Pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims
Produced in partnership with Steven O'Sullivan
Pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Steven O'Sullivan provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims
  • When does the pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims apply?
  • What is a professional negligence claim?
  • Professional Negligence Pre-action Protocol—history and aims
  • Professional negligence claims pre-action—consequences of breaching the Protocol
  • Professional negligence claims pre-action—limitation and the Protocol
  • Professional negligence claims pre-action—shorter trials scheme

The Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence claims was amended with effect from 6 April 2015 (with a further amendment effective 30 April 2018 in relation to adjudication). This Practice Note sets out the position according to the protocol now in force.

Should you need to access the protocol as it was in force prior to 6 April 2015, please click here

When does the pre-action protocol for professional negligence claims apply?

This Practice Note summarises the general role of the Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence (the 'Protocol’) in bringing/defending claims for negligence or other breach of duty/contract against a professional.

Its scope is set out in para 1.

Note: it specifically excludes from its ambit the following claims:

  1. medical negligence claims in respect of which the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes applies

  2. construction and engineering negligence disputes which are covered by the Pre-Action Protocol for the Construction and Engineering Disputes

There is no definition of ‘professional’ in the Protocol. In essence, it is someone who professes a special skill and, as a result, is duty bound to practice that skill in a proper manner. See Practice Note: Who can bring a professional negligence claim and against whom?

Where the claim is against a person who has allegedly made a mistake causing non-injury related loss in his or her working life, it would