A professional is a person who is considered to have particular expertise and skills in the services they provide to you. This may be any professional, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, builders, engineers, financial advisors, insurance brokers, architects, accountants, IT professionals, professional trustees and others.
Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required standard. A claim in professional negligence can be based on:
a breach of a contractual term
a breach of duty of care
a breach of fiduciary duty
a breach of a statutory duty
A breach of a duty of care in tort can be brought whether or not you had a contract or not.
For example, it may be negligent for a solicitor to miss an important time limit or fail to advise you properly on an employer’s settlement offer. However, not every error or bad service constitutes negligence.
When you make a claim for professional negligence you will need to demonstrate that the services provided to you by the professional fell below the standards of a reasonably competent professional, having regard to the standards normally expected in their profession.