At the very high, corporate, end of the professional negligence claim scale, things can be terrifyingly costly, particularly when they don’t work out.
Take, for example, the recent case successfully defended by legal firm Collyer Bristow. It faced accusations that 555 claimants had suffered investment scheme loss as a result of conspiracy, fraud and general dishonesty.
On dismissing the allegations, Mr Justice Hamblen noted that “although the claimants are understandably aggrieved to lose their cash contributions and receive back only limited tax relief, there are obvious risks in going into aggressive tax schemes which offer the possibility of almost immediately doubling your money”.
As so often seems to be the case with investment scheme professional negligence claims , the question was one of risk – or, to be more precise, of just how much risk the claimants knowingly accepted was inherent in the scheme they chose to invest in.
Despite receiving a favourable ruling from the judge, the case will continue to occupy Collyer Bristow for some time yet – there is every indication that it will now launch an indemnity costs claim against the claimants, and with costs outstripping the £15 million mark, the claimants have every right to be fearful.