A Kirkby woman has won ₤8,000 after succeeded in her professional negligence claim after  suing an advice centre who bungled her claim for unfair dismissal by pursuing the wrong company.

Payroll administrator Christine Bigley, 23, brought the action against Merseyside Employment Law after discovering her award for unfair dismissal against a previous employer was unenforceable because of their glaring mistake.

The mix-up was only detected after Miss Bigley sought help from solicitors following several failed attempts to get the money she won at an earlier industrial tribunal.

Christine was horrified to discover Merseyside Employment Law had brought the action against a bogus company with a similar sounding name to the one she used to work for.

Ms Bigley said: “I won what I thought was a claim for unfair dismissal against my former employers but the money never materialised. I was making no progress so I went to Armstrongs Solicitors for help.

“It soon became clear what the problem was, I was outraged to be told that the whole episode was nothing short of a charade. I had agonised over whether to pursue the claim in the first place and when I decided to go for it I then had to wait another six months for the hearing to commence.

“My life was effectively put on hold, and all for nothing. Merseyside Employment Law let me down, I still cannot quite believe they have been so careless. Suing the wrong company is little short of a joke.”

The error was discovered by Armstrongs Solicitors and a professional negligence expert.

He said: “Unfortunately this is not a unique case, the level of professional incompetence from people like solicitors to accountants and beyond never ceases to amaze me.

“Once Armstrongs Solicitors identified what the problem was we were then able to advice Ms Bigley accordingly and we are delighted she has won an award for what she has been put through.”

Armstrongs Solicitors launched a dedicated professional negligence unit last November which was supported by a website, beenletdown.com and an extensive local media campaign urging people to get in touch.

The expansion has been a great success, with the law firm recently announcing it is set to earn around ₤1m in fees in just six months.

The Old Hall Street-based firm is acting for 150 clients, who are taking on their accountants, doctors, solicitors and even a psychic.

Meanwhile Merseyside Employment Law claims to be the largest not-for-profit agency in Merseyside providing specialist employment law advice and representation.

It is funded mainly by the Legal Service Commission, the Big Lottery Fund and Liverpool City Council.

Ms Bigley added: “I am so grateful to Armstrongs Solicitors, without them I would have nothing to show for all the stress and strain of going to an industrial tribunal. Now at last I can put closure on this chapter in my life and finally move on.”

Read the article in the Liverpool Daily Post – May 27th 2010

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