- Am I contracting with a professional body?
- What do their Terms and Conditions say about their duties to me?
- Where applicable, have I provided them with all of the information available to me so that they may provide me with appropriate advice and make appropriate decisions on my behalf?
- Am I unhappy with the advice/service received?
- Has the advice or conduct of the professional body caused me harm i.e. financially?
A Duty of Care – Professional Negligence Claims on the Rise
It has recently been reported that negligence claims against property solicitors “will continue to rise sharply as the issue of leasehold ground rents come into focus”, John Hyde wrote in the Law Gazette, 18 September 2017. Negligence claims amongst conveyancing practice has unfortunately been prominent for many years. This is evident even with the increased professional indemnity insurance cover that conveyancing practices must meet. The statement made by John Hyde in the Law Gazette specifically relates to leasehold ground rent. The crux of the issue remains a lack of advice/guidance/support given to clients. Trust is placed with your solicitor when they are instructed to conduct a matter for you – no matter the area of law or even the specialism – that they will provide you with the appropriate guidance, advice and support throughout your matter. Solicitors are unfortunately failing in this regard causing harm and loss to you, the client. Claims of professional negligence are unfortunately not limited to that against former solicitors. The list of professionals is extensive. Where a duty of care arises and the professional providing the support and guidance that you are relying upon proves itself to be negligent in this advice or lack thereof and causes you damage and/or harm there may be a claim of negligence worth investigating. Some key points worth remembering when dealing with a professional body and if you are considering a claim of Professional Negligence: