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For many years, we have advised and represented many professionals, across a diverse range of professions, in defending civil or professional negligence claims (including those that contain criminal allegations) that are made against the professional or any legal entity or professional services business that they operate.  

We have acted for professionals that have not had any professional indemnity, other public liability and/or products liability insurance policies in place at all. In such matters, the defendant does not have the luxury of being able to seek indemnity from an insurer and is exposed to carry the whole risk in relation to the matter, alone. 

Often, clients make vexatious or frivolous claims, making allegations that are unsubstantiated, untrue or otherwise simply unable to be successfully pursued. Any claim must be studied closely. Each matter will be determined on its own merits.

The very first letter that you send or phone call that you make, could be the very things that prejudices your legal position significantly, often to such an extent that by the time a professional will decide to seek legal advice, significant damage may have already been caused to the legal position of the professional, as a result of the ill-considered steps taken by the professional. 

Where the professional had in place a professional indemnity, public liability and/or products liability insurance policy, very often the professional will require assistance in liaising with the insurance company or its legal representatives or loss adjustors, as these parties are usually very sophisticated and apply the terms and conditions of their insurance policies, including the exclusion clauses to those policies, very tightly, with a view to protecting their own position and not only that of the professional client. 

If a claim has been made against you and you are a professional, you should immediately seek legal advice. You should seek that a lawyer will assist you with liaison with the claim by the former client and/or any insurance company. Very often, to minimize legal costs, we can limit our retainer in these matters to the following steps:

  1. Obtaining a detailed understanding of the issues;
  2. Determining the legal rights and obligations between you and the client;
  3. Determining the legal rights and obligations between you and the insurer;
  4. Providing a preliminary legal opinion to you on strategy and options; and
  5. Liaising with the former client and/or the insurer on your behalf, to ensure minimization of risk or prejudice to the your legal matter, with a view to ensuring that the insurer continues to indemnify you under the terms of its policy and does not seek to escape liability on any unfounded ground, so that any costs or risk in the matter are carried by the insurer, in accordance with their contractual obligations to you.

If a claim has been made against you and you are a professional, you should immediately seek legal advice, before liaising with any party or person or your insurance company. You may wish to make an appointment by telelphone on (02) 9233 4048 or email us at info@navado.com.au to see one of our Professional Negligence Lawyers. 

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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