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Professional Negligence

Professional Negligence

Forensic accountants are often called in to assist and investigate negligence claims against accountants, auditors, tax advisers, and other professionals.

Given the complex nature of financial cases, the most successful forensic accountants are those who can combine their accounting and auditing skills with an ability to think ‘outside the box’ and an instinct for knowing where to probe for information. That’s what we do at Harwood Hutton.

We will set out to examine all the relevant financial information, and once everything has been collated, calculated, and tabulated, it can be presented to the court.

By providing our service at the earliest stages – whether that is mediation, arbitration or alternative dispute resolution – Harwood Hutton will have the greatest scope to keep a case out of court if that is the desired course of action.

Reasons to choose Harwood Hutton

  • We offer an initial free, no-obligation telephone call or meeting
  • With our background in professional practice, we can apply ‘real world’ experience in the process of providing expert evidence to help prove (or disprove) liability in professional negligence claims
  • We can also call on our experience as registered auditors, insolvency, tax specialists and general accountancy practitioners
  • We are experienced in performing an in-depth analysis of such factors as part of the process of preparing detailed loss calculations and expert reports for use in court proceedings.

Purpose and scope

Our forensic accounting team will seek to establish whether the professional concerned owed a duty of care to the claimant.

We will also consider the purpose and scope of work agreed between the parties (on the basis of the professional’s contractual or engagement terms), and assess the extent to which that scope was addressed by the professional.

In cases where professional negligence is found to have occurred, we will quantify the financial impact of the negligence (i.e. consequential losses).

In professional negligence cases concerning the conduct of accountants, auditors or tax advisers, Harwood Hutton is well placed to give expert evidence on the liability of the professional as well as the quantum of the losses suffered by the claimant. In doing so, we will apply our skill and expertise to assess whether the professional has failed to comply with generally accepted practice or applicable laws and regulations.

Acting for claimants and defendants

Harwood Hutton is experienced in acting for both claimants and defendants in the context of professional negligence claims and has undertaken a significant number of professional negligence cases as either expert witness, shadow expert, or expert advisor.

When acting for claimants, we can advise on the strengths and weaknesses of a potential professional negligence claim and can prepare robust and reliable loss calculations in support of a claim.

When acting for defendants, we can identify areas of the claim for challenge or rebuttal and in cases against accounting professionals can provide expert evidence to help disprove liability and successfully defend a claim for professional negligence.

Objective and independent

We work with clients and their legal advisers as required to ensure the detailed loss calculations and/or expert evidence on liability issues we deliver are fit for purpose and provide the end client with cost-effective advice and support.

As a leading light within our professional trade body NIFA, we are committed to providing work that is objective and independent, and we subscribe to the highest professional quality and service standards.




Adam Stronach outlines our forensic accounting capabilities.


Adam Stronach talks to publisher Kogan Page about professional negligence. Adam has co-authored a chapter on the subject in a new book on forensic accounting.

Awards & Affiliations

Client Testimonials
  • I always get quick, clear and definitive responses from the Harwood Hutton tax team – commercial answers to commercial issues.

    Robin Berry – Morgan Management
  • Right from the outset Harwood Hutton gave us direction and great advice – and that advice has evolved over the years as we’ve grown. We’re both medium-sized companies providing a bespoke service – one furniture, one accountancy – and the relationship works.

    Andy McCarron, McCarron and Co
  • I’m deeply impressed with Harwood Hutton’s extensive knowledge of tax arrangements for residential and commercial property landlords.

    Qadeer Ahmed, MD, ABA Finance
  • They really took their time to understand what was important to us and our business and the expertise we required. Whoever we speak to at HH, we get the same fantastic response and technical input. It’s a real partnership.

    Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
  • I have worked with the directors at Harwood Hutton on a number of mutual client matters over many years. The reassurance of their clear, commercial and focussed advice is one of the main reasons I regard this as one of my most valuable professional relationships.

    Frank Wessely, Partner, Quantuma LLP
  • Harwood Hutton never seem to rest on their laurels. They are always seeking out new avenues and ways to improve their offering. A very forward-thinking company with staff who are always well briefed and who approach each task with drive.

    Karl Austen, MD, Surefoot Communications
  • We have engaged Harwood Hutton in several areas of structuring, including VAT issues, decoupling an SPV from a group structure and HMRC clearance for a transaction. The team have exceeded all expectations by being proactive, measured and very thorough.

    Adam Fawsitt, Director, FHT Limited
  • We moved to Harwood Hutton as they delivered a succinct and professional proposal. If anything, we have been more impressed post-move. They are a fantastic company to work with. They do truly differentiate. They have the skills and capabilities of a mega firm but with a personal service.

    Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
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