On 10 May 2022, Mr Justice Miles handed down the first substantive decision on the meaning of a “person discharging managerial responsibilities” (“PDMR”) under section 90A and Schedule 10A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”). In this case note, Will Harman summarises the Court’s judgment and identifies further potential battlegrounds in this developing area of law. Shail Patel of 4 New Square Chambers acted for the successful respondents.
On 12 April 2022, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the contribution claim between solicitors and counsel in Percy v Merriman White  EWCA Civ 493. The case has clarified what has to be proved by a contribution claimant against a contribution defendant, and has explained the extent to which arguments of abusive collateral attack can be relied on in this context.
Helen Evans QC summarises the case and its ramifications.
The year is off to a successful start for Ben Elkington QC and Ben Smiley, who acted for the appellant insurer in Spire Healthcare v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance.
The key professional negligence cases of 2021 picked up on recurring challenges in this area of law and addressed in particular:
• The methodical way to analyse the link between a defendant’s scope of duty and the loss he or she has caused, and the abolition of the “information” and “advice” distinction which had caused so many convolutions in the case law;
• When a defendant owes a duty of care in the first place;
• When it is an abuse of process to attack the outcome of previous proceedings in a subsequent claim, and what has to be pleaded in order to mount such a claim; and
• The search for a sufficient unifying factor in aggregation clauses in professional indemnity insurance.
In this review of the year, Helen Evans, Ben Smiley and Anthony Jones of 4 New Square explain how the 2021 cases clarify the law, and look ahead to 2022.
4 New Square’s Ben Elkington QC acted for the successful appellant in Rushbond Plc v The JS Design Partnership LLP  EWCA Civ 1889, in which the Court of Appeal handed down judgment shortly before Christmas. The case concerned the defendant firm of architects’ failure to secure the claimant’s property during a site visit, with the decision providing helpful guidance as to the application of the rule in respect of “pure omissions” in negligence claims.