Negligent misrepresentation claims for breaches of professional-client relationship


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Misrepresentation is a fundamental breach of the professional-client relationship. If you have suffered financial loss after being misrepresented as to the services provided by a professional, whether an accountant, financial adviser, lawyer, architect, builder or other, it may be possible to make a claim for negligent misrepresentation.Typically, there are three types of claim that can be made in these circumstances. These are listed below.

Innocent misrepresentation

Even if you enter into a relationship with a professional who makes misstatements that he or she at the time believes to be true it may still be possible to pursue a claim for negligent misrepresentation.If you become aware of this misstatement before the contract takes effect, you are within your rights to cancel it. However, in the event that the contract cannot be cancelled, there is scope within the Misrepresentation Act 1967 for clients to claim damages for any losses they incur.One case relevant to this area of law is Cleaver and another v Schyde Investments Limited [2001] EWCA Civ 929. In this case the Court of Appeal upheld the County Court decision that a buyer who had agreed to purchase land with development potential was entitled to rescind the contract on the basis of the seller's innocent misrepresentation in failing to provide notification of a significant restriction on the promised development potential.

Negligent misrepresentation

Just as with cases of innocent misrepresentation, cases of negligent misrepresentation have grounds under the terms of the Misrepresentation Act 1967. Negligent misrepresentation may be deemed to have occurred where a professional makes a statement in which prima facie is true but might be altered by technical details at another level. If it can be proven that the professional should have known this and that the client should have subsequently been made aware, then a claim for negligent misrepresentation may follow.

Fraudulent misrepresentation

In moral terms, this is the worst kind of misrepresentation. This is because fraudulent misrepresentation is where a professional makes a statement or representation recklessly, i.e. while either knowing it to be false or likely to be false.In any such situation, the client has a right to void the contract and, where appropriate, claim compensation for any losses sustained.

Legal solutions that work for you

If you have suffered financial loss as a result of the negligent misrepresentation of a professional, we can bring creative and authoritative legal solutions to benefit your case and, where appropriate, help you secure full compensation for your losses.Contact our lawyers in our London or Brighton offices for more information about asserting your rights in law.

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