What is professional liability? It is common to refer to “professional negligence”. In fact the textbooks often refer to “professional liability” to emphasise that the liability of professionals often goes wider than negligence, for example including fraud, breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.
I have been specialising in professional liability claims since I completed my training in 2001. 4 New Square is consistently rated as the leading set of chambers for professional liability work and I am rated as a leading junior in the field by the Legal 500 directory and by Chambers and Partners.
About half of my work in this field involves acting for clients who are suing, or thinking of suing, their former professional advisers. They may be individuals, small businesses or larger institutions such as banks or building societies.
The other half of my work involves acting for professionals who are facing a claim, and usually, their professional indemnity insurers.
I frequently act in claims against solicitors and barristers, auditors and accountants, valuers and surveyors, independent financial advisers, receivers, insolvency practitioners, insurance brokers, and other professionals. I do not act in clinical negligence cases.
Acting both for claimants and defendants gives me a good insight into the pressures faced by parties on different sides to litigation and familiarity with their tactics.
Often professional negligence complaints and claims go hand in hand with disputes about professional fees. As a specialist cost barrister I am well placed to deal with disputed about fees. Often direct access clients instruct me to review both whether they may have a professional liability claim and whether the fees can be challenged. Having a specialist barrister to back you up when you are in a disagreement with a former professional adviser can boost your credibility and make all the difference in getting the professional to take your grievance seriously.