Back in late 2004 I was asked to give an initial view as to the tax issues in a professional negligence case involving an accountant.   I was paid but then heard nothing more for almost 9 months.

This was one of the those cases that was clearly going to settle before the trial date. Only it didn’t. Even though the claim was in respect of less than £40k. This was the aggregate tax that need not have been paid if the accountant had given some pretty obvious advice. The taxpayer’s new accountant thought it was obvious as did I. The old accountant’s PI insurers did not agree nor did their expert witness.

So in January 2006 I appeared in Court as an expert witness helping the Court to appreciate what actions I would have expected a reasonably competent qualified accountant to have undertaken. The Court was being asked to find that the accountant had failed in her duty of care to her ex-client (the claimant) and was therefore liable for the loss suffered as a result of such negligence.

It was only some months after the case was heard that His Honour Judge O’Malley was able to complete his judgement and which I have only recently seen. It has yet to appear on the net.
My talk on How to avoid tax related professional claims is already peppered with references to this case. Now I have another one to add:

Throughout his judgement His Honour makes clear that he accepts my evidence as against that of the expert appointed by the defendant. In para 15 however he has recorded something that I will treasure for some time:

Referring to me he states that: “It is hard to imagine a person better qualified to give expert evidence in a case such as the present.”

I’m duly flattered!

I have written a 10,000 word ebook drawn from my talk on How to avoid professional negligence claims, containing tips and risk management advice for accountants in practice. You can buy the book or download a summary for free here>>>