What is professional negligence?

At Levi Solicitors LLP, we have an extremely experienced professional negligence team, which has helped hundreds of people who have suffered financial loss after a professional person has let them down.

Over a series of blogs, we will be looking at the ins and outs of professional negligence claims: What is professional negligence; What is professional indemnity insurance; and what can be done if you find yourself in a dispute with a professional over work they have carried out for you?

What is professional negligence?

Simply put, “professional negligence” occurs where you hire someone to carry out professional services for you, and that person fails to perform his responsibilities to the required standard. For example, where an accountant gives incorrect financial advice, or an insurance broker organises insurance that is not fit for purpose.

Who is a “professional”?

A professional is someone who has particular expertise and skills in the services he provides. The phrase covers an extensive range of occupations, but could include builders, architects, surveyors, tax advisors, barristers, solicitors, engineers, financial advisors, insurance brokers, accountants and IT professionals.

Do I have a claim?

You may have a claim against a professional, for example, if you are unhappy with the service he has provided; if he has omitted to do something that he was supposed to do; or if you did not receive the result that the professional led you to expect; and as a result of this, you have suffered a financial loss.

You will need to be able to show more than just an error by the professional, but further that the services he provided fell below the standards of a reasonably competent professional. Whether this test is passed will depend upon the facts of each case.

If this is established, there are a further three elements that you will have to prove:
– That the professional involved owed you a duty of care,
– That the professional breached that duty of care, and
– That the breach caused a loss to you.

If you are able to show all of these elements, you may have the makings of a professional negligence claim. We will look next time at how a professional negligence claim works.

If you are unhappy with the service provided to you by a professional, call 0113 297 3187 to speak to Steven Newdall, the head of our professional negligence team, to arrange a free consultation.