Many individuals and businesses receive advice from trusted advisers. With luck, the relationship with the adviser will last for many years. From time to time, however, professional advisers give poor advice or carry out substandard work. When that happens, we at Battens have the experience and expertise to help to put matters right.
We have brought claims against a range of professionals, for example lawyers, accountants, auditors, surveyors, valuers, architects, engineers, financial advisers and tax advisers.
Professional negligence claims can be expensive. We give full advice in relation to the various funding options. We frequently pursue cases under 'No Win, No Fee' agreements if we assess that there are good prospects of success. We are confident in our ability to analyse and predict likely outcomes. We are also happy to act under existing legal expenses insurance, and we can if necessary obtain specific insurance for a particular case.
Our specialist solicitors have acted successfully for individual and business clients against numerous professionals in different disciplines, with claims ranging in size from £10,000 to over £1 million.
In reality, these claims are generally handled by the adviser's insurers, rather than by the adviser personally. The insurers will normally take a sensible approach when presented with a clear, well-argued case.
Professional negligence claims must follow at the start the pre-action protocols which have been laid down, and we guide clients through that process. Under those protocols, it is necessary to give the professional a detailed statement of the claim and why it is being made, and to give him or her an opportunity to consider and to respond.
If appropriate, we will also advise about making a complaint to the professional's governing body.
If the claim is not resolved at an early stage, we pursue court litigation. We also look at ways to find the best outcome for our clients and have considerable success in negotiations, joint settlement meetings and mediation. In some cases, arbitration may be appropriate.
There can be complicated and strict time limits for issuing court proceedings for professional negligence. It is important to obtain expert advice as early as possible to avoid missing any crucial deadlines.