Professional Negligence


With any case of professional negligence your financial recovery is what matters. A wealth of experience in cases like this means our team can ensure you move forward.

Key professional negligence services

We act in all sorts of professional negligence areas. Below are a few of  our key service areas:

  • Compensation claims against solicitors, accountants, financial advisors and insurance brokers
  • Claims against architects and surveyors in construction cases
  • Mis-selling claims or incorrect advice
  • Reclaiming incorrect tax payments

Work examples of professional negligence claims

  • Residential occupiers in connection with multiple failures by a number of surveyors in failing to identify the use of defective concrete in the construction of all houses in the same street. Compensation equivalent to half the value of the houses typically awarded.
  • A house owner in claim for negligence against architect for having failed to project manage the builders constructing a home extension, including incorrect certification of interim payments. Claim for £100,000+ and ongoing.
  • Clients in numerous pension mis-selling claims against independent financial advisers who failed to give appropriate advice about the benefits of final salary schemes over private money purchase schemes.
  • An individual in a claim against a conveyancing solicitor who failed to identify to a purchaser client that information was disclosed by the seller which revealed the property was blighted by a boundary dispute resulting in significant loss of value.
  • A government agency in connection with a claim against an architect for negligent design resulting in structural failures costing in excess of £3000,000 to rectify.
  • A lender on a claim against solicitors who had failed to register security for a loan and securing repayment of a loan of over £300,000.
  • Acting for a charity client in a £2mllion claim against an architect for defective design of a commercial building and failure to inspect works. This involved project managing a large team of lawyers, experts and client representatives and  attending regular Board of Trustees meetings.
  • Claim against an architect for professional negligence in the design of a bespoke construction and failings in undertaking the project management role.

How we work with you

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:

  • Over the telephone
  • Via video conferencing
  • In face to face meetings

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.

Meet the team

Our Professional Negligence team is made up of 4 partners and 3 solicitors.  You can find their contact details below.

Introducing your key contact

Helen Brown
Partner – Commercial Disputes



Frequently asked questions

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.

How we’ve helped our clients

“Peter and Helen have advised us through a complex legal claim. We have always found them to be very approachable, with very relevant and supportive advice. I would not hesitate to recommend them.”

Andrew Ryde, Chief Executive

Oakhaven Hospice

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