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Our Guide to Avoiding Professional Negligence

When you hire a professional, they are expected to exercise a reasonable duty of care when performing their services. If the individual does not carry out the duties set out in the contract, or the work they carry out falls below an expected standard, they have breached their duty of care – otherwise known as professional negligence. 

In this article, we will walk you through some ways you can avoid or minimise the risk of professional negligence.

What is professional negligence? 

Professional negligence is an area of law that covers many sectors. For example, here at Bridge Law, we cover negligence in the following professional areas:

  • Solicitors and Barrister Negligence 
  • Surveyors, Architects and Estate Agent Negligence 
  • Financial Advisors and Mortgage Broker Negligence
  • Accountant Negligence 

For whatever reason you or your business needs to hire a professional for a particular service, you expect them to be able to perform their duties with reasonable skill and to a high standard. However, when the professional exercises their services without reasonable care or skill, with their work falling below expected standards, this could mean that you or your business suffers financially. 

If the lack of skill and care ends up costing you or your business serious financial loss, you could have a case for a professional negligence claim against the professional. 

However, making a legal claim can be a costly and time-consuming process, so it’s always worth knowing how to minimise the risk of professional negligence from occuring when hiring a professional. 

How to minimise the risk of professional negligence

Research the field and the professional. Often when hiring someone to carry out a certain service, it’s for something that is out of your own field of expertise and therefore, you may not be familiar or have enough knowledge, making you vulnerable when it comes to hiring a person for the job. Thoroughly research the person/business, their qualifications and experience, and look out for their reviews to see what others have said about their work previously – this can show very quickly whether they are a trusted professional. You could also speak to other people you trust for personal recommendations of a professional they have used and trust.

From the moment you are in correspondence with your chosen professional, record everything. All of the conversations between you and the professional, particularly about the contract, the nature of the work and expectations between you, should be recorded in writing in the event that you need to rely on the same at a later date. 

Communication is key throughout the relationship. Regular communication between yourself and the professional is vital to prevent misunderstandings about the work and duties that must be carried out. This will help to manage expectations so that things can be tweaked and changed – depending on what’s going well and what isn’t or changes of circumstances – throughout the contract to avoid mistakes and disappointment.

If you believe you have a case for professional negligence, speak to our specialist solicitors on 01484 442 700 (Holmfirth office), 0161 427 0084 (Marple Bridge office) or email

Written by Zoe Bancroft

Photograph of Zoe Bancroft, Associate Solicitor at Bridge Law Solicitors Ltd

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