HomeFWJ TakeawayProfessional negligenceBringing a professional negligence claimFunding a claim in professional negligence

An important part of any claim against professional advisers is making sure you have the right funding in place to run the claim. There are many different options available, many of which reduce or eliminate any exposure you might have to paying legal costs. Our brilliant team can talk you through the options and find the right one for you.

The prospect of funding a litigation claim can seem quite daunting particularly if you are worried about having to pay legal fees.

Generally it is right that instructing a solicitor to deal with your claim means that legal fees will need to be paid however, there are various ways of funding professional negligence litigation so that should not be a concern.

Why use a professional negligence solicitor?

When making a professional negligence claim, it’s of vital importance that the case is conducted correctly. Failure to properly manage a negligence claim from the start may result in the rejection of your claim. Instructing an experienced professional negligence lawyer will ensure the proper handling of your case so increasing the chance of your claim being successful.

Advantages of instructing a solicitor for a professional negligence claim include:

  • Engaging a solicitor maximises your chances of obtaining compensation;
  • Given the often emotive issues involved in professional negligence, instructing a solicitor removes that emotion as we are able to view the case objectively;
  • That enables you to relax and stay focused throughout;
  • The professional who caused the negligence will take your claim far more seriously if presented by your solicitors;
  • That means a better prospect of early and more favourable settlement;
  • Or failing that, full legal support throughout the conduct of your claim.

The decision to instruct a solicitor to help you with your claim should, when thinking about the above, be an easy one.

Funding cases in professional negligence

Funding professional negligence cases can sometimes be difficult but usually the team at Francis Wilks & Jones are able to agree fee arrangements with clients which works for them to enable them to bring their claim.

  • most professionals will have professional indemnity insurance, the policy requiring immediate notification to the insurers of a possible claim.
  • in practice this means that the insurers are behind the responses of the professional and have the resources and pockets to account for valid claims against a professional.

The effect of that is the removal of the otherwise important risk that even if you win, payment of compensation and costs is not recoverable.  You have the confidence that, assuming your claim succeeds, the insurance policy will pay out.

That comfort also facilitates more easily fee arrangements whereby legal fees are only payable on success and the team at FWJ have in place arrangements with other fund providers which enable us to take cases on which, on assessment, should be brought.

  • our connections with funders enable us to work with them with the early assessment of cases for viability and suitability. 
  • each case is different and we have a streamlined process tailored to find the best suited funding arrangements  for each case perhaps on a “no win no fee” basis with us or an independent funder working with us.

At FWJ we welcome all enquiries, whatever the size or nature of the claim.  In our experience, getting legal advice early on facilitates our ability to assist in getting in place funding arrangements to enable you to bring your claim.

Other ways to fund professional negligence claims in brief include

Pre-Exsiting legal expenses

One of the first questions to be asked is whether there is already a pre-existing legal expenses policy in place which can be called upon to fund litigation.  Sometimes a policy can form part of household insurance and it is always worthwhile checking that.  We can discuss that with you as there may be ways of utilising a polices terms and conditions to secure experienced legal advice.

No win no fee

Where appropriate, we take cases on conditional fee arrangements, often known as “no win no fee” agreements.

There are many issues which will determine whether or not a professional negligence case is suitable for a funding arrangement which provides that legal fees are only paid in circumstances where a case is won. 

We say that, not only on the basis that quite obviously the case would need to have good grounds for success but also that it must fit the client’s needs. 

  • an eligible professional negligence claim funded on this basis requires that an uplift be paid to solicitors acting on a win so clearly, depending on the size of the win, the uplift can risk being higher than the cost of a solicitor paid outside of this (see below private client).
  • that said, a claim funded in this way offers the benefit that if the case is lost then solicitors’ fees are not payable either your own or the opponent’s solicitor provided that after the event insurance has been taken out as protection against any orders to pay costs awarded against a claimant following the case being lost.

Private client

Where the case is not suitable for a “no win no fee” arrangement or it is preferable to not pay a success fee then paying and funding legal fees to bring the professional negligence claim is the only other option.

  • the prospect of open-ended funding for litigation which, by it’s very nature is uncertain, can be lessened with accurate fees estimates being provided and careful monitoring. 
  • we understand how undesirable that uncertainty is and regularly work with our client’s individual needs to ensure that accurate estimates are provided and in some cases fixed fee arrangements are put in place.

If you have a claim against a professional adviser – contact our friendly professional negligence team today and we can help. We have won many claims for our clients, including claims against solicitors, accountants, tax advisers and surveyors. Whatever the nature of your claim – we can help.

Extremely thorough, professional and speedy, and the fees were much more reasonable than the competition. Highly recommended

A private client we successfully assisted in a claim

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