Although it can be very difficult to proceed with a professional negligence claim against a solicitor, barrister or lawyer, it is worth bearing in mind that, despite being formidable opponents in a dispute, sensible legal professionals will also understand that when the odds are not in their favour, it is advantageous to reach early and amicable settlement without making recourse to the courts. As such, when faced with the prospect of lengthy and expensive litigation as well as – crucially – damage to reputation, a legal firm can, with the right prompting, be persuaded to settle a case at the early stage.
However, as a result of costs, damage to reputation and increases to the price of professional indemnity insurance (PII) caused by professional negligence claims, legal firms will take steps to reduce the risk of incurring such litigation in the first place. There are numerous ways this can be achieved. One such way is to take instructions only from clients who are both suitable to the firm’s profile and informed of the full risks involved.
Taking instruction and assessing risk
Legal firms do not simply take on each and every client that comes their way. Rather, firms will look at the merits of a case and advise the client accordingly as to its likelihood of success.
But there are extra questions a firm must look at. These include whether the client and its dispute are consistent with the firm’s area of expertise, whether there might be any conflict of interest, and whether the client’s expectations and objectives are consistent with the firm’s advice and its realistic projected outcome.
Furthermore, the firm will also have to look at issues of whether the client is a reliable litigant – for example, does he or she have a history of taking out fraudulent or vexatious litigation? Also, does the client have a commitment to the ongoing implications and demands of litigation with all the strict deadlines and processes involved?
Legal professional negligence claims with Healys LLP
In assessing whether there are grounds for you to make a professional negligence claim against a solicitor, barrister or lawyer, the specialists at Healys LLP will look at whether the prospective defendant’s service and conduct met the standard of reasonable competency. This may include the question of whether the legal professional took care to follow your instructions.
However, underpinning all these questions will be the issue of financial loss: did the negligent actions result directly in you sustaining some form of measurable monetary damage?
Healys LLP, Brighton and London lawyers, have many years of experience in establishing liability and securing settlement in claims against all types of professionals. For more information about how we may be able to help you, please contact us today.