Causation: a key element to any professional negligence claim
Altus Group (UK) Ltd v Baker Tilly Tax and Advisory Services LLP  EWHC12
The Defendant Accountants failed to give appropriate advice to the Claimant on certain changes introduced by the Corporation Tax Act 2009. The Claimant alleged that had it been appropriately advised, it would have implemented a re-structure which would have stood a substantial chance of successfully mitigating its tax liabilities. The Claimant claimed damages for loss of that chance.
The Court decided that the Defendant had breached its duty of care to the Claimant. In order for the claim to succeed however, the Claimant had to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that it would have implemented the re-structure had the breach not occurred. Damages would then be assessed on the basis of the value of the chance that the re-structure would have resulted in a tax saving for the Claimant (including consideration as to whether or not HMRC would have mounted a successful challenge).
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