Conveyancing Negligence Claims
When buying or selling a home, renewing a lease or taking part in any other kind of legal transaction involving property, any mistakes made by your solicitor can end up costing you dearly. However, help is at hand. Where your conveyancer has been negligent, we can step to it to give you the best chance of securing fair compensation.
At Carruthers Law, we have over 30 years of experience pursuing conveyancing negligence claims on behalf of clients throughout England and Wales. We can provide clear advice on whether you are owed compensation, then guide you through the whole claims process.
It may be that your conveyancing solicitor missed a costly problem with your property or perhaps they gave you the wrong advice about a restrictive covenant, right of way or other key issue that affects your use of the property.
Whatever the issue, if a solicitor’s advice on a property has ended up costing you money, meant you paid more for a property than you would have or caused you to buy a property you otherwise would have avoided, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
With extensive experience handling high value, complex conveyancing negligence claims for clients all over England and Wales, our team can give you the best chance of getting fair restitution for the harm you have suffered.
For a free, no obligation discussion about making a conveyancing negligence claim, call today on 0151 541 2040 or complete our simple enquiry form.
Why choose Carruthers Law for your conveyancing negligence claim?
Our conveyancing negligence solicitors offer:
- Over 30 years’ experience in this specialist area of law
- Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA) membership
- Specialism in complex, high value conveyancing negligence claims
- Your claim handled directly by a trained specialist solicitor
- A free initial phone consultation to see how we can help
Types of conveyancing negligence claims
Our highly experienced conveyancing negligence solicitors can advise on claims in relation to matters such as:
- Failure to carry out and/or advise upon pre-contract searches and enquiries
- Failure to adequately advise you upon the ownership options of land such as joint tenants or tenants in common or incorrectly draft a declaration of trust
- Disputes between property owners as a consequence of negligent conveyancing advice
- Failure to complete a purchase leading to a loss of deposit and legal costs
- Failure to remove a registered charge or mortgage
- Loss of deposit and legal fees as a result of service of a notice to complete
- Failure to advise on planning restrictions or other restrictive covenants resulting in you not being able to make alterations to your new home
- Failiure to advise that an extension does not have the correct planning permission or building regulations approval
- Acting without legal authority throughout a transaction such as obtaining instructions from one joint owner and not the other
- Acting upon instructions from someone exceeding their authority such as outside a Lasting Power of Attorney
- Your solicitor has failed to establish the length and terms of a lease, causing a costly re-negotiation of terms with the freeholder.
- Exchanging contracts without your instruction
- Failure to pay off the mortgage on the sold property
- Failure to investigate title to your property resulting in the purchase of a defective title
- Failure to advise as to a proposed nearby building development leading to the value of your home being reduced
- Failure to advise on serious defects in the title of your property resulting in a loss of services such as water, electricity or sewerage.
- Failure to report upon title to advise of incumbrances on the land such as a right of way, restrictive covenants or adverse possession claims
- Failure to pay the sale proceeds to all the owners of a property upon sale
- Discovering part of the land that you have purchased was not infact included in the purchase such as part of the garden or garage
- Failure to secure vacant possession of your property
- Failure to advise that you do not have a right of way to access your property or that someone else has a right of way over your land
- Negligent advice as to trusts
- If your house is located near a river or other water source, and your solicitor has failed to complete a proper search or an environmental report, and as a consequence you purchase a property on a flood plain and are at greater risk of your home being flooded or the failure devalues the property.
- Failure to protect vulnerable clients
How conveyancing negligence claims work
Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence
The first step in making a conveyancing negligence claim will be to use the Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence established by the Ministry of Justice.
The Pre-action Protocol sets out a process by which a person who alleges professional negligence can raise a claim before commencing court proceedings. The goal is to help these sorts of claims to be resolved faster without the legal costs typically associated with court proceedings.
There are various steps the parties need to go through, with certain time limits that apply for the different stages of the process. Having expert legal guidance helps to ensure you follow the process correctly, provide all of the right evidence and have the best chance of success.
Our conveyancing negligence solicitors can guide you through the Pre-Action Protocol, ensuring you meet all of the necessary requirements, while keeping things as simple and stress-free as possible for you.
We can advise on any settlement offered by the defendant as a result of following the Pre-action Protocol, so you can be confident about whether this represents a fair result or not. Where we believe a better outcome can be achieved through other means, such as issuing court proceedings, we will be entirely upfront about this and fully explain the other options available.
