John McKendrick of Outer Temple Chambers succeeds in commercial regulatory strike-out

John McKendrick of Outer Temple Chambers has successfully acted for EDI, resisting an appeal against a decision to strike out and grant summary judgment against a counterclaim for damages in the case of DCAS Business School v EDI Plc [2013] EWHC 3378 (QB).

At the relevant time, EDI was a private company that acted under a statutory scheme as quasi regulator of providers of national vocational qualifications. DCAS business school, which purported to offer such qualifications, counterclaimed against EDI in breach of contract and in negligence for the manner in which EDI regulated DCAS’s business.

DCAS claimed it had suffered significant financial loss. EDI applied to strike out the counter claim and sought summary judgment. This was granted. DCAS appealed to the High Court.

Mrs Justice Andrews dismissed the appeal. Applying Jain v Trent Strategic Health Authority [2009] UKHL 4, she held that a regulator, even if it was a private body operating for profit, did not owe a duty of care to the class of persons it regulated. Mrs Justice Andrews also dismissed the claim in contract, accepting McKendrick’s submission.