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Professional Negligence Disputes Lawyers in Liverpool & North West London today

Professional Negligence: ADR

Litigation is not the only way to resolve a dispute, nor is it always the best way. There are a number of options for alternative dispute resolution that may provide a more appropriate way for you to settle a professional negligence claim.

Negligence

Whether it is buying a property, setting up or running a business, financial planning, or any number of other situations, at some point in life, almost everyone will need to rely the services of a professional, either for advice, or to complete a specific project.

Very occasionally, something goes wrong, and the services provided by the professional falls short of the standards required of their profession. Where that happens, and where a failure in those standards causes you to suffer substantial financial loss, you may have a claim in negligence against the professional concerned.

To succeed in a professional negligence claim, the person claiming a loss must prove many factors including a duty of care owed, a breach of that duty, loss suffered, and a clear link between the breach and the loss.

Professional negligence claims are complicated, and may well form part of a wider claim including breach of contract and/or (for some professions), breach of a specific duty of trust. Having felt let down by a professional, you will want to be sure that you can rely on your legal team to give you high standards of service, both in the advice they provide to you, and in their efforts to secure compensation for your financial loss.

We can help you with claims concerning:

  • Lawyers (solicitors, barristers and legal executives)
  • Accountants
  • Financial advisers
  • Construction and engineering professionals

The Litigation team at GAD, are highly specialised, and have the expertise and commitment to give you the best possible chance of a successful outcome for your claim.

Professional Negligence claims can be very expensive to run. We will explore with you, all options available for funding your claim and in a suitable case, we may be able to offer a conditional fee funding arrangement (‘CFA’).

Legal Negligence

Solicitors and Chartered Legal Executives both provide legal services directly to their clients; they take instructions, draft documents, correspond with other solicitors and third parties, negotiate on behalf of their clients, conduct litigation, settle disputes, provided advocacy services, complete transactions, collate and assess evidential documents, assess the value of claims and perform other related functions.

All professionals have procedures in place for considering complaints about the services they provide. Raising your complaint with the individual or organisation concerned gives you the opportunity to resolve it quickly and without the costs and risks of litigation. If raising a complaint direct with the professional does not result in a satisfactory resolution of the problem, there are other organisations that can help to resolve disputes.

The Legal Ombudsman will consider complaints about poor service provided by ‘regulated service providers’ which means Solicitors, Chartered Legal Executives, Barristers, and other types of legal professional providing regulated services such as licenced conveyancers, patent attorneys, trademark attorneys, notaries, costs lawyers and other business providing legal services such as claims management companies.

The Legal Ombudsman will not consider allegations of negligence, but there is a considerable amount of overlap between negligence and poor service and a where the Legal Ombudsman makes a finding of poor service, it may support

In terms of remedy, if the Legal Ombudsman finds that the service provider is at fault, he may require the complaint to be resolved including: an formal apology; returning documents; rectifying a problem at its own cost; the refund or reduction of legal fees; the payment of compensation (up to £50,000 though the average for such an award is under £250.00)

Accountants

Accountants may be registered with one of several professional bodies, but the ICAEW and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (‘ACCA’), are amongst the most popular.  Accountants have a “duty of care” to their clients and need to ensure that their work meets a particular standard.

Professional bodies tend to have a complaints procedure where you can make complaints in the event of poor service. However, if you have suffered a financial loss due to your accountant’s advice, you may be able to make a compensation claim. In doing so, it is important to work with a legal professional to secure compensation and help you recover your finances.

Our solicitors have experience in dealing with a claim from the pre-action protocol, through to settlement or, if required, court.

Financial Advisors

Financial advisors have a “duty of care” to their clients. If you feel you have a claim against your financial advisor, it is important to seek expert legal advice from the appropriate solicitor.

GAD have extensive experience of handling a broad range of matters relating to claims against financial advisors including:

  • Failing to ensure that a client can afford the investment;
  • Negligent advice relating to tax avoidance schemes;
  • Negligent advice relating to unsuitable high-risk investment products and unregulated collective investment schemes; and
  • Advising clients on investment products that aren’t suitable for their needs.

Should your circumstances be more appropriate, we can advise on making a claim through the Financial Ombudsman, which assists a variety of individuals and other organisations to resolve a complaint about service, in a wide range of financial services (banking, insurance and other investments). It has a wide range of powers available for resolution of disputes and is empowered to award compensation of up to £150,000 plus costs and interest. The Financial Ombudsman can recommend higher levels of compensation but has no power to enforce the recommendation.

Construction and Engineering Professionals

This category of professionals includes Architects, surveyors, quantity surveyors, building contracts and project managers, and each will have their own professional regulator or association.

Architects are regulated by the Architects Registration Board (‘ARB’). It operates a Code of Conduct and can investigate complaints about professional conduct under its disciplinary powers; however, that process will not provide the complainant with a personal solution, so it cannot order an architect to fix a problem, nor pay compensation, so its use to individual complainants is limited.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (‘RICS’) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (‘ICE’) have the power to consider service complaints.

Other professions are affiliated to their own professional organisations with varying powers to investigate complaints against their members.

Contact our Professional Negligence Disputes Lawyers in Liverpool & North West London today

To get in touch with our litigation and professional negligence team, please call us on 020 8209 0166 (London), or 0151 236 5000 (Liverpool) or complete our online contact form.

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