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Accountants’ Negligence and Liability, 2nd Edition


By: Simon Salzedo QC, Tony Singla
Published: April 2021
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback

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Categories: , Product ID: 3679


An in-depth practical work covering all the main areas of accountants’ legal liabilities in negligence claims, including audit liabilities to clients and others, tax and insolvency work and conflicts of interest. It covers accountants’ negligence about claims against accountants acting for corporations as well as accountants acting for individuals.

The second edition focuses 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

This title is included in Bloomsbury Professional’s Professional Negligence Law online service.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Introductory
Chapter 1 Introduction and General Principles
Part 2 Auditing
Chapter 2 The legal framework of auditing
Chapter 3 The regulatory framework of auditing
Chapter 4 Characterising the auditor’s relationship with the company and the elements of and defences to a claim for audit negligence
Chapter 5 Caparo: the objects and scope of the auditor’s duty of care in tort
Chapter 6 Applications of the Caparo principle
Chapter 7 Breach of duty and the auditor’s standard of care
Chapter 8 Scope of auditor’s duty – for what losses is the auditor liable?
Part 3 Other liabilities of accountants
Chapter 9 Non-audit liability of accountants
Chapter 10 Conflicts of interest and confidential information
Part 4 Defences
Chapter 11 Policy defences – ex turpi and insolvency
Chapter 12 Limitation
Chapter 13 Disclaimers and exclusions of liability
Chapter 14 Contributory negligence and contribution
Chapter 15 Counterclaims and mitigation of loss
Chapter 16 Statutory relief
Part 5 Issues arising in litigation concerning accountants
Chapter 17 Disclosure
Chapter 18 Expert evidence
Part 6 Disciplinary regimes and money laundering
Chapter 19 Disciplinary regimes
Chapter 20 Money laundering


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