Sue Architects

Meade King, solicitors in Bristol, provides specialist advice on professional negligence.

Professional Negligence: no win no fee

Professional negligence claims against architects and other professionals have become more accessible owing to conditional fee agreements "no win no fee".

Our solicitors assess your professional negligence claim before entering into a "no win no fee" agreement. Our solicitors provide a free half hour initial appraisal of a professional negligence case. We have succeeded in professional negligence claims against architects, solicitors, accountants and surveyors. Our solicitors deal with a majority of professional negligence cases by conditional fee agreements "no win no fee". Our clients come from all over the country and abroad.

What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence claims may not arise from every mistake made by a professional (e.g. architect, solicitor, accountant). The broad test to be applied is whether the mistake is one which no reasonably competent professional should have made and whether it has caused the client any financial disadvantage.

Professional negligence: The tests

In broad terms, using a claim against an architect as an example, for a claimant in professional negligence to succeed, he or she has to establish: -

  • Existence of a duty on the part of the architect. That usually arises on the basis of the terms of engagement but can also arise on an architect's certificate provided when buying a new property or under the terms of a warranty agreement.
  • Breach of duty by the architect.
  • Existence of a loss.
  • Causation; that breach of duty by the architect has caused the loss. Distinguishing between this and losses caused by builders and others needs careful consideration.

Specialist advice on professional negligence

No win no fee arrangements are usually entered into after one of our solicitors has provided essential experienced guidance on the:

  • Existence of a duty of care.
  • Scope of that duty.
  • Quality of the advice that is given by the architect.
  • Issue of causation; did the breach lead to a loss?
  • Duty to minimise losses.
  • Likely amount of compensation.

A professional negligence claim (whether the claim is against an architect, an accountants or a solicitor) will inevitably be defended by an experienced insurer or solicitor. Three members of our team have previously worked on behalf of insurers and are aware of how to get the best out of claims. Our Bristol based solicitors provide essential high quality and effective representation in professional negligence claims.

At Meade King Solicitors we will: -

  • Identify the real issues at an early stage.
  • Anticipate the sort of defence which is likely to be argued.
  • Assess the prospects of success of the professional negligence claim.
  • Tell you what is involved in pursuing your claim for professional negligence.
  • Where appropriate, agree a process to encourage settlement.

In the great majority of cases, share the risk involved by operating under conditional fee arrangements "no win no fee".

Typical Professional Negligence Cases

Meade King Solicitors have acted recently in securing damages for professional negligence under conditional fee agreements "no win no fee": -

  • £160k against architects.
  • £200k against solicitors.
  • £300k against engineers.
  • £110k against accountants.
  • £40k against surveyors.


Partner John Vasey leads Meade King's team dealing with claims against architects and other construction professionals. John has over 20 years experience of such claims. Before joining Meade King he was head of the construction law team at a major national firm of solicitors where his work involved defending architects, engineers, surveyors and their insurers.

John has been recognised in the independent Chambers Guide to the UK legal profession as one of the leading construction solicitors in the South West.

John works closely with Adam Chivers who is overall head of the professional negligence work of Meade King, solicitors in Bristol. Adam is a qualified arbitrator.

He has been recommended in the independent Chambers Guide to the UK legal profession as "a bright and tenacious operator, commended for bringing a commercially realistic approach to litigation".

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