Claims for professional negligence or breach of contract against accountants arise from various different aspects of accountancy work carried out on behalf of both individuals and businesses.
We are most commonly instructed in relation to negligent tax advice, successfully pursuing claims relating to VAT, corporation tax and inheritance tax.
However, we have also recovered compensation against accountants in claims relating to more general advice, to advice on corporate governance, to matters connected with purchases and sales of businesses and of business assets, to auditing, and to a range of other accountancy work.
Claims may arise in relation to non-accountants providing accounting services, such as book-keepers.
Although chartered and certified accountants have to be insured, not all of those providing accounting services are. Investigation may be needed to ensure there are assets to claim against. Good money should not be thrown after bad.
In principle, claims against accountants are likely to need supportive evidence from independent expert accountants who can say that the defendant accountant was negligent. Equally, we have concluded a high percentage of claims without such evidence where the strength of the case advanced has led to liability being accepted. The need for expert evidence varies from case to case. We will advise, based upon our expertise, whether or not a sound case can be advanced without it.
It is highly likely that claims can be funded on a “No Win, No Fee” basis. Legal expenses insurers are also often happy to fund our bringing such claims.
Losses caused by negligent accountancy work are often substantial and in the case of businesses, we often pursue six figure sums. However, even smaller claims may involve significant effects experienced by clients. We take considerable care to properly identify relevant losses and ensure that appropriate compensation is recovered.