Chairman’s Letter

by William Flenley QC

Welcome to our third digital newsletter.  I would like to thank the editor, Simon Hale, for producing it, as well as all the contributors.

This month, we are very pleased to be able to publish a paper given Lord Justice Jackson, our President, which was first delivered to TECBAR in October 2014. It is entitled “Concurrent Liability: Where have things gone wrong?” and is a fascinating comparative study of the interface between contract and tort as seen in four different legal systems: Roman, French, German and the common law. It concludes that the House of Lords took a wrong turning in Henderson v Merrett [1995] 2 AC 45, and calls for the implementation of Law Commission proposals on limitation together with a reconsideration of Henderson by the Supreme Court. I urge you to read it.

We also feature case notes of recent decisions that have considered, among other matters: a radical change of approach to claims where a clinician fails to inform a patient about a treatment option or risk (Montgomery v Lanarkshire, in the Supreme Court); a consultant engineer’s duty to warn of risks to temporary works (Goldswain v Beltec); causation on the loss of a chance basis, in a claim against tax consultants who had advised with respect to corporation tax liabilities (Altus Group v Baker Tilly Tax); a solicitor’s duty to warn about solvency risks on an unusually structured transaction (Kandola v Mirza); and a Part 24 application where deliberate concealment was alleged against a firm of solicitors (BPC Hotels v Brook North).

On 21 April we will celebrate the 25th year of the PNBA with the Peter Taylor Memorial lecture, followed by a champagne reception.  Yet again we are indebted to Lord Justice Jackson, who will speak on “The Professions: Power, Privilege and Legal Liability.”  Who is better placed to reflect on the role of the professions, and their liabilities? To reserve a place for this event, please email the Hon. Secretary Victoria Woodbridge, by clicking here:

Anyone who came to the January event, and some who did not, may like to know that Prof Paul Davies’s paper is to be published in the Modern Law Review.  The Secretary has received a copy; we are currently trying to have it put on the website on a password-protected basis so that members may read it there.

We will shortly be circulating printed calendars to members, setting out the events which are planned for the rest of the year (better late than never).

May I invite all members to contribute ideas and suggestions for this newsletter or for talks and events.

William Flenley QC