HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesTime limits to bring a negligence claim

If you have a claim against a professional adviser for poor advice - it is vital to make sure you bring it within the legally permitted time limits. We can help make sure you do this and maximise your chances of success

At some point in our lives, most of us will have a need to instruct a professional and whilst we all expect that will go well, too often it does not.

Whatever the task given to a professional, if that work is not done to the standard expected of that profession then it is likely that a claim in professional negligence will follow.

There are many factors to be considered in contemplation of a claim but perhaps the most important one is

  • to identify the exact date before which it would be necessary to issue a claim at Court.
  • this is vital to any claim as quite simply, if a claim is issued outside of what is known as the “limitation period” then the claim will fail.

Limitation Period

If you are considering bringing a professional negligence claim against a professional, you should always act as quickly as possible and seek legal advice on both the limitation period and the merits of your claim.

If court proceedings are to be issued, the claim must be brought within the relevant limitation period.

  • The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring a litigation claim and in professional negligence claims, this can become a little complicated. 
  • Your legal rights to bring a claim will become irreversibly time-barred if legal action is not taken before the deadline. 

Failure to take legal advice at the earliest opportunity risks a claim falling at this first hurdle and the team at Francis Wilks & Jones advise regularly on this important aspect.

Different types of legal claims have different limitation periods and the law in this area is complex.

  • in most professional negligence cases the limitation period is six years from the date of the negligence.
  • in some cases it may be necessary to agree a standstill agreement or perhaps issue a claim to protect it depending on the circumstances.
  • however, this may be extended where the negligence only becomes apparent at a later stage. In those cases the relevant limitation period is three years from the date of knowledge of the facts which might give rise to a claim.

It is a difficult area of law with strict statutory deadlines applicable to claims which, if missed will be fatal to the claim.  In depth investigation into the circumstances which gave rise to the claim and some carefully considered advice as to the time frame applicable to your case should be sought as early as possible not to miss it.


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 helped

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