Mistakes made by any professional, such as: 

    • Solicitor / Barrister
    • Engineer
    • Quantity Surveyor
    • Estate Agent / Auctioneer
  • Any other professional / expert

Experience

We have considerable experience in dealing with professional negligence claims and professional indemnity insurance companies.
– Where negligence results in injury / financial loss.Professional Solicitors Negligence Berwick Solicitors Galway and Dublin
If you think you may have a claim for solicitors negligence or professional negligence, please contact Berwick Solicitors in Galway for a no obligation consultation.

Solicitors Negligence

Solicitors negligence is where a solicitor engaged by a client fails to exercise the skill and knowledge reasonably expected of an ordinary solicitor.

This is also known as a claim for damages arising out of a breach of the duty of care owed by a solicitor to his/her client.

A claim for solicitors negligence usually arises where that failure on behalf of the solicitor results in the client suffering a loss. Such a claim is also known as a professional negligence suit.

If you need support or have a query about Professional / Solicitors Negligence, please contact Berwick Solicitors in Galway; now also serving Mayo, Roscommon, Clare and Westmeath.

If you think you may have a claim for professional / solicitors negligence, please contact Berwick Solicitors for a no obligation consultation in Galway or Dublin.

</p>
<div align="center">Amy Naughton</div>
<p>

Amy Naughton

Solicitor

Tel: (091) 567 545 (Galway)
Tel: (01) 488 3322 (Dublin)
Email: amynaughton@berwick.ie

Professional / Solicitors Negligence – Frequently asked questions:

Is there a time limit in which a must make my claim for professional negligence /solicitors negligence?

The time-limit for issuing proceedings in a solicitors negligence or professional negligence case is six years from the date on which the negligent act occurred.

Do I have to submit my claim to the injuries board?

No, unlike other claims for compensation arising out of negligence, a claim for solicitors negligence or professional negligence is not submitted to the injuries board. Most claims for solicitors negligence are processed either through the Circuit Court or the High Court depending on the level of damages anticipated in each case.

If I think I have a solicitor negligence claim what should I do?

It is important that you obtain a copy of your file from your solicitor as soon as possible. You will need a copy of the file in order to brief the appropriate independent expert to review your case and give you an opinion as to whether the solicitor against you are now alleging negligence was in fact negligent or failed in his/her duty of care to you as a client.

Why do I have to get an expert report?

The High Court has made it very clear that an independent expert report should be obtained before issuing proceedings for solicitors negligence. While this is an expense at the very beginning of the case, it does have the advantage of confirming whether you have a good case or not. It is better to sustain the cost of an independent expert report and find out that you have no case at an early stage rather than finding out that you have no case when you’re on the steps of court having incurred substantial legal costs.

Why are solicitor negligence claims treated differently from other compensation cases (for example road traffic accidents)?

1. Solicitor negligence cases are usually more complex:

In a road traffic accident case where the driver of one motor vehicle is claiming compensation for personal injury from the driver of another motor vehicle, the first question at the court has to determine is which party is liable. In such a case liability would be determined by reference to witnesses to the accident, Garda reports, photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved, and sketches of the scene of the accident.

However in a solicitor negligence claim, you first have to show that the services provided fell below the reasonable standard of service. You will also have to show that as a direct result of the negligence of the solicitor, you have suffered a real economic loss.

2. Expert medical reports must be obtained before commencing any court proceedings:

Because of the complexity of a solicitor negligence claim, it is strongly advised that before you issue any court proceedings, you engage the services of an experienced expert witness, ideally one who specialises in the same field of law as that of the solicitor against whom a claim of negligence is now being made. Because the legal field in Ireland is still quite small, it is usually appropriate to engage a solicitor from outside the area where the allegedly negligent solicitor resides/practices.

While this is a big expense at the beginning of the case, it is useful to have at least an independent opinion from the very beginning of the case which will indicate whether you have a good chance of success or not in taking such a case. Naturally it is useful and saves an enormous amount of time and money in terms of legal bills if you’re able to get an independent opinion before you go to court confirming whether you have a good case and not.

3. The Plaintiff (person making the claim) has a number of legal hurdles to overcome in order to succeed in his or her case.

A plaintiff must establish all four elements of the tort of negligence for a successful solicitor negligence claim.

  1. A duty of care was owed: a legal duty exists because the plaintiff was a client of the solicitor and the solicitor was hired by the plaintiff to do certain services for him/her.
  2. A duty of care was breached: the solicitor failed to conform to the relevant standard of care.
  3. The breach caused a loss.
  4. Damages: Without damages (financial loss), there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the solicitor was negligent.

What compensation or damages am I entitled to if my claim is successful?

The plaintiff’s damages may include compensatory and punitive damages. In a solicitors negligence case, the court will be strictly concerned with pure economic or financial loss. Punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) are only awarded in the event of wanton and reckless conduct.

Why are the costs so high in a solicitors negligence case?

The high legal costs of these cases results firstly, from the fact that the cases are complex to start with, and secondly, they tend to take a long time to get to court because of the very aggressive defence strategies of the professional indemnity insurance companies who insure solicitors and other professionals.

spacer
spacer

If you think you may have a claim for professional / solicitors negligence, please contact Berwick Solicitors for a no obligation consultation in Galway or Dublin.

</p>
<div align="center">David Higgins</div>
<p>

David Higgins

Partner

T: (091) 567 545 (Galway)
T: (01) 488 3322 (Dublin)
E: davidhiggins@berwick.ie

spacer
spacer