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Accountants’ Negligence and Liability

Authors: Simon Salzedo QC and Tony Singla QC

ISBN: 9781526512451

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Edition: Second

Publication Date: April 2021

Publisher: Bloomsbury Professional

Law As Stated At: 1 January 2021

Accountants’ Negligence and Liability

Accountants’ Negligence and Liability

The second edition focusses on the difficult legal issues surrounding the liability of accountants in negligence claims. It covers statutory and non-statutory audits, tax advice, specified procedures reporting, due diligence reports and corporate finance reporting. It looks at the scope of losses for which the accountant may be liable with detailed reference to case law as well as money laundering and regulatory issues. Limitation and contributory fault are considered with special reference to accountants’ cases.

The following important developments and case law are included:

  • The material covering the application of the SAAMCO/scope of duty principle has been substantially revised following the clarification of the SAAMCO principle of scope of duty by the Supreme Court in BPE Solicitors & Anor v Hughes-Holland [2017] UKSC 21, [2018] AC 599 and the Court of Appeal in the accountants’ case of Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 40, [2019] 1 WLR 4610
  • AssetCo v Grant Thornton [2019] EWHC 150 (Comm), [2019] Bus LR 2291 in which the first edition of this book was cited several times, an auditor was held liable for trading losses caused by management fraud and the Court of Appeal at [2021] PNLR 1 considered the application of the scope of duty principle to a general audit case and the question of credit for the receipt by the company of new capital
  • The difficult question of the application of the scope of duty principle to dividends, discussed by the High Court in BTI v PricewaterhouseCoopers [2020] PNLR 7 and the Court of Appeal in AssetCo v Grant Thornton
  • Lowick Rose LLP v Swynson Ltd & Anor [2017] UKSC 32 on avoided loss
  • Developments in the application of rules of contributory fault to accountants in the light of the trial judgments on this issue in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton and AssetCo v Grant Thornton
  • The effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in Singularis Holdings v Daiwa Capital Markets [2020] AC 1189 on auditor’s counterclaims and the illegality defence
  • The controversial High Court decision on accountants’ conflicts of interest in Harlequin Property v Wilkins Kennedy [2017] 4 WLR 30
  • Pre-action disclosure against auditors following the decision in Carillion Plc v KPMG LLP [2020] EWHC 1416 (Comm)
  • First Tower Trustees v CDS (Superstores) [2019] 1 WLR with important implications for the application of UCTA to disclaimers of liability
  • Halsall v Champion Consulting [2017] PNLR 32 where extended limitation under s14A was considered in the context of tax schemes and a tax adviser’s contractual time bar was construed
  • Evans v PricewaterhouseCoopers [2019] EWHC 1505 (Ch) on the date when the cause of action for tax advice was considered in detail
  • Developments in the law of privilege in relation to investigations of auditors including Sports Direct v Financial Reporting Council [2020] EWCA Civ 177, [2020] 2 WLR 1256
  • Substantial revisions to the Code of Ethics, disciplinary bye-laws, and the FRC’s rules and schemes