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Making a Negligence Claim Against a Solicitor
Making professional negligence claims against Solicitors (along with negligence claims against barristers) is one of our core areas of practice.
Of all the professional negligence claims we deal with on a day-to-day basis, solicitors negligence claims are the most common.
Areas of solicitors negligence we deal with
Our team of professional negligence lawyers are experienced in representing claimants who have suffered loss as a result of their solicitor’s negligence. We deal with negligence claims relating to all aspects of a solicitor’s practice. You name an area of law and the chances are that we will have sued a solicitor for negligence in that field. For example, we have recent experience of making claims against solicitors in the following areas of practice:-
- Personal injury
- Commercial property
- Will preparation
- Residential conveyancing
- Commercial litigation
- Employment law
- Clinical negligence and medical negligence
We even have experience in dealing with cases where professional negligence claims have gone wrong!
Common types of solicitors negligence
No two solicitors negligence claims are ever the same. Different issues arise in each case, which is what makes this area of law so fascinating. However, there are a number of scenarios that crop up on a regular basis. Here are some of the usual suspects:-
- A solicitor has missed a limitation date or key date
- A claim has been struck out by the court due to solicitor error
- A solicitor has failed to identify a defect in the title to your property
- A mistake has been made in drafting a lease
- A personal injury claim has been undersettled
- The wrong party has been sued
- A solicitor has failed to administer a deceased’s estate correctly
- There has been a failure to serve a Notice by a given deadline or on the correct party
- A conveyancing solicitor has failed to advise about planning permission or building regulations
- A Will has not been drafted properly
These are just a few of the most common scenarios among the solicitors negligence claims we have dealt with.
The benefits of using solicitors with a broad range of legal experience
Most professional negligence claims involve expert evidence. So, for instance, in a surveyors negligence claim the parties will usually obtain a report from an expert in surveying. The same goes for most other areas of professional negligence, with the exception of solicitors negligence claims. Because we are solicitors ourselves (and the judge will be a solicitor or a barrister) it is rare for expert evidence to be used in solicitors professional negligence claims. It is therefore important that solicitors dealing with these cases have a good all-round knowledge of the law. While the professional negligence lawyer cannot be an expert in every field of law, it certainly helps if they have a wide ranging knowledge of the various areas of practice. Our professional negligence solicitors have an excellent general legal background having practised within different areas of law earlier in their careers, giving them valuable insight into the subject matter on a spectrum of solicitors negligence claims.
Because we are a broad based legal firm, we are able to call upon the expertise of our colleagues in other departments. Many of our lawyers have developed an expertise in offering the professional negligence team guidance on good practice within their own specialised fields and are able to flag up issues that are likely to be relevant when assessing whether a solicitor has acted in breach of their duty of care.
The difference between 'negligence' and 'inadequate service'
When making a negligence claim against a solicitor it is important to distinguish between 'negligence' and 'inadequate service'. There is often an overlap between the two concepts. Delay for instance is a common cause for complaints. In many cases this simply amounts to inadequate service, but delay can also be serious and lead to material financial loss. If this is the case then a claim for compensation for solicitors negligence can be made.
Where the problem is restricted to poor service then the client might be best advised to deal with the matter using the solicitor’s own complaints system. And if that does not resolve the dispute then the case can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) who is responsible for dealing with complaints against solicitors. The Legal Ombudsman has the power to award compensation against the solicitor for inadequate service. But where the allegations are more far reaching, involving negligence and significant financial loss then the LeO will probably recommend that a firm of solicitors specialising in professional negligence is consulted.
How we can help you make a negligence claim against a solicitor
So, If you have been let down by a solicitor and have suffered financial loss as a result then contact us now for a FREE assessment of your solicitors negligence claim.
One of our specialist solicitors will assess the merits of your claim and offer you guidance on legal liability, causation and loss. We will also be able to advise you on funding options, including No Win-No Fee.
Sometimes it is necessary for us to obtain the negligent solicitors’ original file of papers in order to properly evaluate the case. The solicitors’ file may contain a lot of useful evidence in the form of documents, letters and attendance notes that you may never have seen. We can apply for the file ourselves and can send or email you a form of authority to sign so that no time is wasted. Furthermore, we can often do this without charge to you. It is only if the documents are particularly voluminous that we sometimes have to charge a fee.