Decision day looms over professionals’ responsibilities

Being sued for not giving advise you never agreed to give, whatever next? Being in breach of contract for not building a new suspension bridge when only agreeing to deliver eggs to the local shop?

The Times Blogs

Looks like it is going to be an important week for defining just how far professionals’’ responsibilities extend to their clients. The focus on Tuesday (25th March) will be on the Court of Appeal where judgment will be handed down in the Mehjoo v Harben Barker case which brings to a head a definition of the point at which an accountant (or for that matter a lawyer) can switch off and say, “Sorry, pal, but nothing to do with me”.

On the face of it the case is simple enough. Mr Mehjoo, am Iranian, argues that that his accountants – Purnell & Co which subsequently merged with Harben Barker – should have referred him to specialist tax advisers so that they could advise him about his “non-domicile” tax status with the implication that this could have given him significant tax advantages. The fact that they failed to do so amounted…

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