Complying with the professional negligence pre-action protocol is not compulsory, but anyone who fails to do so will probably end up being penalised by the court, so we always ensure that the protocol is followed.
Under the pre-action protocol, a claimant is required to give the negligent professional full details of the claim being made; including the allegations of the negligent mistake and the loss suffered as a result of that error. This information is contained in the professional negligence Letter of Claim.
The Letter of Claim must be acknowledged by the professional (or their solicitor) within 21 days. They then have a further period in which to investigate the claim against them and submit a formal Letter of Response.
Once this exchange of information has taken place the position should be a lot clearer. The professional may feel compelled to admit liability. Alternatively negotiations may follow on a “without prejudice” basis leading to an out of court settlement of the claim.
The courts are also keen to encourage people to resolve claims against professionals through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation, and this is an option that we consider in all cases.
For more information about the professional negligence pre-action protocol contact us by email or call us on 0808 139 1595