Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2014 position: 28

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

Sign in


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


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

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.

Briefings from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

View more briefings from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • Paul Wilson

    Regional: attempted merger

    Alliances, failed and successful, are the story of the year outside London

  • Belinda Bradberry

    Interior designs

    Polish up your retention policy - private practice lawyers are increasingly eyeing in-house roles

View more analysis from The Lawyer


2 Snowhill
B4 6WR

Turnover (£m): 121.16
No. of lawyers: 440