Helping you when you have been let down by a professional
We turn to professionals when we need expert advice or a specialist service: whether it is an engineer to ensure a building is safe, an accountant to check we are not paying too much tax or a solicitor to record our wishes in a will.
We trust professionals to take care of us and, in most cases, they do. However, it is an unfortunate fact that, on occasions, things do go wrong and the standard of care we receive is not as good as it should be.
When a professional lets us down, the consequences can be serious: we may lose money or the opportunity to do something, our loved ones may suffer if our wishes are not carried out and, in some cases, we could face the risk of a fine or prosecution.
Dealing with these consequences can be difficult, but with the help of our expert dispute resolution lawyers we can make the process easier to cope with.
How Hancock Quins Solicitors can help
The first step is to find out what has gone wrong and why. By doing this we can determine whether the mistake can be put right and if compensation should be paid.
Compensation for what is known as ‘professional negligence’ will usually be payable if you can show that the professional you used acted in a way that no other professional in their circumstances would have acted, or they failed to act in accordance with recognise standards of practice, and you have suffered as a result.
The next step is to do anything we can to ease the consequences of what has happened. This might mean, for example, making a building safe where there is an immediate danger of it collapsing or paying outstanding interest and penalty charges (due, for example, to HMRC) where there is an imminent risk you might be sued.
Once we have ensured that we have done all we can to limit any damage that has been caused, we then move on to discussions with the professional and their insurer about what needs to be done to compensate you for what has gone wrong.
Where it is obvious that the advice or service you have received is not what it should have been, discussions about compensation can be concluded relatively quickly and an appropriate payment made, along with an agreement to carry out any required remedial action.
In other cases, things may not be so clear cut and disagreement may exist about who was at fault and the extent of any damage caused and whether compensation is due. In this case, our dispute resolution lawyers will work hard to present a strong case on your behalf and use a variety of techniques to try to resolve the matter, including informal negotiation, mediation and, if necessary, court proceedings.
Whatever action proves necessary, we will ensure that your position is protected and that all the requirements under the pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims - which needs to be followed before a claim is made at court – are fully observed and complied with.