You may have used the same lawyer for years and have developed a good working relationship with them. However what do you then do if you believe that they are guilty of legal negligence? Would you worry about making a claim as it might damage that relationship?
Imagine an alternative situation. You are travelling in your car, you stop to give way at a roundabout and bang! Someone crashes into the back of your car causing quite a lot of damage. You exit the car to go to find out what the other driver was doing and lo and behold it is your solicitor. What would you do then? Would you accept an apology and say no more about it or would you make a professional negligence claim against them?
Just like any other motor accident you would exchange details and make a claim via your insurance company knowing that both of you have taken out insurance to protect you for such occurrences. You understand that accidents do happen on occasion and that even though the other drive is at fault you can try not to take it personally.
The same principle applies for legal negligence. All lawyers pay a hefty premium each year for professional indemnity insurance to cover them in the event that they or their staff makes a mistake that costs their clients money.
Perhaps they missed a deadline which made it harder for you to win a case. Possibly they dawdled on an important claim which then meant you had to take a smaller compensation amount just to end the process. Perhaps they gave you poor advice on a lease which had a detrimental effect on the property value. The main point is that you have lost money due to their legal negligence and because of this you may be entitled to claim.
Of course just because you are unhappy with the service you have received at the hands of your solicitor doesn’t necessarily mean that they have automatically been negligent in the eyes of the law.
Proving legal negligence is a complex process and one where you would be well advised to seek professional assistance. A specialist legal negligence solicitor will assess the merits of your case and try to work out what the outcome of the situation would have been had your solicitor handled the situation properly the first time around. If, as a result of this there is a clear case to be made you can then purse the appropriate level of claim in the most effective manner. It all depends what you want; an apology, an investigation, or compensation for example.
Therefore you cannot be weary of complaining, try to remember the car insurance analogy. Seeking professional help at an early stage is the key to ensuring that a) you don’t waste your money or time pursuing an emotive but unprovable legal negligence claim and b) a valid professional negligence claim is pursued in the most cost efficient and winnable manner within any statutory time limitations.