Allegations of Negligence

A claim for negligence is a civil action that allows a person to claim compensation in the form of damages for any loss they may have suffered as a result of the negligent actions of another, once all the necessary elements of the action are proved.

Whether a legal practitioner has been negligent can only be decided by a court. The Legal Services Commissioner does not have the power to “hear” a claim for negligence, make findings about whether the elements of a negligence claim have been proved, or award damages to compensate for any loss resulting from the negligent actions of another.

In certain circumstances the Commissioner may consider taking disciplinary action against legal practitioners who have been obviously and demonstrably negligent. However, as a rule, the Legal Services Commissioner will only take action against a legal practitioner after negligence has been proved in a court.

In circumstances where the practitioner has made an honest or careless mistake such as losing a title deed or miscalculating a rates adjustment in a conveyance, practitioners in these circumstances should be expected to make good their mistake.

The Legal Services Commission is not able to provide legal advice on whether a legal practitioner has been negligent. Independent legal advice is recommended.

See Duty of Care for more information