My solicitor has been negligent

My solicitor has been negligent. If you think your solicitor has acted in a way that you consider to be negligent, for example, they have made an error or mistake that has, or is likely to, cause you financial loss, you may wish to bring a claim for professional negligence.

Prior to bringing a claim, we would recommend you take the following steps:

Raise the issue with your solicitor in writing

We would recommend you ask for their written response setting out what their reasons for their actions were and how they intend to rectify any problems caused. It may be the case that you can amicably resolve any issue that has arisen without more formal action.

Make a complaint to the complaints officer at the solicitors firm

Every firm of solicitors has a person who is designated to assess complaints made by clients regarding their solicitor’s conduct. They will consider your complaint and the actions taken by the solicitor and make an assessment as to whether they think the solicitor should have acted differently.

If they conclude that your solicitor has acted below the professional standard and that this has caused you a loss, they may look to offer recompense such as a write-off of outstanding fees or a refund of fees paid to them so far.

However, this may not adequately compensate you for the loss that has been caused and you should be careful not to accept any refund or payment from your solicitors in response to a complaint in full and final settlement of the matter.

If you do, you may be limiting your ability to bring a claim for a professional negligence claim, which may include further losses other in addition to a refund of legal fees.

Request your file

If you have not received a reasonable response to your complaint, or the response received does not rectify the problem or adequately compensate you for any loss caused, we would recommend you request your full file of papers from your solicitor.

If there are no fees outstanding, your solicitor must provide you with your file upon request. If fees are outstanding, solicitors can hold what is called a ‘lien’ over your file, whereby they do not have to release your file until all fees are paid.

A copy of your file will be required in order to assess whether your solicitor has acted negligently.

Contact us for legal advice

We can review your previous solicitor’s file to establish whether the actions your solicitor has (or hasn’t) taken would satisfy the requirements to have an actionable claim in professional negligence and if so, what the prospects of success may be. In some cases of particular complexity, we may need to obtain the advice of a barrister to comment on prospects and/or the value of your claim.

We are able to offer flexible funding options which may include “no win no fee” arrangements in certain circumstances.

Contact us

If you want to discuss your potential professional negligence claim further, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our disputes team today either by:

Alternatively, you can add your contact details in the box below and a member of our team will get in touch.

Whatever the problem, whatever the profession – we are here to help.

Negligence claims against Solicitors

For more information please see our FAQ page