Among professionals, barristers are some of the most highly trained, and their knowledge of the law is extensive. You should expect their expert skills, representation and knowledge to be used in your case, whether you have instructed them under the direct access scheme, or through your solicitor.
As with all professionals, unfortunately, sometimes mistakes happen. In fact, recent reports suggest that complaints about misconduct by barristers are on the rise. In some cases, you may have a professional negligence claim against a barrister.
What is professional negligence?
In some cases, a barrister may have provided poor service, but may not be negligent. In those cases, you may be able to report the barrister to his chambers, the Bar Standards Board and/or the Legal Ombudsman.
Professional negligence occurs where a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required expectations. It is careless conduct, and a failure to reach these expectations, which ultimately results in a loss caused by this negligence.
We look in more detail at what professional negligence is here.
Duty of care
Professionals owe their clients a duty of care. This means that they are to perform their duties to the reasonable standard expected, and treat their clients with due care and attention.
If a barrister acts negligently and has, for example, given you poor advice on a point of law; incorrectly drafted court documents; or failed to provide the expected standard of representation in court in your case, the outcome can be shattering with lasting effects and financial loss.
Are barristers immune from legal action?
Certainly not. Historically, barristers were immune from being sued in order to protect their reputation. However, the law changed in 2000. This means that people can now bring professional negligence claims against barristers.
How long do I have to make a claim?
The limitation period in most professional negligence cases is six years which starts from the date of the negligence. This can however be extended in certain cases when the negligence only becomes apparent at a later stage.
Making a claim against a barrister
If you have suffered a financial loss because of the negligent actions of your barrister, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. If your solicitor instructed the barrister, there is a possibility that you may also have a professional negligence claim against your solicitor.
Our expert professional negligence solicitors will be able to determine if your barrister has help you find the best remedy to recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a FREE initial consultation on 0800 9887756.