Professional Negligence

Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required standard.

You may bring a claim against a professional if you have suffered loss or damage due to the professional’s advice or actions. In property disputes, the professional may include:

  • An estate agent;
  • A surveyor;
  • A conveyancer;
  • A construction contractor;
  • An architect.

Professionals are required to act with competence in accordance with their own regulatory bodies and professional standards. There may be grounds for a professional negligence claim if the professional falls below those standards.

boss sitting in office

I am a Partner at Naylor Solicitors, a law firm specialising in property disputes and resolution. I would be delighted to assist with any queries you may have. Please get in touch to arrange a no obligation consultation.

James Naylor

What are the grounds for bringing a professional negligence claim?

The tort of negligence has three basic requirements which must be proved by the client on a balance of probabilities (i.e., more likely than not):

  • The professional owed the client a duty not to cause the type of harm suffered;
  • The professional breached the duty owed; and
  • The professional’s breach of duty caused the client to suffer loss which is recoverable.

As a general rule, professionals are taken to have assumed responsibility towards their clients and so owe a duty of care.

The client will need to show that the professional did not comply with the standard of care owed. Broadly, this will involve evidence that the professional made an error that no reasonable member of that profession would have made, in the same circumstances. In most cases, expert evidence will be required to support the claim.

We can represent clients seeking to bring a claim for professional negligence, including providing expert legal advice on the merits of your case.

How much compensation can be claimed?

A successful claim of negligence would entitle you to compensatory damages. The aim of an award of damages is to put you in the position you would have been in if the professional had acted competently.

The amount of damages will be based on the financial loss caused by the professional’s negligence. For example, as a result of a negligent contractor’s actions, your property value may have decreased or you may have needed to enlist another professional to rectify the situation.

We can provide expert legal advice on the amount of damages you can expect to recover in a professional negligence claim.

Can a professional avoid liability?

Professionals often seek to restrict liability for loss and damage by inserting an exclusion or limitation of liability clause in the contract.

To be effective, the clause must be incorporated into the contract and brought to the attention of the other party before the contract is concluded. 

However, under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, parties do not have complete freedom to insert exclusion clauses into contracts. A clause purporting to exclude or restrict liability for any damage must be reasonable and the court will consider the bargaining powers of each party.

We can advise you on the enforceability of an exclusion or limitation of liability clause, to determine your right to bring a professional negligence claim.

We’re with you, every step of the way.

We’re here to guide you through the intricacies of litigation, resolve disputes efficiently, and help you achieve your outcome.


Our team is composed of dedicated and accomplished legal professionals, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.

Violeta Korkucyte
Violeta Korkucyte
I am very happy with the service provided by Dominika Libova who helped me out with both my housing and allotment issues. Dominika was very professional, knowledgeable and understanding. I am grateful for all support and understanding received. I highly recommend Dominika and I will certainly continue using Naylor Solicitors services, should again there will be any need. Thank you so much! Kind regards, Violeta Korkucyte
Xuan Xing
Xuan Xing
I used Naylor as my solicitor in my possesion claim case. It was very complicated due to a rent-to-rent and defaulting agent case with changing solicitors in the past. Jenny and Dominika provided top-notch services along the way and helped me finally regained the property. They gave legal advices truly in client's interest and explained things in details. I would highly recommend you using them esp. when you face a complicated case.
Hi, My landlord posted an arrears repayment request letter (for my commercial property) to my old residential address where I haven't lived for over 20 years. To make things worse, some of my estranged family out of spite 'sat on the letter and never told me'. When my sick father found out he told me but by that time it was too late and my landlord had then tried 'to dig up a old expired lease clause' to evict me instead. I contacted the landlord and instructed Naylors to help me, as I have used them previously without any problems. I had an excellent service and outcome before and this time felt I was in very safe hands. However my landlord served me a 'forfeiture of lease and claimed repossession. Distraught Naylors saved the day and I am delighted, relieved and very grateful to say the landlord has given my keys back to me today, (within 48hrs of Naylors contacting them on my behalf) and I am back in my shop. Thank you so so much James, Jonathan, Jasper, Gurcharan and the whole team at Naylors, you guys are fantastic! keep up the amazing work. best wishes shabana x
Relinda Howard
Relinda Howard
I take this opportunity of thanking Dominika for her expertise and professionalism. She certainly made my experience of this situation more pleasant . She appears to be a person of strength and determination. When it is time to be firm she can be. Thanks for her perseverance in completing what she started. Relinda.
Mark Genney
Mark Genney
I have to say Naylor went the extra mile, my case must have lasted 5 years or so. I'm very happy with the amount of professionalism and talent that Naylor brought to this.
BB Roy
BB Roy
This specialist, yet unassuming Property Law firm came to my rescue by evicting a tenant in my property who was illegally subletting. At the outset, the principal of the firm - James Naylor set out a very clear forthright approach to get the tenants out by a given date. Then it was all up to a very high impact Solicitor Nida Khan to execute that plan. Nida was diligent and persistent in her manner with the tenants and left them with little scope to manoeuvre other than to surrender the tenancy by the specified date or to face imminent eviction by court orders. Through out the two week's process - Nida kept me informed, was easy to communicate with and was always reassuring. I am very grateful to Naylor's LLP for their professional service and happy to recommend Nida and her firm as outstanding property law practitioners.
Nurliah Fisher
Nurliah Fisher
I would like to thanks to all the staff at Naylor Solicitors. They are all very helpful and the most important is for me that’s they are very honest. Wishing them all the best and success with their team work and especially to Dominika, Many thanks for your hard work. Best wishes Nurliah Fisher
Mustafa Kalaycı
Mustafa Kalaycı
The most honest, hardworking, and fully professional law firm I have encountered or worked with. Despite speaking different languages, they effectively understand you through their interpreters, find the best advisors to assist you, and acquire the necessary information. They create a friendly, family-like atmosphere with a straightforward approach, particularly in litigation expertise. My gratitude goes to all the staff involved, especially James Naylor and Jenny Cheung, for their dedication. Thanks for everything. Mustafa KALAYCI
I used Naylor Solicitors to help us purchase our freehold. It wasn't as straightforward as we'd hoped as the previous freeholder and his solicitors were difficult to deal with (not responding to calls or emails etc,) which delayed things. At one point the freeholder threatened to pull out of the sale despite previously agreeing. Our solicitor Adam was swift in his response, reminding the other side that we had a verbal agreement and that they were risking us taking legal action in that regard. He was then able to make sure the sale went through as agreed. I highly recommend Naylor Solicitors.
Ray Allen
Ray Allen
We have used their services twice and both times we found them to be efficient and responsive. Kept us well informed of all developments throughout the process.