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Professional Negligence Claims

At some point in everyone’s life we need to seek professional advice.

Professionals such as solicitors, accountants, financial advisors, engineers etc. each have a legal duty to do their jobs to a required standard.

If your professional advisor provided you with bad advice or failed to meet the standard of advice expected of them and you’ve suffer financial loss as a result, then our professional negligence lawyers can help you seek compensation.

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Unlike negligence claims for personal injuries, there are no informal or pre-court procedures to commence a professional negligence claim.

A professional negligence claim is made directly by filing a Claim and Statement of Claim in the court, setting out what your former advisor was required to do, where they went wrong, and the financial loss you suffered as a result. Your former advisor will have to defend and answer your claim and you will have the opportunity to negotiate informally at any stage prior to a trial.

Most professional advisors hold professional indemnity insurance to protect them from being directly liable for the damages. For this reason, after a claim is filed, the professional indemnity insurer often appoints solicitors of their own to defend the legal claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you run my professional negligence claim No Win No Fee?

It depends.

We will not offer No Win No Fee representation for claims relating to:

  • accounting or taxation advice;
  • commercial contracts or disputes;
  • immigration; or
  • family law advice or representation.

We may offer No Win No Fee representation for professional negligence claims in situations where:

  • a personal injury solicitor missed a limitation date, causing the claim to be statute barred; or
  • significant financial loss occurred due to a wills and estates lawyer distributing the assets of a deceased estate in an improper way.

Please note that neither the 50/50 rule or Roche Legal’s 60/40 rule applies for professional negligence claims as they are of a commercial nature.

Contact us for a free initial consultation. We have offices in Brisbane, Springwood, and the Sunshine Coast.

Do I have a qualifying professional negligence claim?

A claim for professional negligence may be possible if you saw a professional who:

  • gave poor advice upon which you relied;
  • provided inadequate and incorrect financial advice;
  • made misrepresentations which you relied on;
  • missed a critical deadline or time limitation to protect your right to make a claim; or
  • committed other errors that resulted in serious financial loss.

ROCHE Legal’s qualifying criteria to take on a claim on a no win no fee basis is:

  • you have suffered actual (not theoretical) financial loss of $50,000 or more; and
  • you can prove your loss by way of documentation from an appropriately qualified expert.

If you are unsure whether you have a qualifying claim, talk to one of Roche Legal’s professional negligence lawyers today for a free initial consultation.

Who can I bring the professional negligence claim against?

Professional Negligence claims are brought against the negligent party directly. However, most of the time professionals hold professional indemnity insurance and so any claim would be defended by the professional indemnity insurer (and the insurer’s solicitors).

What can I claim compensation for?

You can claim compensation for the loss you suffered as a consequence of engaging the negligent professional advisor. This may include monies lost, expenses, lost profits, lost opportunities, and legal costs.

What has to be proven for my professional negligence claim to be successful?

In order for a professional negligence claim to be successful, you must be able to show that:

  1. You were owed a duty of care by the professional you engaged.
  2. The professional did not do the work to a standard that is acceptable.
  3. You have suffered financial loss as a result.

Are there any important time limits to bring a professional negligence claim?

Yes. To make a claim for professional negligence you need to file a claim and statement of claim in the relevant court:

  • Within six (6) years from the date you engaged the professional to work for you; or
  • Six (6) years from the day you suffered financial loss.

Who pays me the compensation?

Most claims for professional negligence will effectively be handled and responded to by the professional’s insurance company. Most occupations are regulated by law or their regulatory body to hold professional indemnity insurance without which they are not able to operate lawfully.

If there is no professional indemnity insurance, the negligent advisor is directly liable.

How much compensation can I claim for professional negligence?

It is too difficult to answer how much compensation is owed to you without knowing the major details of your particular circumstances.

Generally speaking, you can claim compensation to recover the full financial loss you incurred due to the negligent advice, taking everything into consideration.

How long does a professional negligence claim take?

The duration of a professional negligence claim depends upon how fast your lawyer acts for you, whether there is a professional indemnity insurer, and the attitude of the insurer to accepting and attempting to settle your claim. At ROCHE Legal, we strive to have professional negligence cases dealt with within a 2 year period.

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.