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Professional Negligence

In other words, making a claim against your professional adviser

Claims against professional advisers can take many different forms, depending on the type of adviser, and the nature of the advice that is being complained about. These types of claims can stem from any professional advisor but the most common are claims against solicitors, accountants or surveyors.

The critical issue to be determined at an early stage is identifying whether or not you have suffered a financial loss as a consequence of the advice you have received, or lack of it.  It is also important to establish when the advice was given as strict time limits apply to bringing these claims.

Claims of this type are usually not straightforward and require specialist advice not least because the professional adviser will usually have professional negligence insurance and their insurance company will appoint a specialist lawyer to avoid a payment being made.

In order to provide advice on a potential claim we will need to carefully examine the file of papers maintained by your professional adviser and they are not always readily available, especially if outstanding fees remain unpaid.  It is also necessary to establish the nature of the obligations of the professional and in turn what responsibilities and potential liabilities are due to you by them.

Our team is led by Philip Radford who has been pursuing professional negligence claims against a broad range of advisers for over 30 years, with considerable success.  Philip has also acted for the firms where he has been a partner, defending that firm against claims against it and working with the insurer's defence lawyers to respond to any such claims.  This has given him invaluable insight in relation to the tactics and approach adopted by insurers and their solicitors when defending professional negligence claims.

One such claim, recently determined by the Supreme Court, found in BPE's favour and is a landmark judgement which clearly defines, for the first time, the extent of liabilities of lawyers in particular, as well as other professional advisers dependent upon the type of advice they have agreed with their client to provide.

Philip leads the team, supported by John Carter, Senior Associate, who has a wealth of experience including having acted for a national building society, both in-house and thereafter at BPE presenting professional negligence claims against solicitors and valuers. Philip and John are assisted by other members of the team as required.

Our team have all the requisite skills to bring professional negligence claims and also to advise clients on the tactics of commencing and maintaining such claims until settlement.  Using these skills, we are able to identify claims which have little prospect of success at an early stage thereby avoiding disappointment and unnecessary legal fees being incurred.

We work with a number of specialist counsel where court proceedings are required, having built up relationships with them over a considerable number of years.

We will meet with you, or discuss your claim with you over the telephone, without any commitment either way with a view to establishing if the proposed claim has merit and if so exploring with you the appropriate terms for our engagement to present the claim on your behalf. These discussions will include how the case can be funded going forwards.  In order to carry out this initial assessment we do request that a short questionnaire is completed which can be considered by the team prior to the meeting or telephone call.

To find out more about how we can help your business make a claim, please contact our team:

Email: Philip.radford@bpe.co.uk

Call: 01242 248247

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