With well-thought out questions your lawyer can assess the potential of your claim and, in appropriate cases where the prospect of the claim is viable, help you to find suitable funding and manage the financial risk of bringing court proceedings.
Your lawyer will try to help you to achieve a positive outcome from a situation that is challenging and stressful.
Let us help you find the right professional negligence lawyer
You have come to the right place if you have a dispute with your professional adviser.
Every professional owes a duty of care to their client and is expected to offer their services to a high standard with reasonable skill, attention and care. A claim for professional negligence may arise when a professional fails to meet the standards expected of them, or is perceived to have failed to meet them by their client.
To find the right lawyer using the SEARCH first identify the type of professional concerned.
The first button is the right one for you if the professional adviser that you instructed was a solicitor. We will need a bit more information about the area of law that your dispute arises from. For example, if your claim is about the purchase of your home, you should choose ‘Residential Conveyancing’. A list of PNLA lawyer members will appear for you to consider.
If not then use the second button if your claim is against another type of professional. For example, if your dispute is with your accountant, choose ‘Accountant’ and a list of PNLA lawyer members will appear with expertise in bringing claims against this type of professional.
Let us help you find the right professional negligence lawyer. If you need help with your search then contact our helpline 0117 905 5316
You will have agreed with the engaged professional that they would give you accurate advice or information. If they did not give you the correct advice or information and you would have been better off financially if they had done so, then you may have a claim for professional negligence.
PNLA lawyers cover legal jurisdictions in England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. There are differences in the applicable law and procedure so the first step is to choose a lawyer or specialist in the right jurisdiction for your claim.
Many lawyers will travel to meet you. Whether you are a company director or a private individual we can find the right lawyer for you. Our members come from large commercial practices experienced in claims for multi millions, to those who will act for private individuals with claims in the tens of thousands. Many will be happy to act for you whether the claim is for your business or you personally.
There are many scenarios that can lead to a professional negligence claim, and here are just a few of the more common ones that we assist with:
- Buying a property which has a defect in the structure, planning or legal title
- Construction projects where the design or engineering is incorrect
- Bad advice about investments which may be funded by a mortgage or pension
- Transactions where the contract does not include all the terms required
- Company failures arising from breach of statutory duties by directors and officers
- Insolvency mismanagement
- Audits which do not reveal a fraud
- Failed tax schemes promoted by professional advisers
- A will which is ineffective or has unintended tax or other consequences
- Trusts where the money or assets have been misappropriated
- Insurance cover being declined after inadequate advice from a broker
- Personal Injury or other civil litigation where a time limit has been missed or a dispute settled at a level of undervalue.
- A criminal conviction where the lawyer has not put all the defences or evidence before the Court or where police or prison authorities have acted wrongly
- Matrimonial financial provision or family and childcare disputes where there has been inadequate preparation or progress
- Employment disputes which have failed through negligent legal support
- Excessive professional costs being charged when there was alternative funding available or for other reasons of inadequate service
Please seek urgent advice if the dispute happened a long time ago, as claims can become time barred. In England & Wales this is a substantial risk if the claim arose more than six years ago.
You will be able to find a suitable expert in our Specialists section, which covers a wide range of professions, so that you can choose the best expert with the relevant experience for your needs and claim on a ‘like for like’ basis. For example you will need an expert opinion from a surveyor to assess whether your surveyor was negligent.
To assess whether your claim is financially worthwhile, the amount of your loss will be an important factor. This needs to be compared with the legal costs you are likely to pay. For example, in England & Wales no legal costs can be recovered for most types of claims less than £10,000 (the Small Claims limit).
Search for a Lawyer
Can you afford a lawyer?
If you cannot afford to pay then you may have options available to you to support and assist in financing your claim.
- Legal Aid – Legal Aid is available in limited circumstances for individuals on a case-by-case basis from solicitors who are authorised to offer it. The search button ‘Legal Aid’ will identify the solicitors who are authorised.More information about whether you may eligible for Legal Aid can be found here
- Discounted fee – PNLA lawyers may offer a discounted fee for their services and advice. The search button ‘Discounted Fee’ will identify those willing to do so. The types of discount on offer will vary.Some may offer a full ‘no win no fee’ others may offer ‘no win reduced fee’. An up front fee to assess the case may also be required.Conditional Fee Agreements require payment for hourly rates. Damages Based Agreements are based on payment for a percentage of the damages.
