Chancery Lane based Cubism Law is one of the leading professional negligence firms, with in-depth expertise and experience in acting both for and against professionals claiming damages for professional negligence. Our four specialist consultants in this area: Peter Zombory-Moldovan, Karen Pollock, Duncan McNair and Peter Mellett all have partner level backgrounds in leading City law firms focusing on professional negligence and professional indemnity matters. They bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to their practice, whether representing private individuals, partnerships or companies in disputes arising out of professional negligence, breaches of professional duty or fraud by professionals.
Clients particularly appreciate our practical, user-friendly and cost-efficient approach to resolving professional negligence disputes, wherever possible without the need for litigation; where this cannot be avoided, we handle proceedings (including arbitrations and adjudications) with determination and vigour, never losing sight of the client’s commercial objectives and the need to contain costs. We act for both claimants and defendants.
Auctioneers normally owe duties to both sellers and buyers, and actionable financial loss can be incurred where an auctioneer has negligently mis-described goods consigned to it. We have special expertise in the area of works of art, antiques and antiquities which includes recently securing substantial sums in compensation for clients whose goods were mislaid by an auction house. Discretion can be all-important in this area; where appropriate, we seek to resolve such disputes confidentially and without recourse to litigation.
Contractors (and sub-contractors) with design responsibility may be liable in construction cases where, for example, defective or unsuitable materials have been used, or where unsuitable design has compromised the performance of the finished building. Claims may be brought by developers or, in many cases, by subsequent purchasers or tenants who have suffered loss. Such claims can be highly technical in nature. Our professional negligence consultants have wide-ranging experience in this area and can advise on all aspects of such disputes, including adjudications under the Housing Grants and Regeneration Act 1996.
Professional negligence claims against engineers most often arise in the context of construction disputes. Structural engineers may face liability not only in cases of catastrophic failure but also where necessary rectification in the course of construction has resulted in delay to the works. Mechanical and electrical (M&E) engineers may be liable where, for example, inadequacies in their design or specification have resulted in defective services or caused delay in the programme. The often highly technical nature of such disputes demands in-depth expertise of the type which our professional negligence consultants offer.
The mis-selling of pensions may be the most prominent example of widespread professional negligence by IFAs, but it is by no means the only area where negligent financial advice has caused widespread loss on the part of savers and investors. Poor investment advice, often stemming from a failure to recommend financial products or securities appropriate to a client’s appetite for risk, is still not uncommon, and recent periods of extreme volatility in asset markets have in some cases resulted in significant losses to the victims of such negligence. The quantification of recoverable loss in such cases can be highly complex. Our professional negligence consultants can advise and are well placed to assist, for example, with the preparation of clients’ complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Professional negligence claims against property agents used to be relatively rare, but this is no longer the case. Our professional negligence consultants have acted, for instance, for vendors whose estate agents failed to disclose that they had also been retained by the purchasers. Claims of this nature may involve allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and even fraud and need special expertise, which our professional negligence consultants are well placed to offer. We also handle professional negligence and contractual claims against letting agents (e.g. for negligent failure to ascertain the suitability of tenants) and managing agents.
Hitherto something of a rarity, professional negligence claims against mortgage brokers look set to increase in number. The bursting of the buy-to-let speculative bubble, in particular, seems likely to expose some mortgage brokers to claims by disappointed investors (and in some cases by lenders who have been hit by mortgage fraud). This is still a developing area of the law of professional negligence and Cubism Law’s specialists in the area of property finance negligence claims are here to help clients steer a way through it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we have experience in claims against many other groups of professionals. Please note that we do not deal with clinical negligence claims.
The costs of bringing a claim to trial can be substantial and anyone contemplating litigation should be aware of the substantial investment they will have to make both in terms of time and money. Cubism prides itself on its innovation and will work with its clients to find the best solution to fund a claim of merit. The different options for professional negligence claim funding are set out below:
Hourly Rate. The solicitor and the client agree an hourly rate at which the solicitor will conduct the case, reviewable each year. If the case is successful the client will generally recover about two thirds of these costs from the unsuccessful party.
Conditional Fee Arrangement. The Client and the Solicitor enter into a CFA which means that the solicitors services are not paid at point of delivery but are deferred until settlement/judgment (subject to important exceptions). The client will normally choose to take out After the Insurance in conjunction to protect himself against an adverse costs ruling. Disbursements (such as Counsel and Expert fees and Court fees) are paid by the Client. Cubism does not provide disbursement funding. The Clients' case will have at least a 60% chance of success confirmed by an independent barrister. Cubism will assess the case before entering into a conditional fee arrangement with a client to ensure that it is viable. We carefully choose the clients and cases we take on because we provide a professional service to our clients.
CFA” Lite”. The Solicitor and Client agree that the solicitor hourly rate is reduced with a deferred element payable if the case is successful. Again disbursements are payable by the client. Available, at Cubism’s discretion if the case has merit but does not attain the 60% prospects of success test.
Third Party Funding: Professional funders will take over the Clients liability to pay costs and be liable for any adverse costs awards in return for a percentage of damages awarded or a multiple return on investment made. Third Party Funders usually require a strong case, where the defendant has sufficient assets (or is insured) to meet a judgment and that the damages are substantial. As a starting point, the claim must be worth at least £1 million.
After the Event Insurance. These products cover a client’s risk of being ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs at the conclusion of the case and usually the disbursements the client has paid during the litigation, even if it is unsuccessful. However, they do not generally cover the costs paid to the solicitors. At present products can be found where the premium is conditional on success and self insured. However, the legal framework for recovery of costs including insurance premiums is changing and the structure of these products and availability will change in the near future.
We will advise you on the different options open to you to fund the case in a transparent fashion.
Contacting our Professional Negligence Lawyers
If you would like to arrange an initial consultation please call 0207 831 0101 and ask to speak to the professional negligence team, or use the 'get in touch' form on this page to send us some initial information about your case and we will call you back.
"I was greatly impressed with Karen's 'can-do' attitude, and indeed the positive attitude to work very late at night on countless occasions and on Sundays to beat the deadline, at an unrelenting pace.
My experience in previous cases is that to actually get to talk to the solicitor handling the case is a difficult task, but with your firm I was impressed by the availability of all concerned and the new direct access to Counsel is very impressive.
In summary I would have no hesitation in recommending your firm to any would be litigant. The client will receive first class no nonsense advice and informative care as to the progress and conduct of the case."
Mr Nigel Bidgood
All Seasons (Southern) Ltd.
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