLP successfully acted against accountants who failed to advise properly on a complex high value tax saving scheme. When the scheme failed, the client was left with a large tax bill as well as financial penalties and other sanctions.
  • Successful claims have been brought on behalf of clients against accountants who have failed to give correct advice on capital allowances, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.
  • In one notable case, a client recovered over half a million pounds in damages against an accountant who failed to give correct advice on a complex avoidance scheme for capital gains tax.


Examples of Professional Negligence Claims against Surveyors

  • Successful claims have been brought against surveyors where the surveyor has failed to spot defects in property and clients have purchased a defective property in reliance of the negligent advice.
  • Claims also arise where surveyors give negligent advice in their pre-purchase survey.


Examples of Professional Negligence Claims against Financial Advisers

  • A client sued her financial adviser who gave negligent investment advice. In particular the financial adviser had not correctly identified the clients attitude to risk and negligently advised to invest in high risk investments which subsequently failed.


Procedure for Bringing a Professional Negligence Claim

Most professional negligence claims are concluded without the need to bring court proceedings. This is because negligence claims are governed by a Pre-Action Protocol Procedure which actively encourages settlements without going to court.

Under the protocol, a detailed letter of claim is sent to the negligent professional. Invariably the insurers for the professional become involved at this early stage and a detailed response has to be given within three months.

The parties then have to consider ways of resolving the dispute without court proceedings which, in a large number of cases, involves mediation. In this way, the majority of professional negligence cases can be resolved in a relatively quick and generally cost effective manner.


Funding a Professional Negligence Claim

There are different funding options for dealing with a professional negligence claim. In some cases you  might have insurance which can help you pay for legal fees. 

If you do not have legal expenses insurance, in appropriate cases Samuels Solicitors LLP will share the risk of the litigation with clients by agreeing to act under the terms of a conditional (‘no win no fee’) agreement. However, this is assessed on a case by case basis and is only available to clients who have a strong claim with good prospects of success.


Why choose Samuels Solicitors LLP to help with your Professional Negligence Claim?

Samuels Solicitors LLP have built up an excellent reputation in dealing with professional negligence cases for over 30 years. We act for clients nationwide and beyond.

A “formidable litigator” is how one client described our senior partner Jan Samuel, who has a particular niche specialism dealing with professional negligence claims. Samuels Solicitors LLP now boast a growing team of experience professional negligence lawyers.

If you think you have been let down by a professional, and you have suffered financial loss as a result, contact us for a free initial discussion about how we can help.

As part of that assessment we will identify what steps need to be taken to investigate whether you have a claim.

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