A solicitor is a professional whom you expect to perform their duties with care and competence. When things go wrong, it can be very distressing and result in financial loss. As professional negligence solicitors, we can help you to take action.
Claims against solicitors
Legal professionals are highly trained and thoroughly regulated. By the very nature of their work, a high degree of trust is placed upon them by their clients. They have a duty of care, which means that they must provide a professional level of service and always act in the best interests of their clients and the courts.
On rare occasions when things do go wrong, and your solicitor fails in their duty of care, you have a right to seek damages. Solicitor negligence could be anything from a key piece of evidence missed to processes, which have not been followed correctly. These errors can cause unnecessary stress, financial losses, a lost opportunity and – potentially – additional legal trouble.
If this sounds familiar, you might be able to instruct a specialist professional negligence solicitor to help. A professional negligence lawyer will let you know if you can successfully make a claim against your solicitor for negligence.
We understand that you have put your trust in legal professionals and that experiencing solicitor negligence after all that you have been through can take its toll on your wellbeing. We can help to secure compensation to make it easier for you to try to overcome what happened.
We are expert professional negligence solicitors who help individuals who have experienced legal negligence to seek the compensation to which they are entitled. By assisting you in making a claim, we give you the opportunity to begin to move on with your life. We appreciate that that the idea of suing a solicitor for negligence may seem like a daunting prospect, which is why we have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help answer any queries that you may have.
What are some examples of legal negligence?
With individuals pursuing legal proceedings over a wide array of issues every year, professional negligence claims against solicitors do occur. Here are just a few of the incidents that can lead to a claim:
- Missing limitation dates — the period after the negligence has occurred in which a claim must be made.
- Providing incorrect legal advice
- Failing to comply with a court order
- Making a procedural error
- Missing an important deadline
- Not properly investigating evidence
- Failing to advise on funding options such as No Win No Fee and legal aid – this is particularly prevalent with some medical negligence law firms
- Instructing inappropriate experts
- Acting against your instructions, causing you loss or loss of opportunity
- Failing to instruct the right barrister to represent you at court
- Under-settling a claim or missing out important items or categories of damages/losses from your claim
- Conveyancing professional negligence
- Failure to conduct a proper investigation during a divorce case leading to an unfair settlement
These are some common reasons for making a professional negligence claim against solicitors. However, this does not include all the reasons for individual pursuing damages. If you cannot see an example that resembles what happened to you, speak to us for a free and in-depth assessment of your circumstances.
Which solicitors can be subject to a solicitor negligence claim?
Any solicitor can have a legal negligence claim made against them if they have failed in their duty of care. Whether they have provided poor legal advice or have not conducted their claim or transaction properly and, as a direct result, the client has suffered a loss, there could be a case made against them.
Some of the areas of legal practice where a claim against a solicitor for negligence can be made include:
- Business solicitors
- Employment solicitors
- Family law solicitors
- Medical negligence law firms and solicitors
- Property solicitors
- Wills and probate solicitors
- Personal injury solicitors
- Commercial and business solicitors
- Litigation solicitors
- Defamation solicitors
This is not an exhaustive list, and all solicitors are accountable for the service that they provide. If you have been the victim of solicitor negligence, you should not delay in pursuing a claim to compensate you for the losses that you have suffered.
How will I know if I have a solicitor negligence claim?
When you hire a solicitor, you expect that the person you have hired is a legal expert whom you can trust to protect your interests at all times. Solicitors who market themselves as having the appropriate qualifications, training and experience, will, understandably, seem like the best team for your legal case. You have every right to expect to receive a service that includes their duty of care as a legal professional.
Therefore, if your legal matter is not handled properly, you might lose faith in legal professionals. This in itself can be extremely damaging if you need their services again. However, if you believe that the solicitor has failed in their duty of care to you and did not meet the standards that you expected of them, you may have a case against them for negligent professional behaviour.
In the UK, the legal profession is regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA), which is responsible for maintaining standards in the profession. One of the main set of standards set out by the SRA is the Solicitor’s Code of Conduct. This provides useful guidance on whether you may have a genuine case for negligence, or if it is a complaint. If you are unsure after checking this or still believe that you have a solicitor negligence claim, speak to us.
Our team of professional negligence solicitors have a strong track record providing legal representation to individuals and families who have suffered financial (and other) losses due to solicitor negligence.
Understanding the difference between a complaint and a claim – how to complain about a solicitor
While claims and complaints about solicitors can be very much connected, it is important to understand that there are key differences to distinguish between the two.
Should you be dissatisfied with the way in which your solicitor handled your case or with the cost of their services, your first port of call should be to complain to the firm that you used directly. If you are wondering how to complain about a solicitor diligently, there are a few simple steps to follow, as per The Law Society:
- Complain as soon as possible
- Be clear on the issue that you have and the resolution that you would like
- Allow eight weeks for a response
- If you are dissatisfied with the response you get, your next step should be to approach the Legal Ombudsman, who can assist with matters of poor communication, billing issues and loss of documents
- You can also report a solicitor to the SRA if you feel that their behaviour has breached the SRA Code of Conduct on grounds of dishonesty, fraud or discrimination
A complaint can be identified as a claim when financial loss occurs because of a solicitor’s breach of duty. However, complaints about solicitors are useful as they can provide valuable insight around a potential claim. However, they should also be considered a separate entity to claims where an internal investigation alone can resolve the issue.
