Professional Negligence

Module code: M3119
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

Professional negligence and liability is a well established specialist area of academic legal study, as well as an important specialism within legal practice.

The range of solicitors' firms and barristers' chambers which offer specialist professional negligence services is wide. Some focus upon claimant based actions against, for example, architects, accountants, doctors,  lawyers, surveyors whilst others focus upon defence work.

Large City of London and similar practices will often specialise in bringing or defending complex commercially focussed professional negligence claims (e.g. the largest claims against firms of solicitors or accountants can run to hundreds of millions of pounds).

Consideration will also be given to professional protections and the history of professional immunities.

This module aims to enable you to consider and debate key areas of professional negligence and liability, focussing predominantly on the position in England and Wales but also making international comparisons where appropriate.

The module will consider the common law, statutory and other regulatory aspects of professional control and liability. In essence, the module will seek to address the question: 'how are professionals controlled and what avenues of redress are available for the wrongs they commit?'

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a grounding in contemporary academic and practitioner-led debates about professional negligence and other liabilities
  • Demonstrate a degree of detailed knowledge about the different kinds of liability which may arise with regard to a selected group of professions
  • Interpret advanced academic and practitioner debates regarding the future of professional negligence and liability
  • Through analysis and evaluation, demonstrate a critical understanding of the roles of civil and regulatory liability as control mechanisms for professional behaviour