Professional Negligence FAQ’s


What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence is something done, or something which has not been done but which should have been done, by a professional advisor acting in their professional capacity which is negligent and causes you actual loss or the loss of a chance to obtain a certain result.

Who is considered a professional? 

A wide number of people can be classed as professionals. Examples would include lawyers, accountants, surveyors, architects, financial advisors and so on.

Do I have a claim for professional negligence? 

Whether you have a claim would depend entirely on the circumstances. It is always best to seek legal advice from a professional negligence solicitor to clarify at the earliest possible stage. It is worth looking at what it was the professional was engaged to do and asking whether that result was achieved. If not, why not? It may well be the professional has done something wrong which caused a loss.

What can I claim professional negligence for?

Any losses incurred as a result of the negligent act or omission.

How do I start a professional negligence claim?

First of all by contacting a specialist professional negligence solicitor and seeking their advice. The solicitor will then advise you what to do, how to collect evidence and what happens next.

Are there any time limits on making a professional negligence claim?

There are time limits which apply to professional negligence actions. They vary, and can, depending upon the circumstances, be 3 or 6 years although the time can start to run very early indeed. Specialist legal advice is always needed to clarify when the time starts to run, and if you are still in time to claim.

Can I make a professional negligence claim against my personal injury lawyer if I feel my compensation award was too low?


How long do professional negligence claims take to settle?

If the professional advisor admits liability, your case can usually be resolved within a short space of time – sometimes within a matter of weeks rather than months. If however a trial before a judge is needed to determine whether the professional advisor is at fault, it can take on average 18-24 months to resolve your case. Some cases of particular complexity may take longer than this but that is rare.

What is the Professional Negligence Pre-action Protocol?

The professional negligence pre-action protocol is a series of guidelines which determine how the professional advisor is supposed to respond to the notification of claim made against them. It deals with evidence and response times. Breach of the protocol can lead to various sanctions and the idea is to encourage early sharing of evidence so both the professional advisor and the complainant know where they stand and can assess the respective merits of their cases.

How much does it cost to make a professional negligence claim?

Claims can usually be funded in a number of ways including via trade union membership, via before the event legal expenses insurance or via a ‘no win no fee’ agreement. Your solicitor will explain all of the options for you.

Will I have to appear in court for my professional negligence claim?

There is a chance you will need to appear in court, if the professional advisor refuses to admit fault and a trial before a judge is needed to determine your case. This is quite rare, but does on occasion happen and if bringing a case against a professional advisor you must be prepared for the possibility that you may need to go to Court and explain to the judge why you believe the professional advisor is at fault.


For any other questions relating on making a professional negligence claim, use our free legal advice tool – Ask EAD


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