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Professional negligence claims against solicitors

Our professional negligence solicitors are ranked amongst the best in the UK. If you have been let down by the negligence of a solicitor in your personal or business life our specialist solicitor negligence team can help. Call us on 01616 966 229 for advice on how to get the compensation you deserve, in some instances we may be able to handle your claim on a 'no win no fee' basis.

When you employ a solicitor to handle a complex legal case, you expect to receive a high quality service in return. Unfortunately some solicitors make mistakes. For this reason, special rules and regulations are in place which allow clients to take necessary action against a solicitor or lawyer.

Solicitors have a professional responsibility to hold indemnity insurance cover, which ensures that they are able to cover the costs of a legal action against them. In order to make a claim against a solicitor however, certain procedures need to be followed and that is where expert legal advice from Stephensons' solicitors negligence team can be extremely important.

Professional negligence claims against solicitors

We are seasoned solicitors specialising in professional negligence claims against solicitors, dedicated to aiding individuals who have suffered from legal negligence in securing the compensation they rightfully deserve. Our aim is to provide you with the chance to start anew by assisting you in pursuing a professional negligence claim against a solicitor. We understand that the prospect of suing a solicitor for negligence can be intimidating, and that’s why we’re here to help by providing you with the support you need.

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What is solicitor negligence?

Solicitor negligence is when a solicitor fails to meet the expected standard of care and professionalism in handling a client's legal matters. This negligence can include errors, omissions, or breaches of duty, which may harm the client's legal position, potentially leading to financial losses or legal complications.

What is a professional negligence claim against a solicitor?

A professional negligence claim against a solicitor is a legal action taken by a client who believes their solicitor failed to meet the required professional standards, resulting in harm or losses. The aim is to seek compensation for any damages caused by the solicitor's alleged negligence.

How long do I have to make a professional negligence claim against a solicitor?

You need to issue a professional negligence claim against a solicitor within six years of the incident, unless you can prove that negligence was only discovered at a later date, in which case an extension might be sought, up to three years from the date of discovery.

Examples of solicitor negligence

Examples of solicitor negligence could include, but are not limited to, giving incorrect legal advice, missing limitation dates for legal proceedings, failing to adhere to court directions, failing to act in a proper manner which causes you financial loss, or claiming against the incorrect party.

Unfortunately, you could receive negligent or incorrect advice from your solicitor or legal adviser, or they can act in a way that means your case does not go according to plan. If you suffer financial loss as a result, you may have a professional negligence claim against your solicitor.

Common examples of how a solicitor may have acted in a negligent way:

  1. In the legal process of purchasing a house or piece of land, a solicitor may not have investigated your case sufficiently, if another party have made themselves known with a right of way over your new property or piece of land. Alternatively, they may have overlooked or missed that you will not have the right to drive to your house or garage, or that you don’t have a right to use the drains. If any of these circumstances lead to a drop in the value of the new property, you may have a claim.        
  2. If your solicitor has not warned you about the threat or presence of Japanese knotweed when making a property purchase, you may have been misled and could be eligible to make a claim against your solicitor.                                                                                                                                                 
  3. Where a solicitor has made an error in drafting a Will, meaning that expected inheritances are lost, you may be able to make a claim. You may also be able to challenge the Will.
  4. A solicitor may fail to start your case in court by the deadline. This is referred to as the limitation date. This period varies depending on the kind of case, but in some cases is very short, such as with claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, where the limitation period is just six months from the date of the grant of probate. Employment cases generally need to be started within three months. In personal injury cases, the limitation is three years and in contract cases, the limitation is six years. If the date is missed, you can no longer take your case to court and therefore may lose out on recovering any damages.
  5. Solicitors make mistakes during court cases. This may be failing to meet a deadline set by the court, failure to advise you on cost risks or to get the right insurance product for you. There are instances where solicitors do not advise properly on what you should settle your case for.

In these situations, there may be a professional negligence claim worth investigating.

If you have a grievance against your solicitor, but have not suffered any financial loss as a result of their actions, then you should make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman Service. - Legal Ombudsman.

To speak to our legal team regarding solicitor negligence or suing a lawyer for professional negligence feel free to call 01616 966 229. A number of funding options are available to pursue a claim including 'no win no fee'.

Which solicitors can be subject to a solicitor negligence claim?

Any solicitor, regardless of their specialisation or area of practice, can be the target of a solicitor negligence claim if a client believes they have breached professional standards and caused harm or financial losses due to their actions or omissions.

Here's a list of examples:

  • Conveyancing solicitors: For errors in property transactions
  • Family law solicitors: For mishandling divorce or custody cases
  • Commercial solicitors: For contract drafting or advice mistakes
  • Personal injury solicitors: For failing to secure adequate compensation
  • Criminal defence solicitors: For inadequate representation
  • Immigration solicitors: For visa application errors
  • Employment law solicitors: For wrongful dismissal or discrimination cases
  • Wills and probate solicitors: For errors in estate planning
  • Intellectual property solicitors: For trademark or copyright issues
  • Medical negligence solicitors: For healthcare-related mistakes

How much compensation for solicitors negligence?