Of course, understanding the grey area of what should be left as an internal complaint and what dictates suing a solicitor for negligence can be incredibly difficult. If you are unclear on where you stand, your best course of action is to contact us with your query, either via phone or filling in a brief form explaining your circumstances. As specialist legal negligence lawyers, we will be able to advise you on whether we think you have a legal negligence case, or just a complaint.
How do I find the right professional negligence lawyer for my claim?
When looking for a legal negligence lawyer to represent you in your professional negligence claim against your solicitor, you should ask a lot of questions to find out more about their level of expertise in claiming against representatives from the legal profession.
Try to find out more about past compensation cases where they have been successful. Also, ask if they have encountered a case like yours before where clients have put forward similar professional negligence claims against their solicitors. For example, if you are looking to bring a claim against child neglect solicitors, it is important that you make sure that they have dealt with this type of case before. If they have, you will also want to know the outcome.
As well as being experienced, the professional negligence lawyer should put you at ease and explain your contract fully, in a jargon-free way. They are going to represent you throughout the process, so you need to be satisfied that they are acting in your best interest and will resolve the case easily – without putting you through any more distress. This is especially important, as you have already had a negative experience with legal professionals.
By choosing an experienced professional negligence solicitor who you trust, you will be able to achieve the compensation you deserve and be in a good position to move on from what happened.
Why choose Been Let Down as your legal negligence experts?
It is in the interests of the legal profession that issues surrounding poor solicitor conduct are resolved. Solicitor negligence can be damaging for the profession so, by making sure that clients are fully compensated, it not only helps those affected by the negligence but also ensures that the public has faith and confidence in legal procedures.
The good news is that Been Let Down specialise in legal negligence claims against solicitors and we have a national reputation for delivering successful client work. We offer the very best representation and a friendly, professional service.
Solicitor negligence is a hugely diverse topic to address – after all, matters of inheritance solicitor negligence are much different from those involved in personal injury. However, we have spent years dealing with all areas of the industry and are extremely well placed to help you with your query, regardless of the sector in which it occurred.
Our highly experienced specialist solicitors are accredited by the SRA. Therefore, you can be sure of a service that meets the very highest standards.
You do not need to worry about us wanting to take on your claim. Just use our short online form or call us on 0800 234 3234 and we will be happy to hear about your situation with no obligation on your part. A member of our specialist legal negligence team will call you back for an initial free consultation. During your consultation, we will advise you on whether you have a case and, importantly, what happens next.
How much will a professional negligence claim against a solicitor cost?
If you are thinking about making a claim, the issue of legal costs will probably be a key consideration – especially if you have already suffered financial losses due to the negligent conduct of a solicitor. As such, we understand that you will be even more wary of paying out more money to legal professionals due to your recent negative experience.
The good news is that we offer our clients financial peace of mind. When we take on a solicitor negligence claim, we are usually able to provide our legal representation on a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), more commonly known as No Win No Fee.
If we agree to take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis and the case is not successful, there will be no charge. However, if the claim is not successful, you may have to cover the defendant’s costs. If we think that this may happen, we will recommend that you take out After the Event insurance, which acts as a safety net to cover these costs.
In the event of a successful outcome, we charge a success fee, which will be a mutually agreed percentage of final damages awarded. Due to our experience and specialist knowledge, we are confident that we can beat the terms offered by other professional negligence solicitors and legal firms, and still provide the very best service and professionalism.
How do I make a solicitor negligence claim?
The first stage is to get in touch with us. Unlike other firms in this field, once you have submitted an initial claim, either online or by phone, a member of our specialist legal team will contact you. All initial consultations are free.
We are always empathetic to your situation and your needs. You can contact us on a no-obligation basis, and we will listen to the details of your case and give you our professional opinion. Then, it is up to you whether you would like to go ahead. We will never pressure you into making a legal negligence claim; that decision is yours and yours alone.
Assessing solicitor negligence
In assessing your case, we look to establish grounds for negligence as opposed to a complaint. So, if you believe that your solicitor or other legal representative has not given advice or failed to meet their duty of care in other ways, and that you have suffered loss or harm (usually financial) as a result, then you may well have a case for solicitor negligence.
We will work with you from day one to establish if negligence has taken place. We will help to assess any existing documentation and/or other evidence to which you have access. Therefore, it is essential that you retain records of all correspondence with your solicitor, as this will be used as proof that they acted negligently, and it will show us where we can prove your case.
If we do decide to take on your solicitor negligence case, we will explain to you what happens next and talk to you about whether we think that we can pursue it on a No Win No Fee basis.
Is there a time limit for making a solicitor negligence claim?
While there are exceptions, the general rule is that, if you want to make a professional negligence claim against your solicitors, this needs to be done within six years after the negligent act took place, or three years from when you discovered it.
While this is substantially longer than the three-year limit that usually applies to personal injury claims, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible after the negligence took place. This is because it is more likely to be fresh in your memory and you are more likely to have all the documentation related to what happened to hand.
Contact us today
If you want to know more about professional negligence claims against solicitors and believe you may have a legitimate claim, please get in touch with us on 0800 234 3234, by requesting a call back, or by filling out the online claims form. One of our expert legal negligence lawyers will be happy to help you.