You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence is broadly defined as the failure of a professional to act with reasonable care and skill when working with a client.

If the service provided by the professional is defective or unsatisfactory and you or your business has suffered financial loss, you may be able to make a professional negligence claim.

Professional negligence claims can be brought against professionals who have skills in a specialised trade and services such as financial advisors, accountants, tax advisors, lawyers, surveyors or brokers.

If the service provided to you by a professional fell short, we can help

Our professional negligence lawyers have many years of experience in disputes of this nature. We can advise clients who have suffered losses as a result of:

  • Bad or incorrect financial planning advice
  • Recommendations relating to bad investments or product investment advice
  • Incorrect or negligent legal advice
  • Engineering mistakes
  • Poor accounting, tax or auditing advice
  • Incorrect insurance or loan brokering advice

To make a claim for professional negligence, you must establish that the professional owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty (for example, by providing advice which fell short of an acceptable standard), and that you suffered losses as a result.

You may also be entitled to compensation if you can show a professional failed to exercise reasonable care and skill in the provision of their professional services, in breach of their obligations to you.

Our team can help you understand the key aspects of bringing and defending a claim, and advise you of the highest possible compensation to which you may be entitled. In many cases, we can offer flexible litigation funding options, further enabling you to minimise the risk of litigation.

Common types of professional negligence claims

Claims against financial advisors and financial institutions

Claims against financial advisors and financial services providers can arise when:

  • Your advisor makes recommendations which are not in your best interests
  • Your financial advisor recommends you invest in products which are too risky for you
  • Your financial advisor makes recommendations which do not meet your stated objectives
  • Your financial advisor fails to properly implement their recommendations
  • Your financial advisor otherwise acts carelessly and you suffer losses as a result.

Learn more about claims against financial advisors and financial institutions

Claims against accountants

An accountant may be liable for negligence if they breached their duty of care and you or your business suffered a loss as a consequence of their advice. Accountant negligence claims can arise in a variety of circumstances including the following:

  • Your accountant provides incorrect tax advice
  • Your accountant fails to lodge business activity statements and tax returns
  • Your accountant prepares financial statements or documents that contains significant errors
  • Your accountant prepares a financial analysis of a business that is incorrect
  • Your accountant fails to advise of the taxation consequences of a financial transaction
  • Your accountant conducts a financial audit poorly

Learn more about claims against accountants

Claims against lawyers

Examples of professional negligence claims brought against lawyers include the following:

  • Giving poor or wrong legal advice
  • Sending out false or misleading communications
  • Failing to take crucial steps or actions
  • Failing to take action before the expiry of the statutory limitation period
  • Suing the wrong party
  • Terminating the retainer without valid grounds
  • Acting without proper instructions
  • Poorly drafting a legal document or contract

We can help you understand everything you need to know about how to bring a professional negligence claim against a lawyer, barrister or other legal professional.

Learn more about claims against lawyers

Don't let too much time lapse

It's important to understand that strict timeframes may apply to lodging a professional negligence claim. People who seek advice from a professional have a right to be advised with care and skill, however, you may only be entitled to compensation if you act within the required timeframe (generally between 3-6 years). It's imperative to seek legal help as soon as possible to stand the best chance of recouping your losses.

How we work with you

Professional negligence claims are complex and difficult to understand and pursue. Our team has the experience and expertise to investigate your claim and guide you through the legal process to recover your losses. No matter how you came across a professional's services , if they let you down, we can maximise the extent of recoverable losses on your behalf.


When working with you, we consider your circumstances from both a legal and practical perspective. We may be able to run your claim on a No Win - No Fee* basis - meaning that you will only need to pay legal fees if we obtain a successful outcome for you. We can also help you access alternative litigation funding options and ensure that you suffer minimal financial disruption in the pursuit of your claim.

Learn more about litigation funding

Thank you for your feedback.

More information

We're here to help. Make an enquiry now.

If you have a question, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and our Commercial Litigation team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.