Preparing your professional negligence claim

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21 November, 2019

Kamran Naqvi v (1) Harris Cartier Limited (In Liquidation) (2) Richard Slade & Co (3) Jeffrey Bacon (4) Brian Levy [2019] EWGC 3042 (QB)

What happened in this case?

The Claimant brought an action for damages for professional negligence against the Solicitors and Barrister who acted for him in his unsuccessful race discrimination claim against his former employer, Lloyds Bank. The Claimant had been successful in the unfair dismissal aspect of the proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. The Claimant claimed his former legal advisers failed to properly formulate or present a case of race discrimination and failed to quantify his losses. The Claimant claimed he ought to have been entitled to more than £10m in compensation.

The Defendants made an application for an immediate judgment without going to a full trial as they stated the claim was an abuse of process as it was a collateral challenge to the Employment Tribunal proceedings and further, it had no real prospects of success.

What was decided by the Court?

The Court granted judgment to the Defendants.

The Court summarised the circumstances in which there could be a claim against legal advisors for dealing negligently with claims and commented upon the legal advisors' role in preparation of the initial claim. A legal advisor was not expected to think up complaints the Claimant was not making or seek out discrimination claims that had not been raised.

What does this mean?

It is possible to challenge a Court or Tribunal decision if a different outcome would have been achieved if the legal advisors had acted competently. However, the legal advisors must have been provided with all the relevant facts.

Although a client may not know about the law (and that is what we are here for) it is vitally important to explain the situation in detail and provide all the documents to the legal advisor at the outset and as the case progresses. Keeping copies of important documents and making notes of events as they happen will be useful to jog a client's memory and ensure the legal advisor has all the information with which to build the best case.

If you believe you have a potential claim then please contact us.

For more information contact Claire Edbury in our Dispute Resolution department via email or phone on 0333 207 1143. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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