Chris has acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in negligence claims against various professionals. These include accountants, architects, lawyers, surveyors and valuers.
A professional negligence claim is based on an allegation that the professional involved failed to use the standard of care reasonably expected of skilled members of his/her profession. A successful claimant must prove that the professional’s failure to meet the relevant standard caused the loss, damage or injury for which the claimant seeks a remedy. At the heart of these matters, is the scope of the duty of care owed by the professional which might depend on factors such as the tasks typically carried out by members of the relevant profession, and any statements the professional has made regarding his/her area of competence.
If it is found that the professional owed, and breached, a duty of care to the claimant, the Court must assess the loss suffered by the claimant as a result of the professional’s breach. Assessing this loss can be a complex task and often involves careful analyses of conflicting pieces of evidence.
As with other types of civil litigation, professional negligence claims are frequently resolved by way of alternative dispute resolution (out of court settlements). This method of resolving disputes might be preferable for a variety of reasons, and especially in cases where the professional’s reputation is at stake. It might also be that the parties have a genuine desire to preserve their commercial relationship. Chris factors in these considerations when providing sound strategic advice to clients.