SME professional negligence claims

31st January 2015 by

For a small business the consequences of professional negligence can be financially debilitating, catastrophic even. Whether as the result of the substandard advice of an accountant, solicitor, architect or other professional, if a small business sustains monetary loss, it may wish to consider its potential for securing redress.

Professional negligence solicitors

Many larger corporations and conglomerates have in-house legal teams in place to provide them with guidance, advice and representation in the event they wish to pursue a claim for professional negligence.

However, small and medium sized businesses are not in the privileged position of being able to call on their in-house legal heavyweights. This is why it is so important that they successfully source specialist legal support from a reputable firm.

Seeking advice swiftly is often key. Not only does serving notice of intention to claim show that the claimant means business, it may also go some way to securing early settlement and resolving any cash flow problems before they reach a critical point.

Furthermore, there are strict time limits in place for the making of professional negligence claims. Usually, the deadline is six years within the date of the negligence occurring; however, this period may be extended in the event that the negligence became apparent at a later date.

The small claims court

Where the small business sustains financial loss of less than £10,000 there may be little point in instructing a professional negligence solicitor to pursue the case, this is because claims of this value are handled by the relevant Small Claims Court.

The Small Claims Court is a cheaper and, ideally, more efficient way of dealing with low value claims. Efficiency and cost-effectiveness can be achieved by self-representation of the parties involved and an emphasis on the importance of written evidence. However, there are still costs involved, so the process should not be treated lightly.

Examples of a small business negligence claim

There are many situations where a small business might have a valid professional negligence claim. These include the following:

  • Poor insurer or insurance broker advice. For example, providing an unsuitable product
  • A solicitor’s failure to advise properly or to meet prescribed deadlines
  • Poor services from a tax advisor
  • Negligent contract advice from a solicitor
  • Property-related negligence. For example, failure to advise of the full implications of clauses contained in a commercial lease

Professional negligence lawyers in London and Brighton

For a claim of professional negligence to be successful you will need to prove that the professional you are suing owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care and, as a result of this breach, caused your small or medium sized business financial loss.

For information about Healys and advice regarding your circumstances and legal options, contact us today by using one of the options listed on the left-hand side of this page.