Professional Negligence Claims Against Barristers

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Our professional negligence team can help you claim against a negligent barrister.

When you instruct a barrister, you should expect the highest standards of service. However, if the barrister’s service lets you down, causing you to suffer financially, you may have a professional negligence claim against your barrister.

At Levi Solicitors, we have a specialist team of professional negligence solicitors. We can advise you and help you claim compensation from a barrister that has been negligent. Our advice will be tailored to your circumstances, and we always take a practical approach.

If you have instructed a barrister (whether through a solicitor, or by direct access), and you feel that the advice or representation that they gave you was not up to the professional standard that you expected, we can help.

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Types of claims against solicitors

Our professional negligence lawyers can provide a range of support and knowledge, including:

Suing A Barrister

Our team of specialist professional negligence solicitors has huge experience in advising individuals and companies on professional negligence claims. Our team are members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association and can help you if your barrister’s negligent advice or actions have caused you loss.

We appreciate that the idea of suing a barrister can be overwhelming. And therefore, you are likely to have many questions about your rights and the processes. When you work with Levi Solicitors, you will receive bespoke support every step of the way.

 

Barrister Duty Of Care

All professionals, including barristers, owe their clients a duty of care. This means that they must perform their jobs to a reasonable standard and with reasonable care. However, if your barrister’s advice or actions fall below the standard that you should reasonably expect, you may be able to make a professional negligence claim against your barrister.

Our first step will be to establish whether your barrister has breached their duty of care. Where you have instructed the barrister through your solicitor, we will advise you whether you have a professional negligence claim against your solicitor as well. Where we believe you have a case, we can discuss funding and the next steps.

If you do not have the basis of a professional negligence case, we may still be able to guide you to make a complaint against your barrister, depending on the circumstances.

Barrister Professional Negligence

If you have a legal matter, it is not uncommon to instruct a barrister. Some barristers accept instructions from businesses and individuals direct (known as direct access). More often, however, your solicitor will have instructed a barrister to provide expert advice on a matter or advocacy at court. If your solicitor instructed the barrister in question, we can advise you whether you may have a professional negligence claim against both your solicitor and your barrister.

For the most part, barristers provide an exceptional level of service. However, sometimes standards slip, letting you down and causing you a loss. Examples of barrister negligence include:

  • Being given incorrect advice in a written opinion
  • Being given incorrect legal advice by a barrister in a client conference
  • Sub-standard advocacy at Court
  • Errors in drafting legal documents. For example, missing arguments or facts or pleading the wrong sections of the law
  • Acting outside the scope of their instructions
  • The barrister misrepresenting your position whether in documents or in court.

If you feel you have a claim against a barrister, it is important to seek advice from a specialist professional negligence solicitor. There are strict time limits for professional negligence claims, including those against barristers. Generally, this is six years. However, there are some exceptions, so it is worth getting in touch to discuss your claim. We always recommend that you contact us as soon as you become aware of any negligence.

Complaints Against Barristers

If you have a complaint about a barrister’s service, you may be able to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. As part of our advice, we will consider whether you may have a valid Legal Ombudsman complaint.

The Bar Standards Board may be able to assist with complaints about your barrister, or a barrister or barristers’ chambers that were not representing you.

Even if you have had a negative decision from the Legal Ombudsman, we may still be able to help you.

Frequently asked questions about professional negligence claims against barristers

Can I make a claim against my barrister
If your barrister has caused you to suffer financial loss (which we can help identify), you may be able to sue your barrister for negligence. For a successful professional negligence claim, you must be able to show that the barrister breached their duty of care to you and that you suffered loss as a result.

To bring a professional negligence claim against your barrister, you will need to show that:

  • Your barrister’s work was below the standard that you should reasonably expect from a barrister. This is known as a breach of duty of care.
  • The poor advice, representation or drafting caused you to suffer a financial loss.

If you have instructed your barrister through a solicitor, it may be appropriate to bring a claim against both your barrister and your solicitor. We will advise you on the right parties to your claim, and the strength of any claim you might have.

How do I make a negligence claim against a barrister?
The first step would be to speak to a solicitor that specialises in professional negligence claims.

In an initial conversation with one of our professional negligence solicitors, we will discuss the circumstances of your case. If it appears that you have the basis of a claim, we will gather the appropriate evidence, and start to build your case.

On what grounds can you sue a barrister?
Barristers owe a duty of care to all the clients they work with, meaning that they should provide proficient legal advice and advocacy. Where a barrister’s actions are substandard, and you suffer a loss as a result, this is considered a breach of that duty of care.

Under these circumstances, you may have grounds to sue your barrister, on the grounds that the owed duty of care was breached.

Cases like these are referred to as instances of professional negligence. To bring a professional negligence claim against a barrister, you will need to instruct a solicitor to assess, build and pursue your claim, eventually securing compensation if successful.

What are types of barrister negligence?
Barrister negligence can occur in a number of ways. These include:

  • Giving incorrect legal advice in an opinion
  • Giving incorrect legal advice in a client conference
  • Poor representation in a court hearing because the barrister was negligent on a point of law
  • Poor drafting of legal documents
  • Poor representation in a court hearing due to the poor drafting of court documents
  • Poor representation in a mediation, arbitration or adjudication
  • Acting outside the scope of their instructions
  • Misrepresenting your position (whether in documents, in a court hearing or otherwise). This could be by incorrectly stating your position or withholding information that could have been useful.
Is there a time limit to make a barrister negligence claim?
Yes, in most cases you have six years to issue a professional negligence claim. The time frame begins when the negligence occurred, or when you first experienced the loss, depending on what’s appropriate to the case.

There are certain circumstances where a different time frame might be applied. For example, if you only discover the barrister’s professional negligence after the six-year time frame, you will have three years to make a claim, starting from the date of knowledge.

As the time frames can differ, it is important that you speak to a specialist professional negligence solicitor as soon as you become aware that your barrister may have been negligent.

How much can I sue my barrister for?
Professional negligence claims are usually claims for damages. This refers to an amount which can compensate you for the loss you suffered. The aim is to put you into the position that you would have been in, had it not been for the negligent barrister.

It is hard to determine exactly how much compensation you can receive for a claim against a barrister. At Levi Solicitors, we handle claims between £10,000s to £1,000,000s.

Professional Negligence Team

Ed Smith

Partner

0113 297 1875
 esmith@levisolicitors.co.uk

Ed is head of our professional negligence department and a member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association. Read More.

Gemma Horner

Partner

0113 468 4099
 ghorner@levisolicitors.co.uk

Gemma is a partner in our Dispute Resolution team, based at our Leeds City Centre office. Read More.

Zoreen Aziz

Solicitor

0113 532 7184
 zaziz@levisolicitors.co.uk

Zoreen is a solicitor in our Dispute Resolution team, based at our Leeds City Centre office. Read More.

Amelia Fragola-Hunt

Dispute Resolution Paralegal

0113 297 3187
 afragolahunt@levisolicitors.co.uk

Amelia Fragola-Hunt is a Dispute Resolution paralegal in our Leeds office. Read More.

Sasha Taylor-Bolshaw

Dispute Resolution Paralegal

0113 297 3187
 stbolshaw@levisolicitors.co.uk

Sasha Taylor-Bolshaw is a Dispute Resolution paralegal in our Leeds office. Read More.

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