So what types of cases are most often seen during legal claims for professional negligence against solicitors?
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Suing Your Solicitor – Mistakes made in Property Transactions
One of the most common areas of solicitor negligence is around the buying and selling of houses. As the average house price in England and Wales is now well over £200,000. there is a considerable sum at stake and the client potentially faces a huge financial loss.
Some of the more common mistakes made during conveyancing include’
- failing to explore and explain planning restrictions to the client
- missing a mistake in the legal title deeds.
- failure to perform searches when buying or selling property
Suing Your Solicitor – Errors made in Personal Injury Claims
The number of professional negligence claims against the legal profession concerning errors made with compensation claims is on the rise.
In part, the cause of this appears to be that some of the larger claims handling firms employ junior staff to deal with the claim, supervised by qualified solicitors. These junior members of staff have limited experience and with increasing frequency appear to be recommending that clients accept a compensation offer which is way below the level which might be expected for that type of injury.
Another common personal injury case mistake is not sticking to the legal deadlines – either not issuing the paperwork to get the claim underway in time which means the client misses out on compensation entirely, or the solicitor misses one of the strict deadlines set out by the courts.
Suing Your Solicitor – Incorrectly Drafting Wills
One of the most common reasons we see a solicitor apart from buying property is to do with drawing up a will. And if a solicitor or non-qualified Will writer writes your Will, they have a duty of care both to you and the future beneficiaries mentioned in the Will.
Professional negligence litigation claims for errors made by a solicitor or will writer come about when a solicitor acts in a poor or negligent way towards one of their clients, usually meaning that their client suffers some sort of financial loss as a result.
There are a number of areas where solicitors can make serious mistakes with wills. Here are four of the most common reasons why legal professional negligence claims against solicitors or will writers for negligently drafted wills come about:
- Drafting a will which does not reflect what the client wishes
- Not making sure that the Will is completed promptly and before a person dies, or loses the mental capacity to make a will
- Failing to check that the Will has valid and proper witnesses and is signed under the right conditions
- Not checking the Will for clerical drafting errors (this can cause the Will to be invalid)
Suing Your Solicitor – Errors made in handling Probate
Winding up the affairs of someone who has died can also result in claims for professional negligence. Mistakes made by law firms when dealing with probate sadly include the following:
• general admin errors such as missing some of the deceased’s assets
• failing to keep accurate estate accounts or to correctly identify tax payable on the estate
• failing to accurately assess all the liabilities of the estate or correctly pay any outstanding debts
• incorrectly valuing any of the deceased’s assets
Professional negligence – it’s not the same as poor service
Making a professional negligence claim against a solicitor is only possible if you have suffered some sort of financial loss as a result.
That means that if your complaint is just about poor service, while it might give grounds for a complaint (or even a referral to the Legal Ombudsman), it wouldn’t be sufficient to prove professional negligence.
Here are the contact details for the Legal Ombudsman:
Phone: 0300 555 0333
Want to know more about how to sue a negligent solicitor?
Click here to read more about professional negligence claims and how our solicitors can help you win compensation.
Suing My Solicitor – how to fund your legal fees
There are a number of ways in which you can cover your legal bills. Some clients do pay privately, but this is not an option for most people, because these kind of cases are often complex, hard fought by insurers and defendant solicitors alike, and can take some considerable time.
So as a result, the vast majority of our professional negligence claims are funded either through
- No win no fee schemes (also called conditional fee arrangements) OR
- Legal expenses insurance
No win no fee is in basic terms exactly what it appears to be. If you ask a solicitor to take on a case and you lose, then you do not have to pay that solicitor any fees. This obviously means that a solicitor who loses a case gets no payment for that case. If the claim is successful, the solicitor can charge a “success fee”. Click here to read more about how no win no fee agreements work.
Looking to Sue Your Solicitor? You could be entitled to compensation – call us today
It is always distressing if a professional lets you down – our solicitors specialize in professional negligence claims. So if you think you have been on the receiving end of law firm negligence;
- Put your mind at rest by calling our experts on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice today OR
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