Professional negligence solicitors: Funding and Settling a Dispute
When you make use of the services of a professional, you expect to receive the highest level of skill, expertise and care to cater for your needs. If they go on to breach their contract, fail to perform essential duties or make an error, you could have the right to make a professional negligence claim.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should consider consulting specialised professional negligence solicitors for assistance. Such a solicitor can assess your legal case and inform you whether you have grounds to file a successful claim against a professional for their negligent conduct.
At Annecto Legal, we connect clients with the right professional negligence solicitors and dispute resolution team, as well as securing litigation funding for your case. Our service is designed to ensure that any business or individual that has suffered a financial loss as a result of professional negligence has the best possible opportunity to find redress.
What is professional negligence?
Professional negligence, also known as malpractice or professional misconduct, occurs when a professional fails to meet the standards of care expected in their profession, leading to harm or damage to their client or patient.
This type of negligence is typically associated with a wide range of professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, and other licensed professionals who have a duty of care to their clients or patients. A claim made against a professional will most likely be made against their professional indemnity insurance.
Examples of professional negligence can include medical misdiagnosis or error, legal malpractice, financial mismanagement, fraud, and architectural or engineering design flaws. In general, any professional who fails to perform their duties with reasonable care, skill, and diligence, and as a result, causes harm to their client or patient may be liable for professional negligence.
Am I eligible to make a professional negligence claim?
In order to be eligible to make a professional negligence claim, you must be able to prove the following:
- The professional owed you a duty of care
- The duty of care that was owed was breached
- The breach of duty resulted in a loss whether that being financial or otherwise
- The loss caused was reasonably foreseeable
It is important to note that the eligibility to make a claim may also depend on the type of professional involved, and the specific circumstances of the case. Consulting with a qualified professional negligence solicitor can help determine whether you can bring a professional negligence claim and what the best course of action may be.
What is the role of a professional negligence solicitor?
The role of a professional negligence solicitor is to represent clients who have suffered harm or loss as a result of the negligent conduct of a professional. Their primary aim is to help clients obtain compensation for their losses by pursuing legal action against the negligent party. Specifically, professional negligence solicitors will:
- Assess the validity of the client’s claim: The solicitor will review the client’s case and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a claim of professional negligence. They can provide the legal advice required to proceed with the claims process.
- Gather evidence: The solicitor will assist in gathering all necessary evidence, such as documents, correspondence, and witness statements to support the client’s claim.
- Communicate with the other party: The solicitor will communicate with the other party or their legal representative to negotiate a settlement or prepare for litigation.
- Represent the client in court: If a settlement cannot be reached, the solicitor will represent the client in court proceedings and argue their case before a judge.
Overall, professional negligence lawyers serve as an advocate for clients who have been harmed by the negligent conduct of a professional, helping them to obtain compensation for their losses and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
What is the process of making a professional negligence claim?
The Pre-Action protocol for Professional Negligence for settling a professional negligence claim. The process of making a professional negligence claim typically involves the following steps:
- Consultation with a solicitor: The first step in making a professional negligence claim is to consult with a solicitor who specialises in this area of law. The solicitor will evaluate the case and advise on the likelihood of success.
- Letter of claim: If the solicitor determines that there is a potential claim, they will send a letter of claim to the professional who is alleged to have been negligent. This letter sets out the details of the claim, including the allegations of negligence and the amount of compensation being sought. The professional then has a limited amount of time to respond.
- Evidence: Under the Pre-Action Protocol, parties must identify all issues and ensure adequate evidence has been gathered before proceeding to court.
- Negotiation: Before a claim can be filed at court, the parties must exchange information and negotiate in an attempt to reach a settlement without going to court.
- Issuing a claim: If a settlement cannot be reached using the Pre-Action Protocol, the solicitor can issue a claim at court. The claim form sets out the details of the claim, including the allegations of negligence and the amount of compensation being sought.
- Defence and counterclaim: The professional has a limited amount of time to file a defence and may also file a counterclaim if they believe the claimant is at fault.
- Discovery and witness statements: The parties exchange relevant documents and witness statements in order to prepare for trial.
- Settlement negotiations: The parties may continue to negotiate a settlement at any point before trial.
- Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial, where the judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented.
Funding a professional negligence claim
If you are pursuing a professional negligence case, legal costs can escalate quickly. Therefore, it is essential that you are aware of the funding options that are available to you. Funding professional negligence claims can be a complex process and will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Listed below are some of the options for funding a professional negligence case.
- Conditional fee agreements – Conditional fee agreements (CFAs), also known as ‘no win, no fee agreements’, are a type of funding arrangement that allows individuals to pursue a claim without paying legal fees upfront. Under a no win no fee basis, the law firm agrees to take on the case and only charges a fee if the case is successful. If the case is unsuccessful, the client does not have to pay these legal fees.
- Contingency fee agreement – Some professional negligence solicitors may offer to take on a professional negligence case on a contingency fee basis, which means that they will only charge a fee if they are successful in securing a financial settlement or damages. The fee payable to the solicitor is usually a percentage of the amount recovered, and if the case is unsuccessful, the law firm will not charge a fee.
- After the event insurance – After the event (ATE) insurance is a type of insurance that can provide cover for legal costs in the event that a case is unsuccessful. This option can be particularly useful in cases where the outcome is uncertain, and the costs of losing a case could be significant. ATE insurance is often used with conditional fee agreements.
- Third party litigation funding – In some cases, third party litigation funders may be willing to provide funding for a professional negligence case in exchange for a percentage of any financial settlement or damages awarded. This option can be attractive for individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal fees themselves but have a strong case.
How can Annecto Legal assist?
At Annecto Legal, our professional advisors assist clients in finding the right legal representation for their professional negligence disputes. We commonly assist clients that have suffered at the hands of accountants, architects, barristers/solicitors, brokers, engineers, financial advisors and surveyors. These claims range from negligent financial advice or simple mis-selling, through to poor due diligence around mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or badly drafted sale and purchase (S&P) agreements.
We also assist on cases based upon property valuations incorrectly handled, solicitors costing their clients’ money from missing court deadlines, or poorly drafting contracts or other documents. Our service is designed to ensure that any business or individual that has suffered financially as a result of professional negligence has the best possible opportunity to find redress.
With the right team, it is possible to put in place the appropriate litigation funding and insurance to take the case all the way to court, if necessary. Of course, the preference is always to find a suitable settlement in a reasonable timeframe, but the best way to achieve this is to negotiate from a position of strength. Having the best professional negligence solicitors and being fully funded gives you that strength and forces your opponent to the negotiating table.
If you are in the process of suing a professional or believe a professional has been negligent and want to find out whether you’ve got a claim, then contact Annecto Legal now. We can help find you the right representation, as well as managing your financial risks and sourcing funding for your legal fees.
Unfortunately, because of the high costs of legal actions in the UK, we only assist in disputes which are valued at over £250,000, at the absolute minimum. We would like to be able to help on other claims, but we just don’t have access to any products that can assist on smaller matters
Annecto Legal Ltd, 106 Kennedy Building, Murray Street, Manchester , M4 6HS
0800 612 6587