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professional negligence

If you have received a substandard service from a professional advisor, and have suffered financially as a result, it may be possible for you to claim compensation to recoup your losses. You may also be able to compel the advisor to provide their service again, free of charge, or get them to cover the cost of employing someone else to clear up the mess they have created.

The options open to you will depend on the circumstances and, in particular, the extent to which the advisor is found to have failed to meet their professional obligations and the nature and degree of the harm that this has caused.

Our Dispute Resolution and Litigation lawyers specialise in holding professionals to account, and in helping victims of professional negligence to secure the compensation they deserve.

We offer a range of funding options to make the cost of bringing a claim manageable, and in many cases we can provide assistance on a no win, no fee basis or help to arrange ‘after the event’ insurance to cover the cost of any legal fees that you may be required to pay.

To book an appointment with one of our specialist advisors, please call us now on 01908 692769.

Usually, you will only have six years in which to bring a professional negligence claim, so you should seek legal advice as soon as you have concerns.

Our services

We are experienced in pursuing claims of professional negligence against:

  • accountants;
  • independent financial advisors;
  • mortgage brokers;
  • architects;
  • engineers;
  • surveyors;
  • solicitors;
  • barristers;
  • conveyancers; and
  • will writers.

Test for negligence

To bring a professional negligence claim, you need to be able to prove that the service you received was not just poor, but that it was below the standard you were entitled to expect from a professional advisor undertaking the particular service you requested and paid for.

In addition, you will also need to be able to show that the losses you have suffered have arisen as a consequence of the substandard service you have received, and that you have done all that you reasonably can to limit those losses.

Circumstances in which negligence may have occurred

Whether or not the service you have received can be judged as negligent is fact-specific and will therefore depend entirely on the circumstances. However, by way of example, if you were looking to bring a negligence claim against a surveyor there could well be a case to answer where there is evidence to show that the surveyor you instructed:

  • carried out a more basic survey than the one you requested, or else advised you to commission a type of survey that was inappropriate given the nature and age of the property or any specific concerns about it that you may have had;
  • failed to identify a serious problem with the property, which should have been obvious from the checks that were (or ought to have been) carried out;
  • failed to spot the existence of structural defects, including those possibly caused by the roots of a nearby tree or the existence of Japanese knotweed;
  • failed to highlight the need for further investigations of the property, for example to rule out or confirm the presence of asbestos; or
  • provided a valuation of the property which was clearly over-inflated.

Court action

Whether you need to go to court to secure the compensation you deserve will depend on whether the advisor you are suing, or to be more accurate their insurer, admits that negligence has occurred and whether they are willing to pay what you are asking for.

Where negligence is denied, or the compensation on offer is too low, then court proceedings may be necessary. However, in the vast majority of cases that we are instructed to deal with, we can normally achieve settlement without the need to get the court involved – whether that is through negotiation or by arranging for the matter to be referred to mediation.

Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?

Our Dispute Resolution and Litigation lawyers are experts in their field and have an impressive track record in helping to resolve professional negligence claims.  The advice we provide is clear and straightforward, which means that you will know from the outset whether: a claim is realistically possible; any potential barriers you may have to overcome to prove your case; and the total amount of compensation that you can expect to receive.

Armed with this information, you can make an informed decision about whether you want to go ahead and proceed with a claim.

And where you qualify for no win, no fee funding (also known as funding under a conditional fee agreement), you will be able to bring a claim knowing that you will generally be protected from any liability to pay legal costs in the event that your claim is unsuccessful.

To make an appointment to see one of our Professional Negligence Lawyers, Ken StangoeRichard MillardTrevor Coward or Guy Brooks please call  01908 692769 or contact us.

You may also like to sign up to receive our newsletter or visit our resource hub, where you can find lots of useful information about current legal topics that may be of interest to you. And if you want to find out what existing clients think about our services, why not take a look at some of our client testimonials.

What our clients say:

‘’Trevor Coward of Geoffrey Leaver acted for us in a particularly challenging litigation. His tenacity, sound practical advice and tactical approach to the case secured us a very satisfactory outcome.
‘’He is someone you will be glad to have on board when the going gets tough.”
Alan Mills, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance

For more information about how we can help, you can read testimonials from our dispute resolution clients


Chambers & Partners 2021 notes the team is well-respected and active on a wide range of contractual claims and commercial disputes, including unfair prejudice claims and fraud-related proceedings.  Local and international clientele comes from a variety of industry sectors, and also includes private individuals and SMEs. One client commends the “proactive, engaging and considerate” nature of the team.

Chambers & Partners 2020  says ‘Well-respected team active on a wide range of contractual claims and commercial disputes, including unfair prejudice claims and fraud-related proceedings.  Local and international clientele comes from a variety of industry sectors, and also includes private individuals and SMEs.’

Legal 500 2020 says ‘Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP’s dispute resolution and litigation practice specialises in commercial property disputes, distribution and agency agreements, debt collection and director, shareholder and partnership disputes. Its work includes dealing with injunctions and freezing orders and work in areas such as insolvency, international trade and  IT and e-commerce. Practice head Kenneth Stangoe, Trevor Coward, Guy Brooks and  Richard Millard are the key contacts’


The Dispute Resolution & Litigation Team

  • Ken Stangoe Partner
    Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689307
    Ken is Head of the Department.  He has over 20 years' experience as a commercial litigator, with a heavy focus on property disputes, including forfeiture actions and applications for relief, right of way disputes, rent recovery for commercial landlords, trusts of land, dilapidations claims, boundary disputes, rent and service charge recovery and lease renewal applications.


  • Richard Millard Managing Partner
    Construction & Development 01908 689382
    Richard has over 20 years’ experience acting for clients in the construction industry,  providing pragmatic advice to developers, contractors, sub-contractors, design and construction professionals, housing associations, smaller builders and homeowners.


  • Guy Brooks Partner
    Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689304
    Guy has more than 30 years’ experience in the legal profession and headed up the Commercial Litigation department of local firm Fennemores, before joining Geoffrey Leaver as joint head of the Dispute Resolution department in 2006. The Dispute Resolution department have been recognised by Legal 500 UK.


  • Trevor Coward Partner
    Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689311
    Trevor specialises in the closely connected fields of commercial litigation, partner/director disputes, insolvency, property litigation, and professional negligence. His background is one of broad experience across a wide range of commercial litigation. He is a member of Legal Counsel International, an alliance of lawyers in 17 countries.


  • Jim McGarrity Consultant | Solicitor Advocate
    Private Client Services 01908 689331 | 07711 498186
    Jim has over 40 years' experience in the law and specialises in will, probate, trust and inheritance disputes and court of protection cases.


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