The amount of compensation for solicitor negligence can vary widely and depends on several factors, including the nature and extent of the negligence, the financial losses or harm suffered by the client, and the specific circumstances of the case. Compensation is typically awarded to cover the client's actual losses and can range from a few thousand pounds to much higher amounts in complex cases.

It's assessed on a case-by-case basis, and the court or a negotiated settlement determines the final amount.

How to sue a solicitor for negligence

To sue a solicitor for negligence, you can follow these general steps:

Consult another solicitor

Seek advice from a different solicitor who specialises in professional negligence claims. They can assess the viability of your case and guide you through the process.

Stephensons has great experience and an exceptional team of professional negligence solicitors that can help you proceed with a professional negligence claim against a solicitor. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

Gather evidence

Collect all relevant documents, such as correspondence, legal agreements, and records of financial losses or harm caused by the alleged negligence. This evidence will support your case.

Complain to the solicitor

Notify the solicitor of your intention to make a negligence claim in writing. Give them an opportunity to respond and possibly resolve the matter without litigation.

Contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

If you believe the solicitor's conduct amounts to professional misconduct, consider reporting it to the SRA, the regulatory body for solicitors.

Pre-action protocol

If the issue remains unresolved, your solicitor will help you follow the pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims. This involves sending a letter of claim to the solicitor, detailing the allegations and requesting compensation.

Mediation or settlement

Parties may choose to engage in mediation or settlement discussions to resolve the matter without going to court.

Issuing court proceedings

If no settlement is reached, your solicitor will help you draft and issue court proceedings. The court will then manage the case, and both parties will provide evidence and arguments.

Court proceedings and trial

The case will proceed through the court system. Both sides will present their case, and a judge will make a decision based on the evidence and legal arguments.

Award of compensation

If the court finds in your favour, it may award compensation based on your losses caused by the solicitor's negligence.


If either party is dissatisfied with the court's decision, they may have the option to appeal.

It's crucial to seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor throughout this process, as professional negligence claims can be complex and challenging to navigate. Legal aid may not be available for these types of cases, so you'll likely need to finance your claim privately or through a conditional fee agreement (No Win, No Fee) with your solicitor.

How do you prove solicitor negligence?

Proving solicitor negligence involves demonstrating that your solicitor breached their duty of care and that this breach directly caused you harm or financial loss. Here are some key steps to prove solicitor negligence:

Establishing duty of care

Show that a duty of care existed between you and the solicitor. This duty is a legal obligation that solicitors have to their clients to provide competent and professional legal services.

Breach of duty

Demonstrate that the solicitor breached their duty of care by failing to meet the standard of care expected of a reasonably competent solicitor in similar circumstances. You need to show that their actions or omissions fell below this standard.


Prove that the solicitor's breach of duty directly caused you harm or financial loss. This requires a clear connection between their negligence and the negative consequences you experienced.


Document and provide evidence of the losses you suffered as a result of the solicitor's negligence. This can include financial losses, emotional distress, additional legal fees, or any other adverse effects.


Gather and present all relevant evidence, such as correspondence, legal documents, and witness statements, that support your claim. Strong evidence is crucial in establishing negligence.

Expert witnesses

In some cases, you may need to engage expert witnesses who can testify about the solicitor's breach of duty and the harm it caused. Expert opinions can carry significant weight in court.

Proving solicitor negligence can be a complex and challenging process. It's crucial to consult with a solicitor experienced in professional negligence claims to assess the strength of your case and navigate the legal complexities effectively. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Why choose Stephensons for professional negligence claims against solicitors?

If you're considering pursuing a professional negligence claim against a solicitor, it's essential to have a legal team you can trust by your side. Stephensons is the firm you can rely on for expert guidance and support in these matters.

Stephensons boasts a team of highly experienced solicitors who specialise in professional negligence claims against solicitors. Our in-depth knowledge of both solicitor regulations and proceedings in this area of law enables us to navigate your case with precision and expertise. Our firm has a strong track record of successfully handling professional negligence claims, recovering substantial compensation for our clients.

We understand that every professional negligence claim is unique. We take a personalised approach to each case, carefully assessing the specific circumstances and tailoring our strategies accordingly. Your case will receive the attention and dedication it deserves and we will keep you informed every step of the way. You'll always know where your case stands.

We are well-versed in the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and its codes of conduct. If your solicitor's actions involved professional misconduct, we can guide you in reporting them to the appropriate authorities.

With offices across the UK, Stephensons is accessible to clients from various regions. We are equipped to handle cases involving solicitors from across England and Wales.

Choosing Stephensons for your professional negligence claim means entrusting your case to a dedicated team of legal professionals who are committed to seeking justice on your behalf. Contact us today to discuss your situation and begin the journey towards resolving your solicitor negligence issue with confidence and competence.

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