Professional Negligence FAQs

Donoghue Solicitors are experts at making professional negligence claims. Here we answer some of the professional negligence FAQs (frequently asked questions) we have received in the past.

If your question isn’t among them, and you want more information about making a professional negligence claim, please call us on 08000 124 206 or complete the online form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Professional Negligence?

Briefly, professional negligence is when your professional adviser is negligent and you suffer a loss as a result.

Legally, professional negligence is a common law tort, but professional negligence claims are also made under contract law and other things.

For more information, please go to our page ‘What is Professional Negligence?

What Types of Cases Do Donoghue Solicitors Take?

We only represent people who have claims against their civil litigation solicitors in cases involving:

We can help if your solicitor:

  • settled your claim for less than it was worth;
  • missed deadlines so you can no longer pursue your claim;
  • or lost your case due to their negligence for some other reason.

Contact us by completing the online form on this page or call 08000 124 206 for more information.

If you want to make a professional negligence claim for something else, we suggest you try the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service.

How Much Should My Claim Be Worth to Instruct Donoghue Solicitors?

We help with claims worth £15,000 or more.

This is because legal costs are not usually payable below the small claims limit of £10,000, and with loss of chance, contributory negligence, and other arguments (explained here), we have to be sure that our clients will recover damages and legal costs before starting their professional negligence claims.

Where in the UK Can I Claim?

We represent people in their claims against solicitors based in England and Wales.

We are based in Liverpool, Merseyside, and represent people locally and also further afield. By prior appointment we can meet you in London or Bootle (Merseyside). We are happy to help you via phone, skype/ facetime, email, and even post!

Go to the contact us page for details of where we can meet throughout the country.

Some of our clients prefer to instruct a solicitor from a different area, particularly if they feel uncomfortable about using another local solicitor to claim against the negligent lawyer.

How Do I Fund My Professional Negligence Claim?

There are three ways people fund their professional negligence claims.

The first is to use pre-existing legal expenses insurance (also known as ‘before the event’ insurance) or trade union funding. Alternatively, we might be able to help on a no win no fee basis, or you may choose to fund your claim privately. Read more about these options here.

How Long Do I Have to Make A Claim? (What is the Professional Negligence Limitation Period?)

In most cases professional negligence claims are brought in tort law and/or contract. (Read more about this here.)

This means that you have to issue court proceedings within six years of the date of the ’cause of action’ (i.e. when you became aware of facts which would justify suing for compensation).

If you were unaware of the right to claim until later, you may still be able to claim compensation. If the court agrees, you have three years from the date that you first became aware of the right to claim, or ought to have been aware of it. The maximum period in this situation is 15 years from the date the cause of action arose.

Different rules apply for people under 18 and those under a technical disability.

The law in professional negligence limitation period matters is complex, so it is best to get in touch as soon as you become aware that your solicitor may have been negligent.

How Long Will My Professional Negligence Claim Take? (and Pre-Action Protocol Professional Negligence Questions)

Unfortunately it is impossible to predict with certainty how long any case will take.

Every case is different and the speed of professional negligence litigation depends on:

  • the behaviour of the parties;
  • how much evidence (including expert evidence) is required to prove the case;
  • how quickly the courts can hear a trial (if necessary);
  • whether the claim settles out of court;
  • and many other things.

Once the Claimant is in a position to formally make a claim against their solicitor, the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence applies.

This is a set of rules which governs the way the courts manage professional negligence claims and can by found on the website.

The Protocol states that the allegedly negligent solicitor has 21 days from the date of receipt of a formal letter of claim to respond. He or she then has three months to confirm if they intend to fight the claim or admit liability.

Once proceedings are issued in court the claim will be dealt with according to strict timetables, so that, although some claims can take more than two years, many do not.

When we speak with you about your professional negligence claim we will be able to better advise about the likely time period.

Why Should I Instruct Donoghue Solicitors, member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association?

Professional Negligence Claims are complex and best taken by specialist solicitors.

Donoghue Solicitors have many years’ experience in dealing with these claims.

We limit ourselves to taking only taking cases against other solicitors in accident claims and actions against the police.


Because we know this area of law inside out and know what it takes to win (or lose) these cases, so can properly advise on potential professional negligence claims.

Our solicitor director, Kevin Donoghue, is a member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association, a group of expert solicitors dedicated to helping people with professional negligence claims.

We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which means that you can be confident that you are dealing with a reputable law firm, dedicated to putting our clients’ interests first.

Don’t just take our word for it. Read some of our clients’ reviews here or see our professional negligence case studies to see how we help.

Better yet, call us on 08000 214 206 or complete the online form on this page to talk to us about your professional negligence claim.

Will I Have to go to Court?

As explained above, it is impossible to say how your professional negligence claim will progress due, in large part, to whether the allegedly negligent solicitor accepts blame.

If they refuse and your claim is worth taking to trial, you would normally be expected to attend.

However, the vast majority of cases do not end up in a court trial, even if proceedings are issued, as the professional negligence pre-action protocol, and guidance from judges at court, actively encourages settlement before trial.

What Do You Need to Consider My Professional Negligence Claim?

Call us on 08000 124 206 or complete the online form on this page to provide us with brief details.

We will review your case with you and, if we agree to investigate further, ask you for more information, documentation, etc. at that time.

We may ask to see any documents you have received from your solicitor, especially any letters where they admit liability.

What is the Complaints Procedure Against Solicitors?

Before seeking legal advice about a possible claim you might want to complain to your current solicitors. The procedure to do this starts with approaching your solicitors directly. If you want, you can ask for a copy of their complaints procedure. All solicitors will give you a copy of their complaints procedure on request. Some (like us) publish it on their website so you might want to check there first.

Any More Professional Negligence FAQs?

We hope these Professional Negligence FAQs have helped.

If you have any other questions you want us to answer, or want a professional negligence solicitor’s help with your claim, please contact Kevin Donoghue, solicitor (shown below), by completing the online form on this page or by calling 08000 124 246.

Photo of Professional Negligence FAQs - contact solicitor Kevin Donoghue.

Professional Negligence FAQs – contact solicitor Kevin Donoghue.

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