If you believe that the professional negligence of an architect, construction professional, quantity surveyor or engineer has caused you to sustain significant financial loss, your first step to seeking resolution and redress of your grievance should be the Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes.
What is the Pre-Action Protocol?
The Protocol applies to all disputes related to cases of alleged professional negligence involving the work of construction and engineering professionals.
The Protocol came into force in the year 2000 and was set up with the purpose of encouraging an expedited and open dispute resolution process, which, it was hoped, would help reduce the reliance on litigation.
Furthermore, by setting out clear steps of process and procedure, the Protocol works to ensure that defendants do not indulge in evasive or prevaricating tactics.
Pre-Action Protocol procedures
Although claimants can choose to negotiate the Protocol without specialist assistance, there is no substitute for the experience and expertise of a good professional negligence lawyer.
Here at Healys we can assist in matters related to the Pre-Action Protocol, pre-action position statements, letters of claim, pre-action meetings, mediation and dispute resolution.
There are only a few instances where claimants are not required to comply with the Protocol. For example, under section 108 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, if a claim has already received an enforceable adjudicator’s decision it may be exempt from the Pre-Action process.
What happens if a defendant ignores the Pre-Action process
Defendants who fail to acknowledge and respond to letters of claim and other related processes, risk being taken directly to the court system – furthermore, non-compliance with the protocol means they may be penalised with adverse costs orders.
As is illustrated in the case of Bovis Homes Ltd v Kendrick Construction Ltd, Courts can take a very unfavourable view of defendants that refuse to comply with the protocol.
Healys LLP professional negligence lawyers
If a construction professional, engineer, architect or quantity surveyor has caused you to suffer personal injury or financial loss you may wish to begin to a claim for compensation.
Here at Healys LLP we help our clients negotiate the Pre-Action Protocol process to their best advantage and, where necessary, represent their interests in court proceedings.
The professional negligence partners in our London and Brighton offices offer clear, helpful advice and provide transparency on costs. If you would like to contact us, call 020 7822 4106 or email today.