Further options to help fund your claim include:
- Legal Expenses Insurance. You should check your various insurance policies such as commercial, motor or household as you may have legal expenses insurance before you contact a PNLA lawyer.
- Litigation Funders/ATE insurance may be available to help if you have a strong claim: see those listed in this section of the Specialists list or ask your lawyer for advice.
- Crowd Justice (for more information see the Quicklink below)
A helpful summary of what you need to do to start a claim is set out in the Professional Negligence Pre Action Protocol http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol/prot_neg
Since 2001 this has been a compulsory procedure in England & Wales, and it is also useful for claims in other jurisdictions as a general guide.
It is designed as a sensible way to start a claim, set out in sections that are clear and easy to understand.
It may be possible to resolve disputes in another way rather than going to Court and typical types of ADR procedures are referred to in the Professional Negligence Pre Action Protocol.
Mediation and adjudication are the most common types of ADR for this type of claim.
Mediation is a flexible procedure and the parties can choose how they would like it to be conducted and select the mediator or an appointing body. Typically all the parties attend at a chosen venue. Each party and their lawyers and other team members will have their own room. There may be a ‘face to face’ session if the parties would like this to happen. The mediator acts as ‘go between’, visiting the parties to try and facilitate a settlement of the dispute.
Adjudication is also a flexible procedure and the parties can choose how they would like it to be conducted and select the adjudicator or an appointing body. The parties generally will invite the adjudicator to read the papers and make a decision. This may be about the whole dispute, or parts of the dispute that are causing a deadlock. Adjudication is a compulsory procedure in some construction disputes (Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996). The Professional Negligence Bar Association has a dedicated adjudication scheme for professional negligence claims. See this link for guidance notes and further information: https://pnba.co.uk/pnba-adjudication-scheme/
The Specialists list includes mediators and adjudicators. Choosing the right one for your case is important.
I cannot find a suitable PNLA lawyer?
The quicklinks below will direct you to other organisations that offer different services. The Law Works and the Bar Pro Bono Unit offer free legal services. Also see the Ombudsmen and Compensation Funds.
If you think a solicitor should be investigated and potentially prosecuted for misconduct then contact the Law Society or Solicitors Regulation Authority for the country concerned. Regulatory bodies for other types of professionals will also be available to offer a similar procedure.
Disclaimer: As an association the PNLA will help you search for a Lawyer or Specialist from those listed on this website. We do no more. We do not give advice. We do not vet or in any way accredit the Lawyers or Specialists. We have not verified their qualifications and identity. We accept no legal responsibility or liability for their service to you.
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Here are a few websites that may be able to offer you further information useful to your claim and circumstances.
England & Wales
- Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS ) https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
- Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) https://www.fscs.org.uk/
- The Legal Ombudsman (England and Wales) https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
- Bar Pro Bono Unit https://www.barprobono.org.uk/
- Law Works Pro Bono Solicitors https://www.lawworks.org.uk/
- Crowd Justice https://www.crowdjustice.com/
- Legal Aid Agency England & Wales – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/legal-aid-agency
- Professional Negligence Pre Action Protocol (England & Wales) https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol/prot_neg
- PNBA Adjudication Scheme https://pnba.co.uk/pnba-adjudication-scheme/
- Solicitors Regulation Authority https://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page
- Solicitors Compensation Fund http://www.sra.org.uk/claim/
- Bar Standards Board https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/
- Scottish Legal Aid Board https://www.slab.org.uk/
- Scottish Legal Complaints Commission https://www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk/
- Law Society of Scotland https://www.lawscot.org.uk/
Republic of Ireland
- Republic of Ireland Legal Aid Board https://www.legalaidboard.ie/en/
- Republic of Ireland Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman https://www.fspo.ie/
- Law Society of Ireland https://www.lawsociety.ie/Public/Complaints-against-solicitors/
Reported judgments from decided professional negligence cases are available from the British and Irish Legal Information Institute: https://www.bailii.org/