It’s never good when you are let down by a professional, and even less so when it’s your solicitor. We put our trust in our legal professionals, and given that they often deal with important matters, you could be considerably out of pocket when they make a mistake and things go wrong.
Looking for help with a solicitor’s legal mistake? Call our specialist team on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or one of our 4 local office numbers for FREE expert initial phone advice – no strings attached.
Legal Negligence – is my solicitor to blame?
Receiving bad service from your solicitor is not enough in itself to amount to professional negligence– you need to have suffered a financial loss.
The remedy for bad service is to complain, not to sue.
In order to prove a claim for professional negligence and successfully win financial compensation, you will also need to show that your solicitor has not given you the sort of advice that you would expect from a competent legal professional – and that their incorrect actions or advice caused you a loss.
Six of the biggest legal mistakes
So what kind of errors are solicitors making which could result in a case of professional negligence? Here are some of the most common legal mistakes:
1. Solicitor conveyancing mistakes – one of the most common reasons for a professional negligence claim against a solicitor is some sort of error made in the buying or selling of property. Solicitor conveyancing mistakes which are commonly made include;
- not spotting a right of way crossing a property
- making mistakes in the legal title of the property
- failing to carry out proper searches
- failing to advise properly when the properties owned is to be jointly – not properly explaining the differences between “tenants in common” and “joint tenants”
- not advising correctly on restrictive covenants – which restrict the use of land or property
- not identifying errors in leases and
- not telling clients about planning restrictions on the property.
And given that buying a house or flat is often the most expensive transaction any individual will ever make, it’s not surprising that a solicitor conveyancing mistake can prove very expensive indeed.
2. Settling a claim for too little – this is sadly becoming more common, especially with accident claims handled by large “claims factory” companies too often use junior members of staff without adequate supervision from experienced solicitors. Far too many clients are advised to settle for sums well below what they should have received. That can prove a very expensive mistake.
In contrast, all of our personal injury and medical negligence cases are run personally by highly experienced and Panel accredited Solicitors.
3. Suing the wrong people – it sounds unbelievable, but solicitors do make this kind of mistake regularly. It’s most common where a case involves one or more companies as the solicitor has to make sure they sue the right individual, or the right company.
4. Missing deadlines – it’s a simple mistake, but happens time and time again. Some legal cases involve some very strict time limits. For example, if you are making a claim for compensation after an accident, you have three years from the date of the accident in the majority of cases to start the claims process. If your solicitor delays and misses the deadline, you could entirely miss out on the compensation you are entitled to.
5. Errors in drafting a will – this is another mistake that happens far too often – and often involves an error with the wording of a will or even failing to follow what the testator wished. Solicitors can also make mistakes when witnessing signatures and executing the will. and it’s not just solicitors who make this kind of error. Unqualified, and often uninsured, will writers are responsible for a significant number of these drafting mistakes.
6. Drafting Mistakes – solicitors are used to draft a wide range of legal documents for clients – anything from business documents such as a shareholder agreement or partnership agreement to personal accident claims and divorces. Sometimes a mistake is picked up early and there is no financial loss, but sometimes a mistake in wording a document can be extremely costly.
Suing for a legal error? Make sure you instruct a specialist solicitor
If you think that you have grounds for suing a solicitor, you need to know that there are not many solicitors who specialise in this complicated area of the law.
Take your time when looking around for a solicitor to take your case on, and get someone with lots of experience who knows this area inside out – a genuine specialist in professional negligence – even if, to pick the right solicitor, you have to instruct one who isn’t based in your nearest town.
Here at Bonallack and Bishop, we are members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association [PNLA] – the only organisation for specialist professional negligence solicitors. There are currently well over 140,000 qualified solicitors, plus countless legal executives and unqualified legal staff in England and Wales. Only a few hundred are members of the PNLA.
So if you thinking of suing your solicitor following a legal mistake, instruct one of our team and you’ll know you’re getting advice from an experienced professional negligence specialist.
Solicitor mistake claims – how can I fund my case?
Our professional negligence team regularly run compensation claims against other solicitors using no win no fee agreements – so you don’t need to worry about paying your legal bills. Click here to read more about No Win No Fee Claims.
Alternatively, you may find that one of your domestic insurance policies has legal expense insurance coverage – but if you do and if that does turn out to be sufficient to fund a professional negligence claim, you need to be aware that insurance companies can’t force you to use their panel solicitors – it’s entirely up to you which solicitor you instruct under your legal expenses insurance
Victim of Professional Negligence from your Solicitor? Thinking of claiming compensation? Call us today
If you’ve been on the receiving end of professional negligence from your solicitor, our expert Professional Negligence team can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
We offer FREE initial phone advice and no win no fee arrangements for solicitor mistake claims – so you don’t have to worry about paying legal bills.
- One of our team on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or on (01722) 422300
- E-mail us using the online enquiry form below: