Professional negligence claim against a surveyor
Professional negligence claims against accountants have become increasingly common in recent years as businesses and individuals rely heavily on accurate financial information and advice. Accountants play a crucial role in providing professional services, including auditing, tax planning, and financial reporting. However, errors or omissions in their work can have serious consequences for their clients, leading to financial losses, legal disputes, and damage to reputation.
Professional negligence claims against accountants are complex legal actions that require demonstrating both the accountant’s breach of duty and the resulting harm or losses suffered by the client.
At Annecto Legal, we can put you in touch with professional negligence solicitors who can help you protect your rights and interests and achieve a positive outcome for your case. We can also assist by helping you to secure litigation funding for your case.
Unfortunately, because of the high costs of legal actions in the UK, we only assist in disputes which are valued at 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.
Common causes of professional negligence claims against accountants
Professional negligence claims against accountants can arise from a variety of situations where the accountant fails to meet the expected standard of care in their professional duties. Listed below are some common causes of such claims:
Accounting errors: One of the most frequent causes of professional negligence claims against accountants is the presence of accounting errors. This can include mistakes in bookkeeping, financial statements, tax returns, or calculations, which can result in incorrect financial information being provided to clients. These errors can lead to financial losses, penalties, or legal consequences for the affected individuals or businesses.
Inaccurate advice: Accountants are relied upon to provide accurate and timely financial advice to their clients. When accountants provide incorrect or negligent advice regarding financial investments, tax advice, or other financial matters, it can lead to significant financial losses for their clients. In such cases, clients may pursue professional negligence claims to recover the damages suffered as a result of the accountant’s faulty advice.
Breach of confidentiality: Accountants are privy to sensitive financial information about their clients, and they have a legal and ethical obligation to maintain client confidentiality. If an accountant breaches this duty by disclosing confidential information without authorisation or using it for personal gain, it can lead to significant reputational damage and financial losses for the client.
Failure to meet professional standards: Accountants are expected to adhere to recognised professional standards and guidelines, such as those established by accounting bodies and regulatory authorities. If an accountant fails to meet these standards, it can be considered a breach of their duty of care. This can include failure to follow proper auditing procedures, failure to keep up with changing accounting regulations, or if the accountant fails to prepare and maintain financial records.
Failing to detect fraud: Accountants have a responsibility to exercise professional scepticism and detect any signs of fraud, embezzlement, or financial irregularities. If an accountant fails to identify or report such misconduct, it can result in substantial financial harm to their clients.
If you have suffered a financial loss as a result of professional negligence by an accountant, you could be eligible to make a claim. Each professional negligence claim is unique and requires a careful examination of the specific circumstances involved.
It is important to note that if the accountant is regulated by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, there is a complaints procedure to be followed. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in professional negligence cases can help assess the validity and potential success of a claim against an accountant.
Are there any time limits for bringing a claim?
It is important to be aware of the time limits associated with filing a professional negligence claim against an accountant. Generally, the limitation period is six years from the date of the negligence. However, it is crucial to note that there are exceptions to this rule. We strongly advise taking prompt action as soon as you become aware of any potential negligence to ensure you meet the necessary deadlines.
What is the role of a professional negligence solicitor?
Specialist professional negligence solicitors work to protect the rights and interests of their clients. They do this by providing legal advice, negotiating settlements, and representing them in court if necessary.
With their extensive knowledge of all aspects of professional negligence and their experience in handling disputes, professional negligence solicitors can help clients navigate the complexities of the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Specifically, professional negligence solicitors will:
- Assess the validity of the client’s claim: The solicitor will review the client’s case and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a professional negligence claim. They can provide the legal advice required to proceed with the claims process.
- Gather evidence: The solicitor will assist in gathering all necessary evidence, such as documents, correspondence, and statements to support the client’s claim.
- Communicate with the other party: The solicitor will communicate with the other party or their legal representative to negotiate a settlement or prepare for litigation.
- Represent the client in court: If a settlement cannot be reached, the solicitor will represent the client in court proceedings and argue their case before a judge.
Funding for professional negligence claims against accountants
If you are pursuing a professional negligence claim against an accountant, legal costs can escalate quickly. Therefore, it is essential that you are aware of the funding options that are available to you. Funding professional negligence claims can be a complex process and will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Listed below are some of the funding options for professional negligence claims.
- 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 solicitors may offer to take on a professional negligence claim 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 and contingency fee agreements.
- Third party litigation funding – In some cases, third party litigation funders may be willing to provide funding for a professional negligence claim 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. ATE insurance is often used in conjunction with this type of funding.
How can Annecto Legal assist?
At Annecto Legal, we assist a wide range of clients in finding the right legal representation for their accounting professional negligence disputes. We also ensure the appropriate litigation funding and insurance is put in place to ensure there are no financial barriers.
The preference is always to find a suitable settlement in a reasonable timeframe, but the best way to achieve this is to negotiate from a position of strength. Having high level professional negligence solicitors and being fully funded gives you that strength and forces your opponent to the negotiating table.
If you are in the process of suing an accountant for negligence 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.
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:
Annecto Legal Ltd, 106 Kennedy Building, Murray Street, Manchester , M4 6HS
0800 612 6587