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Pre-Action Protocol for professional negligence claims

The Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol exists for the purpose of providing a structure and system for early-stage resolution between the claimant and defendant parties in a professional negligence claim.

Who does it cover?

The Pre-Action Protocol and its processes are inclusive of all professionals, with the exception of those in the construction industry as well as healthcare professionals such as hospitals and clinicians.


The Pre-Action Protocol aims to bring parity to both parties to a claim, while also saving time, money and the need for litigation.


If a claimant decides that he or she has strong grounds for a negligence claim against a professional, they should send a letter detailing the facts of their grievance, the nature of the allegations, where possible, an estimate of the loss and consequent monetary value of the claim.

Once this has been done the professional is obliged to acknowledge the letter within 21 days.

Afterwards the claimant sends the Letter of Claim, which provides a more detailed account of contention and loss – the defendant then must issue a Letter of Response within three months in which it makes a clear statement of whether or not it accepts liability.

In the event that by this stage the process has failed to provide resolution, court proceedings may be brought. However, The Courts’ Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct makes it clear that “starting proceedings should usually be a step of last resort”.

George Ide LLP professional negligence lawyers

George Ide LLP is based in Chichester and serves all of Sussex, Hampshire, and the South Coast.

We are independent and are widely recognised as one of the leading law firms in the region. Where possible, we always take a non-litigious approach to claim resolution. However, we are committed to the client’s best interest and will always take whatever steps are necessary to ensure a satisfactory outcome.

For affordable and authoritative advice, contact our solicitors today.