Litigants in person in professional negligence claims
In the event that you believe you have strong grounds for pursuing a claim for professional negligence, whether it is against a lawyer, barrister, architect, accountant, surveyor, valuer, or other professional, you may wish to represent the claim yourself, without instructing a lawyer. Below are listed some of the reasons a claimant might decide to take this course of action.
The expense of litigation
Ever since April 1 2013, due to changes brought about by a change in legislation, claimants have lost the right to make no-win, no-fee professional negligence claims. This means that, without recourse to this flexible and more accessible form of funding, some claimants are genuinely unable to pursue a claim unless they represent it themselves, as a “litigant in person.”
A belief the case is straightforward
Unfortunately, it is rarely if ever the case that a claim is so straightforward that it doesn’t need careful and expert analysis of the information and the law as it relates to the facts. Believing that a case is effectively “closed” and settled before it has gone to court and will not therefore require the expertise of a professional negligence lawyer is, at best, likely to be misguided.
Distrust of the legal profession
Some claimants, understandably if they are looking to pursue a claim for negligence because of the actions of solicitor, barrister, lawyer or legal advisor, believe that all within the legal profession are out to dupe them and to “milk them” for money – that they are effectively charlatans.
The key here is for claimants to undertake sufficient research until they find a trusted and established firm, perhaps through personal recommendation, and to then look into what flexible funding arrangements are available.
A belief in superior or equal ability
Although there are rare instances of litigants in person who have the full complement of skills and knowledge to represent themselves, in the vast majority of instances it is unlikely that the claimant will have the specialised knowledge necessary to give his or her professional negligence claim the best chance of success.
That said, there are people whom will have enough time and dedication to give themselves a good chance of success.
Healys LLP professional negligence lawyers
At Healys LLP our partners aim to resolve disputes as amicably as possible while keeping costs low and protecting the client’s interests.
However, not all claims for negligent legal advice can be settled through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution – as such, our partners are prepared to take robust action through the courts if it means advancing the client’s interests.
We can provide advice on all matters relating to a claim for professional negligence, whether it is against a legal professional, an accountant, a real estate agent or surveyor or, indeed, any other professional.
For cost effective advice from our specialist team contact us by using our call-back form, email a partner, or call directly on 020 7822 4106.