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I think my adviser was professionally negligent, but they claim their advice was reasonable — what do I need to prove?

In order to make a successful claim — either through an ombudsman or mediator, or through court proceedings — you need to show three things.

First, you need to show that your adviser owed you a duty of care — typically because you were paying them for their expert advice.

Second, you need to show that the advice they gave you was not up to the standard you could expect from a reasonably competent professional working in the same field. For example, could other surveyors be expected to notice the structural problems that your surveyor missed, or were the problems so well hidden that no surveyor could have known about them?

Third, you need to show that you suffered a loss as a result of relying on their advice. This might include the additional costs of fixing a problem, or the revenue lost as a result of a poorly-worded contract.

If you can prove that these issues apply to your case, you may well be able to make a claim for professional negligence.

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