We provide expert legal advice on professional negligence claims against accountants, IFAs, tax consultants, auditors, stockbrokers, lenders, actuaries, insurance brokers, valuers and financial advisers.
Our specialist City of London Solicitors and Barristers have market-leading experience in claims against financial institutions. Unlike many law firms, we have expert knowledge in the specialist area of financial mis-selling having litigated on (and settled) many multi-million pound disputes involving complex derivatives. If you have received bad advice from a professional in the financial industry, our specialist City lawyers are perfectly placed to advice you on your claims for compensation at the outset of our instruction.
If you have been given bad advice or have a complaint about a financial adviser it is important that you take independent legal advice to seek compensation for your loss before the time limits expire (usually six years).
Complaint about a financial adviser, accountant or insurance broker?
Professionals in the financial industry who are tasked to give financial advice to clients are highly trained and regulated by their professional bodies. Certain advisers are regulated by the FCA and to fulfill their duties they must comply with certain rules and regulations of that professional body. In most cases, a financial adviser will owe concurrent tortious, contractual, statutory and fiduciary duties to their clients (depending on the specific facts of each case).
A high level of trust is placed upon such financial adviers by their clients- many of whom are not sophisticated consumers and rely heavily on the advice given. If a financial adviser fails to deliver the service to the standard expected of a reasonable professional in that speciality field, then a client has every right to bring a complaint (and court proceedings) if financial or personal loss is suffered as a result.
For example, if an accountant provides bad advice, the personal and reputational damage could be damaging and could lead to enforcement action being taken by HMRC. Our tax disputes team have years of experience defending cases where a client is being pursued for a tax debt by HMRC.
Who can be pursued for a professional negligence claim in the financial industry?
Claims against financial advisers have been on the increase in recent years from advisers that are both regulated and also those that are unregulated. A professional negligence claim can in theory be made against anyone in the financial industry who have a duty, that duty has been breached and the breach has caused loss.
The following are examples by profession of where compensation can be claimed:
- negligent accountants;
- negligent auditors;
- negligent actuaries;
- negligent financial advisers/IFAs;
- negligent insurance brokers;
- negligent lenders;
- negligent stockbrokers;
- negligent tax advisers; and
- negligent valuers.
How do I prove that my financial adviser has been negligent?
In order to sue a professional for negligence, a claimant must establish three elements to the civil standard of proof (on a balance of probabilities, i.e. it must be proved by the claimant that the financial adviser’s breach of duty caused the claimant to suffer loss).
1.Demonstrate that the financial adviser/accountant/insurance broker owed you a duty of care: the boundary lines between when a tortious duty of care is owed or not owed is subject to tests that are being continuously evolved by the courts. A duty of care exists where the financial adviser can be shown to have objectively assumed responsibility (and the courts have demonstrated increasing willingness to find that a financial adviser is liable to whomever reasonably relies on their advice).
2. Establish that the financial adviser/accountant/insurance broker has breached the duty of care owed to you: proving breach will obviously vary depending on the individual circumstances of the case. A claimant needs to demonstrate that the breach shows that the financial adviser/accountant/insurance broker fell below the standards of a reasonably competent adviser in that speciality.
3. Prove that the financial adviser/accountant/insurance broker’s breach caused loss to you: you must prove both factual and legal causation. The test for factual causation is that “but for” the lawyer’s breach you would not have suffered loss, for example if a lawyer misses a limitation date and as a result your claim becomes statute barred and you lose the chance to substantial damages in the substantive claim, factual causation is demonstrable because “but for” the solicitor’s negligence you would still have a claim that was not time-barred and still have a chance to achieving damages. Legal causation must also be proved i.e. the loss must be reasonably foreseeable at the time when the relevant duty was breached.
Case examples of Professional Negligence Claims against Financial Advisers
Successful compensation claims against professionals in the financial industry include:
- Accountants failing to adequately assess a client’s financial situation to correctly advise on suitable financial products.
- Financial advisers giving bad/poor/incorrect advice on entering into a financial product and/or investment such as SIPPs (claim against SIPP Operators).
- IFAs failing to advise on the risks of an investment/product, resulting in a financial loss.
- Bankers wrongly assessing a client’s attitude towards risk when recommending a (risky) financial product to invest in such as CFDs, crypto-currencies, FX derivatives, LIBOR-linked products etc.
- Mis-selling financial products.
- Insurance brokers failing to follow instructions provided by a client.
Our experienced team of Specialist Professional Negligence Solicitors and Barristers that are experienced in recovering damages for financial loss suffered after a financial adviser has provided sub-standard legal advice or legal conduct. We can often take on such claims on a no win no fee basis once we have assessed and advised you on the merits of the proposed professional negligence action.
Book an Initial Consultation with our Professional Negligence Lawyers
Do you have a claim against a professional? If you want expert legal advice, do not delay in instructing us so we can assess the legal merit of your case.
We can often take on such claims on a no win no fee basis (such as a Conditional Fee Arrangement) once we have discussed the claim with you and then assessed and advised you on the merits of the proposed professional negligence action.
Our expert legal team of leading Professional Negligence Solicitors & Barristers can provide urgent help, advice or representation to you. Just call our Professional Negligence Lawyers on 02071830529 or email us now.
Instruct Specialist Professional Negligence Solicitors
We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers operating from the only law firm based in the Middle Temple Inns of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. Our team have expertise in advising on claims for compensation against professionals that have fallen below the standard expected, which causes clients financial or personal loss. We are experienced in bringing successful claims against negligent solicitors, barristers, financial advisers, insurance brokers, surveyors, valuers, architects, tax advisers and IFAs.