Claims Against Negligent
Construction Professionals

As a category of professional expertise, construction is one of the broadest. It also overlaps with other categories, such as emerging and surveying professionals. Amongst the most well recognised professions within this category are architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers, quantity surveyors and building surveyors.

Professionals within these recognised fields will usually belong to a governing professional body, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or the Institution of Structural Engineers (ISE), and carry professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves and their clients in the event that financial loss is caused by their mistakes.

Common mistakes

Some common mistakes by negligent construction professionals that can result in a successful claim are:

  • Failing to correctly measure and/or plot the boundaries of a construction site
  • Failing to identify hazardous or precarious ground conditions
  • Failing to comply with planning and building control regulations
  • Failing to produce a design that meets a client’s brief or is free of defects
  • Failing to prepare bills of quantities in accordance with standard methods of measurement
  • Failing to advise on the most appropriate form of construction contract
  • Failing to issue information or instructions within a reasonable period of time
  • Failing to identify construction defects during the course of an inspection

How to claim against a construction professional

In resolving claims against construction professionals, it is much more common for the parties to rely on arbitration or adjudication as an alternative to court proceedings and, depending on the terms of appointment of the professional, such processes may be either compulsory or voluntary.

However, many claims are commenced by correspondence and by following the procedures set out in the Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes. While in some cases it may also be necessary to institute court proceedings, a considerable number of claims are resolved without the need to do so.

Answers to many of the practical questions we frequently get asked about making a claim against a construction professional are set out in our guide: Professional negligence claims: Your key questions answered

Assessing the merits of a claim

Before embarking on any claim against a construction professional, a careful assessment will need to be undertaken of a number of important issues, including:

  • The scope of the legal duties owed by the construction professional
  • Any actions taken by the construction professional to comply with those duties
  • The nature and extent of the loss caused by any breaches of those duties

This can be a complicated process and may also require an assessment to be made of the associated roles undertaken by one or more additional parties. This is particularly so where construction projects rely on a number of different professional disciplines, some or all of whom may have contributed to a loss suffered.

Time limits for claims against construction professionals

There are a number of important reasons for acting promptly when a mistake has been made or discovered. One of these are the time limits that apply to all professional negligence claims. These time limits, some of which are easy to miscalculate, are explained in our guide: Time limits for professional negligence claims – FAQs

Specialist legal advice

As professional negligence specialists, we act for clients nationwide to resolve claims against a wide range of professionals, including construction professionals. As you can discover here, the service and advice we provide to our clients is unique in a number of important respects.

If you would like to arrange an initial consultation with us, free of charge or commitment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 195 4983 or by email at mail@pnclegal.com.

We have experience of resolving claims against a wide range of professionals.

Using the links below you can learn more about specific professions and some of the common mistakes that give rise to negligence claims against them.