We act in all sorts of professional negligence areas. Below are a few of our key service areas:
Whilst based in the South of England, Paris Smith acts for businesses and families throughout the UK. Technology has enabled us to provide a high level of service to our clients whether they are local to our offices or not. Our advice can be given in many ways:
We will talk through how you would like to be contacted and the best ways for us to meet in our early conversations with you.
Our Professional Negligence team is made up of 4 partners and 3 solicitors. You can find their contact details below.
What is professional negligence?
A supplier of professional services (which could be a solicitor, an accountant, an architect or even a vet) has a duty of care to their client/customer to provide services which are of a standard which it is reasonable to expect a professional of that type to provide. If they fall short of that standard they have breached that duty of care and that is called “negligence”.
Sometimes you may also have a written contract with a professional (often called an engagement letter, retainer or terms of business) and if the professional fails to provide the service with reasonable care and skill, that is a breach of contract. “Professional negligence” tends to cover both these situations.
How can you prove professional negligence?
There are usually two strands to the evidence required to prove a case. First of all you will need factual evidence about what the professional was instructed to do, what contract (if any) existed, and the way in which it is claimed that the provision of the service fell short of the required standard. Secondly, in most professional negligence cases you will require an expert witness to give an opinion on whether the professional in question fell short of the standard required of them or failed to provide the service with reasonable care and skill. Usually the Expert is from the same profession as the allegedly negligent professional.
What defines an act of negligence by an architect?
An architect can have several roles in their professional life. They might be designing plans or drawings either for the purposes of obtaining planning permission, or for a building contractor to follow when constructing a building. If the plans are faulty which results in planning permission being rejected or results in the building being built in the wrong place, to the wrong height or even in a dangerous state, that is likely to be negligent. Architects also supervise building contracts, and if they failed to attend site when they are supposed to and/or fail to identify defects to the building as it is being constructed, that is also likely to be negligent.
Andrew Ryde, Chief Executive
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