‘The consultancy group PwC has been hit with a £7.5m fine over a string of serious breaches while auditing the engineering company Babcock’s accounts, including creating a false record of documents reviewed for a sensitive government contract.’
The Guardian, 8th March 2023
‘The scope of duty and the extent of liability of professional advisers are two hotly contested issues at the core of many a dispute between professional advisers and their clients in negligence claims.’
Practical Law: Construction Blog, 24th August 2021
‘The information commissioner has criticised the “antiquated process” that led to Facebook getting hold of Cambridge Analytica’s servers before the UK regulator itself, and renewed calls for an international approach to data privacy to tackle the emerging threat of data havens.’
The Guardian, 24th November 2020
‘The recent decision of Assetco Plc v Grant Thornton UK LLP  EWCA Civ 1151, in which judgment was handed down at the end of August, is well worth professional liability lawyers paying attention to whether they are predominantly claimant practitioners, defendant ones or, like me, act for either side. It is a useful illustration of the application of the SAAMCo principle/doctrine (and also contains an interesting, if not entirely novel, analysis regarding loss of a chance).’
Hardwicke Chambers, 5th November 2020
‘In Carillion v KPMG, the liquidators of this once substantial company sought pre-action disclosure from its former auditors. They intend to bring professional negligence proceedings for not detecting that the financial statements were unreliable. The Commercial Court refused the application. One might think that given auditors’ negligence claims in large part turn on professional judgment as to the audit procedures performed, the evidence obtained and the conclusions drawn, clear sight of the materials produced and relied on by the auditors would enable better focussed pleadings. Nonetheless the Commercial Court refused the application (which had admittedly spun into a substantial hearing with apparently more than £500,000 costs on each side). It pointed out that generally such applications were unlikely to succeed in Commercial Court cases and on the facts was not appropriate. The Judge seems to have been most impressed by the fact that Carillion had been able to articulate a detailed case in negligence already, rendering pre-action disclosure perhaps redundant and likely to be duplicated when it came to conventional disclosure.’
Hailsham Chambers, June 2020
‘The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will stand down audit work, issue fewer fines and generally use fewer formal powers against organisations that are struggling to meet data protection standards as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.’
Local Government Lawyer, 22nd May 2020
‘‘Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote/ The droghte of March hath perced to the roote’. So, in 1387, opened the prologue to Canterbury Tales. But if April inspired Chaucer’s characters to begin their famous pilgrimage, local authority lawyers and auditors will soon also find a new spring in their steps. For on 1 April 2020 there will be a new Code of Audit Practice.’
Law Society's Gazette, 23rd March 2020
‘The 2019 professional liability case law was dominated by four core themes, which arose repeatedly in numerous contexts in claims against lawyers and auditors in particular:
-Multiple interlocking attacks on different aspects of the “loss of a chance” doctrine, anchored in both “lost litigation” claims and defective business deals. As we explain, the case law has been marked by various parties trying to opt out of parts of the existing Allied Maples doctrine, or bend the requirements to their particular circumstances.
-The continued adoption of “assumption of responsibility” as the appropriate test for duty of care to non-clients, and the extent to which the principle is relevant to the scope of duty owed to a client.
-The debate over how the distinction between “information” and “advice” cases plays out in the context of the respective duties of auditors and directors for the running of companies (both in the context of scope of duty and contributory negligence).
-The way in which a claimant’s wrongdoing should “taint” a claim against a professional. This theme emerged in the loss of a chance context, in respect of “ex turpi causa”, and in relation to the ever-challenging issue of attribution.’
4 New Square, 7th January 2020
‘MPs are to hold an inquiry into the role of “corporate greed” in the collapse of Thomas Cook, focusing on directors’ stewardship of the company, how much they were paid and how its accounts were prepared and signed off by auditors.’
The Guardian, 26th September 2019