Professional Negligence

When clients engage the services of professionals, it is reasonable to expect them to carry out their role with care and diligence and to deliver services to the standards one might reasonably expect of someone in that position. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Sometimes professionals fall short of the standards expected or required of them and, in doing so, may cause damage to their clients’ interests or sadly, in some cases, to the clients themselves. In our role as expert accountants, we are able to assist in two ways.

In relation to the negligence of an accountant, depending on their area of practice, we can often comment or express an opinion on whether that accountant has acted in accordance with the knowledge, skill and standards reasonably expected of them and are able to involve colleagues in other service lines within Armstrong Watson to assist with the liability aspect of a claim.

While we are not able to comment on the conduct of professionals in other disciplines, as that is not within our expertise, we are able to assist affected parties to calculate the financial effects or damages of any alleged negligent actions upon them.

Acting for both Claimants and Defendants, our experience spans professional negligence matters within the following professions:

  • Accountants
  • Solicitors
  • Insurance brokers
  • Independent Financial Advisers (‘IFA’s)
  • Insolvency Practitioners (‘IP’s)

If you would like to find out more about how we are able to assist you, please get in touch.

Contact our Forensic accounting team on 0808 144 5575 to discuss how we can help you.

Case Studies

   Additional trading losses due to delay in sale

We were instructed by lawyers for the Defendant to report on quantum issues in relation to an alleged solicitor professional negligence against a company which managed licensed premises and a brewery. It was alleged that the company had suffered additional trading losses as a result of a delay in the sale of a number of its’ businesses. We reviewed financial documentation, prepared a CPR format report setting out our view of quantum, met with the opposing expert and prepared the resulting joint statement. The matter settled prior to trial.

   Business losses

We were asked to assist the Claimant in a matter where a solicitor omitted to secure a right of access to the site of his car garage and body shop following the sale of some land. The exercise included a valuation of the business, as well as an assessment of the costs of relocation and the subsequent re-establishment of the business from an alternative site. Subsequent to the disclosure of our report, we were required to have a joint meeting with the Defendant’s expert and to prepare a joint statement. The matter settled on favourable terms for the Claimant following a settlement meeting.

   Alleged negligence against insolvency practitioners

We have been appointed as expert in a number of cases where insolvency practitioners (IP’s) are facing negligence actions. In such cases, one of our Armstrong Watson insolvency practitioners will act as the expert assisted by Liesel Annible. For example, we acted in a case where HMRC, the largest creditor, decided to replace the incumbent IPs as they had failed to pursue a claim in a foreign jurisdiction. We were able to demonstrate that the IPs had acted reasonably in that they had no funds to pursue the action and had asked HMRC for funding but HMRC had not responded to their request.

   Claimed loss of profits from alleged insurance broker negligence

We were approached by lawyers for the Defendant to report on quantum issues in relation to an alleged broker negligence matter. They requested an advisory report on the loss of profits arising from property damage to a garden centre following heavy snowfall. The insurer had not paid out due to policy exclusions and the insured instead brought an action against its insurance broker. In addition to preparing our report, we attended settlement discussions to assist our instructing lawyers on quantum aspects.

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