Ombudsman’s decision will preclude subsequent litigation on the same matter
Wragge & Co first reported on the decision in Clark and another v In Focus Asset Management & Tax Solutions Ltd in January 2013. In essence, the claimants accepted the Financial Ombudsman’s decision arising out of their complaints against their financial advisers.
The losses were in excess of £500,000 and the Ombudsman found they were entitled to compensation. The maximum sum it could award was £100,000. The claimants accepted this sum, subject to their right to claim more in court proceedings. They then issued court proceedings, which the defendant sought to strike out as an abuse of process, the matter already having been litigated or judged (the doctrine of res judicata). The High Court held that the Ombudsman’s decision, which was said to be ‘binding and final’, simply referred to the end of the Ombudsman’s process and did not preclude court proceedings from subsequently being issued following the acceptance of a decision. As a result, the claimants were entitled to claim damages for an amount in excess of the sum they had accepted.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal held that an Ombudsman’s decision could indeed preclude subsequent court proceedings if the cause of action before the Ombudsman was the same as that before the court. It was for the defendant to prove the causes of action were the same. If they were not, there would be no issue of res judicata. If it was the same, court proceedings would not be permitted to simply ‘top up’ the Ombudsman’s award…
Click on the link below to read the rest of the Wragge & Co briefing.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
Two questions that go to the heart of whether ISPs can be required to block websites wthat promote the sharing of copyright-infringing content.
What should retailers do when planning flash sales and other short-term offers likely to trigger high demand? WLG sets out a few practical and legal pointers to help retailers get ready for the race ahead