4 New Square Professional Liability and Regulatory Conference 2022

2nd March 2022

Join us for our Professional Liability and Regulatory Conference on Wednesday 2nd March 2022.

4 New Square will be running a full day of Professional Liability and Regulatory talks. The day will start with registration at 9:00 am, the talks will begin at 9:30 am and the conference will close with a drinks reception from 4:00 pm. Please note this event is free to attend and places at the conference are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

For more information and to RSVP and select your preferred sessions, please contact

See our practice areas pages for more information on 4 New Square’s Professional Liability and Regulatory work.

The talks covered in this conference are listed below. 

1. “Striking whilst the iron is lukewarm”: the use and abuse of previous decisions.
by Amanda Savage QCTom Shepherd and Nicholas Broomfield

Amanda, Tom and Nick discuss the related concepts of res judicata, collateral attack and abuse of process, their scope, and how they can be deployed in the professional liability sphere in light of recent decisions.

2. Duty of care in contractual chains – have we reached a consensus?
by Siân Mirchandani QC and Seohyung Kim

Following Multiplex v Bathgate & Ors [2021] EWHC 590 and Avantage & Ors v WSP & Ors [2022] EWHC 171 (TCC), how secure are sub-consultants and sub-contractors defending direct claims from employers and others that seek to overcome the absence of a direct contractual link? Siân and Seohyung will look at recent developments in this area and consider both their legal and practical ramifications.

3. Conflicts of Interest – Developments in the Regulatory and Commercial Spheres.
by George Spalton QC and Miles Harris

This talk will review recent cases and developments in both regulatory and commercial contexts – looking at the way in which professional bodies now approach conflicts as well as the Courts (including in relation to directors and others in a fiduciary position). The talk will also address the best way to approach conflicts to avoid proceedings.

4. Manchester Building Society and the purposive approach to scope of duty.
by Patrick Lawrence QCChristopher Greenwood and Melody Ihuoma

In Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP and Khan v Meadows, the Supreme Court set out a six-stage analysis of duty of care, breach, scope of duty and causation. The Court employed a purposive approach to the scope of duty issue, focusing in both judgments on the purpose of the duty owed by the professional in each case and the risks against which those duties were intended to guard. In this talk, Patrick Lawrence QC, Christopher Greenwood and Melody Ihuoma discuss the Court’s analysis of the scope of duty issue. The speakers focus in particular on the approach to identifying the relevant risk, with worked examples in the context of claims against a range of professionals.

5. “Double trouble”: a review of recent limitation cases.
by Helen Evans and John Williams

2021 saw multiple limitation cases reach the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court. Helen Evans and John Williams review the authorities essential to professional negligence practitioners, including:

s. 32 of the Limitation Act and “deliberate concealment”. What knowledge is required to start time running? Is the test for “reasonable diligence” objective or subjective? OT Computers v Infineon Technologies AG, and ECU v HSBC;The law on repeated breaches by professionals. When does time start to run again? Sciortino v Beaumont[2021] Ch 365; When and how does time start to run for limitation purposes? Matthews v Sedman; Where are we with amendments after the expiry of limitation? Mulalley & Co Ltd v Martlet Homes Ltd and Cameron Taylor Consulting Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd.

6. The FRC’s regulation of the accountancy profession: where now and where next?
by Jamie Smith QC and Will Cook 

In this session, Jamie Smith QC and Will Cook will be reviewing the FRC’s Accountancy Scheme and Audit Enforcement Procedure. After an overview of the key features of each scheme, Jamie and Will will be considering particular issues as to: (a) investigations; (b) disclosure of documentation and information; (c) types of breaches that interest the Regulator; and (d) sanctions. Finally, Jamie and Will shall explore potential new frontiers for FRC regulation.

7. When can you sue introducers and enablers when tax schemes go sour?
by Paul Mitchell QC and Ben Smiley

Paul and Ben will discuss the topical and perennial issues concerning claims against professionals involved in introducing and facilitating tax schemes. Their talk will include discussion of the scope of duties owed by such professionals, the importance of retainers, and the impact of disclaimers or limitation of liability letters. They will consider the extent of knowledge and understanding professionals need to have, and what advice they may be obliged to provide, when either providing a “mere introduction” or carrying out work on a specific element of a scheme.

