Professional Negligence

Forensic accountants are often called in to assist and investigate negligence claims against accountants, auditors, tax advisers and other professionals.

Given the complex nature of financial cases, the most successful forensic accountants are those who can combine their accounting and auditing skills with an ability to think ‘outside the box’ and an instinct for knowing where to probe for information.

Harwood Hutton will set out to examine all the relevant financial information, and once everything has been collated, calculated and tabulated, it can be presented to the court.

By providing our service at the earliest stages – whether that is mediation, arbitration or alternative dispute resolution – Harwood Hutton can also help keep a case out of the courts.

When can a claim be brought?

A professional negligence claim can be brought in the context of a broad range of professions. Harwood Hutton has experience and can assist with the quantification of losses arising from alleged professional negligence in relation to the following professions:

  • Accountants
  • Solicitors
  • Auditors
  • Tax advisers

Purpose and scope

Our forensic team will seek to establish whether the professional concerned owed a duty of care to the claimant. We will also consider the purpose and scope of work agreed between the parties (on the basis of the professional’s contractual or engagement terms), and assess the extent to which that scope was addressed by the professional.

In cases where professional negligence is found to have occurred, we will quantify the financial impact of the negligence (i.e. consequential losses).

In professional negligence cases concerning the conduct of accountants, auditors or tax advisers, Harwood Hutton is well placed to give expert evidence on the liability of the professional as well as quantum of the losses suffered by the claimant. In doing so, we will apply our skill and expertise to assess whether the professional has failed to comply with generally accepted practice or applicable laws and regulations.

Why choose Harwood Hutton?

  • With our background in professional practice, we can apply ‘real world’ experience in the process of providing expert evidence to help prove (or disprove) liability in professional negligence claims.
  • We can also call on our experience as registered auditors, insolvency, tax specialists and general accountancy practitioners.
  • We are experienced in performing in-depth analysis of such factors as part of the process of preparing detailed loss calculations and expert reports for use in court proceedings
  • We offer a free, no-obligation initial call or meeting.

Acting for claimants and defendants

We are experienced in acting for both claimants and defendants in the context of professional negligence claims and have undertaken a significant number of professional negligence cases as either expert witness, shadow expert or expert adviser.

When acting for claimants, we can advise on the strengths and weaknesses of a potential professional negligence claim and can prepare robust and reliable loss calculations in support of a claim.

When acting for defendants, we can identify areas of the claim for challenge or rebuttal and in cases against accounting professionals can provide expert evidence to help disprove liability and successfully defend a claim for professional negligence.