Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Professional Negligence

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What is professional negligence?

Professionals are required to exercise reasonable skill and care when going about their duties. However, ‘reasonable’ is a wide-open term and there is a big difference between receiving ‘negligent’ service and simply receiving a ‘poor’ service that does not have a significant consequence for the business.

The latter might give rise to a complaint and a change of professional advisors – you don’t want to throw good money after bad, after all – but it would not qualify for a professional negligence claim.

Who can you make a professional negligence claim against?

You can make a claim against any types of professional including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Solicitors negligence
  • Barristers negligence
  • Negligence by accountants
  • Financial advisor negligence
  • Negligence by tax consultants
  • Surveyors negligence
  • Architects negligence
  • Insurance brokers negligence
  • Negligence by engineers


Each of these professions has its own professional standards and codes of conduct that members are expected to live up to. These standards are a good objective starting point for determining whether someone has delivered a negligent service, or merely a poor service. However, professional negligence is a complex area of commercial disputes which often turns on technical issues of fact and law.

For example, a tax advisor may give tax structuring advice that costs you money. However, loss alone does not constitute grounds for a professional negligence claim. To show negligence, you would have to prove that the advice you received was not consistent with advice that another reasonable tax advisor would have given. That will often require expert evidence from an independent expert.

Do you have a professional negligence claim?

The best way to find out if you are eligible to make a professional negligence claim is to have a chat with one of our specialist professional negligence solicitors. Our commercial disputes team have a first-rate reputation for providing advice in professional negligence disputes. Together, we will explore your options, including fast and cost-effective alternative dispute resolution to fulfill your needs and objectives.

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