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How to Prove Professional Negligence

How to Prove Professional Negligence

how to prove professional negligence

Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to perform their duties competently, resulting in harm or damage to their client or patient. Whether it is a negligent solicitor, insurance broker, accountant, financial advisor, or any other professional, individuals rely on their expertise to provide competent services. However, a professional breaching their duties can lead to significant consequences.

If you suspect that a professional has failed in delivering a service to you, you might consider consulting with a solicitor specialising in professional negligence for advice and support.Top of Form These solicitors have the expertise to assess your legal circumstances and determine whether you have sufficient grounds to proceed with a viable claim against the negligent professional.

One of the main components of making a professional negligence case is understanding how to prove professional negligence. At Annecto Legal, we connect clients with the right professional negligence solicitors and dispute resolution team to handle their claim effectively. Additionally, we can assist in securing litigation funding for your case.

Our services are tailored to ensure that businesses or individuals who have suffered financial losses or damage due to professional negligence have the best possible chance of seeking compensation.

How to prove professional negligence


Proving professional negligence typically involves several key steps:

  • Establishing duty of care: The first step in proving professional negligence is to demonstrate that the professional owed a duty of care. This duty is often implied in professional-client relationships, but it needs to be clearly defined based on the circumstances of your case.
  • Breach of duty: Once duty of care is established, you must show that the professional breached this duty by failing to meet the required standard of care expected in their profession. This could involve demonstrating errors, omissions, or failures to act that a reasonable professional in the same field would not have made.
  • Causation: You need to establish a direct link between the professional’s breach of duty and the harm or loss you suffered. This means proving that the negligence directly caused the adverse outcomes you experienced. Under the Pre-Action Protocol for professional negligence, parties must identify all issues and ensure adequate evidence has been gathered before court proceedings take place.
  • Damages: Finally, you must quantify the damages or losses incurred as a result of the professional’s negligence. This could include financial losses, emotional distress, physical harm, or any other adverse effects stemming from the negligence.

Choosing the right solicitor

When considering the process of proving professional negligence, it is crucial to acknowledge the significance of selecting the appropriate solicitor for your case.

When making a claim for professional negligence, it is not essential to instruct the most expensive solicitor; however, your typical high street solicitor may not be the best choice either.

It is imperative to select a solicitor with the relevant specialisation for your case to ensure the most favourable outcome. You should opt for a solicitor with the experience and expertise required to prove professional negligence in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Furthermore, considering how your solicitor will be perceived by the opposing party is essential.

Moreover, you might want to evaluate your solicitor’s willingness to work on a risk-sharing basis and their experience in dealing with legal funders and insurers. These factors can significantly impact the trajectory and success of your case.

The time limit for professional negligence claims begins six years from the date of your loss. Seeking guidance from an expert professional negligence solicitor as soon as possible will ensure that the claim is made within the specified limitation period. It is also important to seek guidance promptly as an expert evidence report may be required, which may take time.

Funding a professional negligence claim

Funding professional negligence claims can present a complex process and will rely on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. Below are some of the options for funding a professional negligence case.

  • Conditional fee agreements – Conditional fee agreements (CFAs), also known as ‘no win, no fee agreements’, are a type of funding arrangement that allows individuals to pursue a claim without paying legal fees upfront. Under a no win, no fee basis, the law firm agrees to take on the case and only charges a fee if the case is successful. If the case is unsuccessful, the client does not have to pay these legal fees. 
  • Contingency fee agreement – Some professional negligence lawyers may offer to take on a professional negligence case on a contingency fee basis, which means that they will only charge a fee if they are successful in securing a financial settlement or damages. The fee payable to the solicitor is usually a percentage of the amount recovered, and if the case is unsuccessful, the law firm will not charge a fee.
  • After the event insurance – After the event (ATE) insurance is a type of insurance that can provide cover for legal costs in the event that a case is unsuccessful. This option can be particularly useful in cases where the outcome is uncertain, and the costs of losing a case could be significant. ATE insurance is often used with conditional fee agreements.
  • Third party litigation funding – In some cases, third party litigation funders may be willing to provide funding for a professional negligence case in exchange for a percentage of any financial settlement or damages awarded. This option can be attractive for individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal fees themselves but have a strong case.

How can Annecto Legal assist?

Understanding how to prove professional negligence can be a complex task, which is why it is vital to have an expert on your side.

At Annecto Legal, our team of professional advisors help clients to identify suitable legal representation for their professional negligence cases.

If you are thinking about bringing a professional negligence claim or believe a professional has been negligent and want to find out whether you’ve got a claim, then contact Annecto Legal now. We can help find you the right representation, as well as managing your financial risks and sourcing funding for your legal fees.

Unfortunately, because of the high costs of legal actions in the UK, we only assist in disputes in which the financial value of the claim is over £250,000, at the absolute minimum. We would like to be able to help on other claims, but we just don’t have access to any products that can assist on smaller matters.

Get in touch

* Annecto Legal can only assist on case where the loss is in excess of £100,000, with the exception of data breach claims. If you need assistance on a claim worth over £100,000, please get in touch using our form or the details below:

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Annecto Legal Ltd, 106 Kennedy Building, Murray Street, Manchester , M4 6HS


0800 612 6587


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