Who can be parties to a professional negligence claim?
Who can be parties to a professional negligence claim?

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who can be parties to a professional negligence claim?
  • Professional owes a duty to their client
  • Assigning the retainer?
  • Professional owing duty to third party
  • Regulators’ duty of care—Law Society v Schubert
  • Professional owing duty to the ‘other side’
  • Issuer has legal standing to sue valuer for negligent valuation
  • Do barristers owe duty of care to instructing solicitors?
  • Who or what is a ‘professional’?
  • Evidence required to support a professional negligence claim

Who can be parties to a professional negligence claim?

It is not just clients who may be able to bring a claim in negligence against their professional advisers. This Practice Note considers who can be parties to a professional negligence claim, ie who can bring a professional negligence claim: be it client, third parties and even, occasionally, those acting ‘on the other side’ of a transaction, and against whom such a professional negligence claim can be brought, with reference to when a professional owes a duty of care and to whom their duty is owed.

For guidance on founding the duty on which the action may be based, see Practice Note: Bringing a professional negligence claim based on the duty in contract, tort and equity.

Professional owes a duty to their client

In most cases the professional owes a duty only to his or her client, in a strict sense.

Who the client is will usually be apparent from the terms of the instruction or retainer letter, however, this is not always the case.

In Caliendo v Mischon De Reya, Arnold J considered a claim against solicitors where there was no express retainer but the claimants alleged that such a retainer was either implied from the solicitors' conduct or arose by way of an assumption of responsibility, where the solicitors were retained by a company of which the claimants were

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