Alternative dispute resolution
In some cases, alternative dispute methods such as mediation and arbitration may be useful to help you reach a fair settlement with a negligent conveyancing solicitor. We can advise on the suitability of such options and support you through alternative dispute resolution, as well as advising on whether the outcome represents a good result for your interests.
Advantages of alternative dispute resolution for conveyancing negligence include typically allowing you to achieve an outcome faster than court proceedings with lower legal costs and less conflict, as well as help you to stay in control of the situation and keep the matter private.
Should it not prove possible to achieve an appropriate settlement through the Pre-action Protocol or alternative dispute resolution, then it may be necessary to issue proceedings against the conveyancing solicitor you believe is liable for negligence.
In such cases, our conveyancing negligence solicitors will work closely with you to help prepare your case and make sure you know exactly what to expect, including the possible outcomes. We will make sure you have the best available representation for any hearings that take place and advise on the outcome, including your right of appeal where applicable.
Conveyancing negligence FAQs
Can I claim compensation for negligent conveyancing?
This will depend on the circumstances. Generally you will need to show that:
- A solicitor owed you a duty of care.
- This duty of care was breached.
- That breach resulted in you suffering a loss.
There are two types of claim you can make – a claim in tort and a claim for contract. Exactly how liability for conveyancing negligence arises varies for these types of claims, so it is essential to seek specialist advice.
How much compensation can you get for conveyancing negligence?
The level of compensation will be assessed by comparing the claimant’s current position to the position they would have been in if no breach of duty by their conveyancer had occurred.
Is there a time limit to claim conveyancing negligence compensation?
In general, you have six years to bring a professional negligence claim against a solicitor for conveyancing negligence from the date when the negligence occurred.
However, in some cases, you may instead have three years to bring a claim from the date when you became aware of the issue, which is referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’.
Exactly how the time limits work will also depend on whether you need to make a claim in tort or a claim for contract, which will affect when the limitation period is counted from.
Understanding how these time limits apply can be complicated, so we strongly urge you to get in touch to discuss your situation as soon as possible. This will help to ensure you do not miss out on the chance to claim.
Will I need to go to court to get compensation for conveyancing negligence?
Many conveyancing negligence claims can be resolved out of court through the Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence. This allows claims to be resolved faster, with lower legal costs and without the need for claimants to engage in contentious court proceedings.
However, in some cases, it may be necessary to take a claim through the courts in order to ensure claimants get the full compensation to which they are entitled. This can occur where the defendant is unwilling to accept liability or to offer a settlement which is sufficient to cover the claimant’s losses.
Can I get compensation for conveyancing negligence if I was partly at fault?
Yes, but the damages you receive will be reduced to reflect the level of responsibility you hold for the loss you have suffered. For example, if you and your conveyancing solicitor are each considered to be equally liable for the loss (i.e. a 50:50 split of the blame), you would only be able to receive 50% of the damages you would have been entitled to had the solicitor been wholly responsible.
Conveyancing negligence case studies
Carruthers law acted for a client whose solicitor failed to reply and deal with correspondence from a seller’s solicitors as to the purchase of a business and a property and as a consequence the seller sold the business to another buyer and the client lost the right to purchase the business and property. After proceedings had been issued our client recovered from his former solicitor the value he had lost from not being able to purchase the business and the property he intended to develop.
A client’s solicitor exchanged contacts for the purchase of a property without the client’s instructions and without the client having finalised finance to purchase the property. Because he couldn’t complete, he lost his deposit
Proceedings were issued against his former solicitor and the client recovered his deposit because of the failure to complete and because he could not secure alternative finance of £50,000.
The Client had inherited his property with his brother from their Mother.
The property was held by them jointly and they rented the property out.
They decided to sell the property instructing solicitors jointly.
On the sale of the property the solicitors transferred the entire proceeds of sale to one of the Brothers instead of paying half to each.
That Brother then left the country and disappeared with the proceeds of sale.
Carruthers Law were instructed and despite best efforts to find the brother it did not prove possible.
A claim was brought against his conveyancing solicitor for the lost proceeds of sale.
The claim was defended by his solicitors but after court proceedings the client recovered half the proceeds of sale totalling £140,000.
Speak to our conveyancing negligence solicitors now
If you believe you have suffered solicitor negligence with your conveyancing, our experienced team will be happy to discuss your situation and advise on whether you may be owed compensation.
For a free, no obligation discussion about making a conveyancing negligence claim, call today on 0151 541 2040 or complete our simple enquiry form