When you can sue consultants
A consultant is an expert or professional who provides advice in a particular area of expertise. Consultants work in a wide variety of areas such as management, accountancy, human resources, technology, law, marketing, and medicine. A consultant may work as part of a consultancy business or they may be self-employed. Generally, consultants work for a diverse and continually changing client base.
As with all professionals, you are entitled to expect a certain standard of service from consultants. If you do not receive this, you may be able to sue the consultants. This is particularly so considering that consultants generally advise on significant and important business functions. The advice that you receive from consultants will generally be acted upon, with direct financial consequences as a result.
You may be able to sue consultants either under contract law or professional negligence law. The contract under which you engaged the consultant’s services will govern the legal action that you may take under contract law. As consultancy work is, by its nature, very specialised, it can be difficult to ascertain whether the failures of the consultants can be linked to a breach of a specific term of the contract.
To sue consultants under professional negligence law you will need to establish that they have failed to observe their duty of care to you and that damage or loss has resulted as a consequence. Again, as consultancy work is so specialised, it can be difficult to establish that their performance has been negligent; it may only constitute poor service or professional misconduct rather than negligence. For this reason it is important to consult a professional negligence solicitor who is experienced in that particular field.
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