|From:||Robert Stevens <email@example.com>|
|To:||Sarah Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Andrew Tettenborn <email@example.com>|
|Date:||26/01/2015 14:36:10 UTC|
|Subject:||RE: bureaucratic bungling|
“I had thought we had a name for that wrong, and that it isn't "pure economic loss in negligence".”
No, but it’s more limited than a claim for pure economic loss in negligence, and so won’t always function to protect the right. As we saw in Spring.
It is here for those interested
I am not as keen on the reasoning as Andrew is.
The gist of the complaint seems to me to be that the defendant has published false information about the claimant, damaging its reputation, so that it suffers consequential loss.
I had thought we had a name for that wrong, and that it isn't "pure economic loss in negligence".
From: Andrew Tettenborn [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 26 January 2015 13:14
Subject: bureaucratic bungling
A rare (and in my view entirely justified) case of negligence liability for pure economic loss caused by bungling bureaucrats, courtesy of Edis J in the English High Court today.
X Ltd is in difficulties, trying (with some prospects) to turn the corner. The kybosh is put on all its efforts when, suddenly, no supplier will give it any credit and its bank will lend it nothing. Why? A bureaucrat in Companies House, having received a sloppily-prepared notice of liquidation proceedings against a company with a similar (but not identical) name, has broken CH's own internal procedures and misguidedly registered X Ltd as in liquidation. As a result (allegedly) X indeed goes bust. The guiding spirit of X, assignee of X's liquidator, sues CH for negligence. CH understandably raise a duty of care point.
Edis J decides in favour of a duty at common law (having doubted an alternative plea of BSD). No problems of over-extended liability: any duty is owed to the company alone. And companies are forcibly subjected to the vagaries of CH, not having any alternative remedy against third parties. Good tight reasoning.
See Sebry v Companies House & Anor  EWHC 115 (QB).
Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law
Sefydliad y Gyfraith Llongau a Masnach Ryngwladol
Lawyer (n): One versed in circumvention of the law (Ambrose Bierce)