8. This session will address recent case law and topical issues in legal professional privilege:
by Jonathan Hough QCand Charles Phipps

Legal advice privilege:

– The continuum of communications in the modern corporate world
– Whose communications are those of the client
– The dominant purpose tests
– In-house lawyers and foreign lawyers
– Privilege in the regulatory context

Litigation privilege:

– “The brief”: range of material covered
– Litigation privilege and settlement communications
– Litigation privilege and funding arrangements

Waiver of privilege: triggers for waiver and scope of waiver

The fraud exception to privilege

9. Aggregation: when two or more claims become one.
by David Halpern QC and Ben Elkington QC

This talk focuses on aggregation clauses in liability policies, including the SRA’s Minimum Terms. Having set the scene it will address the latest developments in the law, including the significant Court of Appeal decisions in Baines v Dixon Coles & Gill [2021] EWCA Civ 1211 (in which David Halpern QC acted for the successful Respondent), and Spire Healthcare Ltd v RSA [2022] EWCA Civ 17 (in which Ben Elkington QC acted for the successful Appellant).

10. Current issues in Costs.
by Nicholas Bacon QC and Robert Marven QC

Looking at the latest costs issues including commercial funding, group and representative actions, damages-based agreements, costs budgeting, detailed assessment of electronic bills, ‘informed consent’ and solicitor-client disputes.

11. An Update on Financial Regulatory Enforcement – Recent Trends and the Impact of Insolvency.
by Shail Patel and Benjamin Archer

In this session, Shail Patel and Benjamin Archer examine some recent trends in FCA enforcement activity – both in Court and before the Tribunal – with special focus on pension transfers and the risk of personal liability for financial advisers, money laundering and financial crime. Shail and Benjamin also consider the FCA’s practice of taking action against insolvent entities, looking at the procedural barriers to enforcement and how officeholders should respond. What techniques and approaches are the FCA adopting in its cases, and how are the Courts and Tribunals responding?

12. Dishonest professionals
by Tim Chelmick and Hannah Daly

Tim Chelmick and Hannah Daly look at fraud and dishonesty claims involving professionals covering topics including what causes of action can be alleged, what remedies can they unlock, what needs to be proved, practical suggestions as to how such claims should be brought or defended and also considering the pros and cons in alleging fraud.

13. Settlements Without Tears
by Richard Liddell QC and Matthieu Gregoire

In this session, Rick and Matt will be considering some key issues to address and common pitfalls to avoid when settling disputes.  The session will cover issues including the release of claims, the tax treatment of the settlement sum and the terms of the settlement agreement.  There will also be a review of some recent case law to illustrate some of those key issues, including those arising from settling multi-defendant litigation.

14. “Nothing but the truth, so help me”: Witness Statements Best Practice, Legal Problems and PD 57AC
by Benjamin Wood and Saaman Pourghadiri

This talk will cover the recent reforms to witness statements, PD57AC requirements and the recent case law, including Mansion Place v Fox Industrial [2021] EWHC 2747 (TCC) and Blue Manchester v Bug-Alu [2021] EWHC 3095 (TCC).  The talk will also look at commonly encountered issues, including privilege and collateral use of evidence.

15. “Three hot SRA Regulatory topics” – Agreed Outcomes, Dubious Investment Schemes and Costs
by Graeme McPherson QC and Carola Binney

Graeme and Carola will be looking at three discrete issues that arise time and time again in SRA Regulatory prosecutions. There will be a whistle-stop tour through the Agreed Outcome provisions and a look at some of the pros and cons – and some intended and unwelcome consequences of the existing regime. There will be a recap of the guidance and warnings concerning Dubious Investment schemes and the risks taken by firms who might inadvertently provide respectability to the disreputable. Finally, there be a review of costs in the SDT – what buttons might best be pressed by a respondent to maximise prospects of recovery after a successful outcome.



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