Take it or leave it? Financial Ombudsman Service awards and res judicata

By Andrew Foyle

The courts in England have ruled that accepting an award from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) can be a bar to any further proceedings in England and Wales. Shoosmiths examines whether the same principles apply in Scotland.

In its recent judgment in Clark v In Focus Asset Management ([2014] EWCA Civ 118), the Court of Appeal in England and Wales ruled that an award by the FOS to a consumer in a dispute with a service provider can act as a bar to future litigation on the same subject matter.

Scottish law recognises a similar principle (known as res judicata), so the question may arise as to whether the Court of Appeal’s reasoning would apply in similar circumstances in Scotland….

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