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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Legal & General Assurance Ltd v Kirk  EWCA Civ 1803 (14 November 2001)
Cite as:  IRLR 124,  Emp LR 585,  EWCA Civ 1803
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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE CHANCERY DIVISION
(Mr Justice Lloyd)
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE JONATHAN PARKER
MR JUSTICE HARRISON
|LEGAL & GENERAL ASSURANCE LTD|
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Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street,
London EC4A 2AG
Tel: 0171 421 4040
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
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"... the intentions of LAUTRO were well known and by virtue of the contention of the [respondent] that the [appellant] owed in aggregate [to] the [respondent] more than £1,000, the [appellant] would not have obtained an appointment or employment in the financial services industry whether before or after September 1991."
"In all the circumstances, the [respondent] ... owed to the [appellant] a duty of care in tort, alternatively assumed a responsibility to him to the like effect, in the preparation and provision of any reference or of any statement relating thereto, to exercise all due skill and care to ensure that any such reference or statement or material was fair and not misleading about the [appellant]."
"In or about October 1990 the [appellant] applied to Norwich Union which required completion of an application form disclosing, inter alia, whether the [appellant] had ever been the subject of a Court judgment for an outstanding debt, whether the [appellant] had ever been declared bankrupt or was subject of any such proceedings and whether he had any outstanding debt with an insurance company which remained unpaid. In the circumstances the [appellant] was unable to continue with his application in view of the fact that he would inevitably be rejected."
"I have to consider, as it seems to me, whether the judge is right in saying that in essence this claim, which seeks to go one step further - Mr Kirkby would say several steps further - from Spring to a case in which a reference is not in fact given or asked for but it is known by virtue of what is said between the parties themselves what would be said to a third party, that that gives rise, at least arguably, to a duty of care so that the matter should be allowed to go to trial.
Having considered the matter with the benefit of the citation of authority to some of which I have referred, and with the benefit of counsel's admirably succinct submissions, I am of the same view as Judge Knight. It seem to me that Mr Pawlak is seeking to extend the law as regards liability for negligent statements in a way which is simply not permissible. So far as statements between the parties are concerned, it seems to me that [the respondent] no doubt owed [the appellant] duties to try to get the position right, and certainly owed him duties as regards the accounting and so on, and if it does owe him money then it clearly owes him a duty to account for that money. But it seems to me impossible and inarguable to say that ... it owes him such a duty of care as is alleged in making an assertion or a statement to him following the termination of the relationship, that he owes them a certain amount of money. I do not accept that it even arguably owes a duty to him as regards his reliance, in a sense, on that statement, not for its accuracy, because of course he has always disputed its accuracy, but his reliance on it in not applying to another life company or other financial services company for appointment as an appointed or company representative. That seems to me to be an untenable contention and therefore I think Judge Knight was right to strike out those paragraphs of the counterclaim and I would therefore dismiss the appeal."
"...not a definable concept but merely a description of circumstances from which, pragmatically, the courts conclude that a duty of care exists".
"... for my part, I think that it has to be recognised that to search for any single formula which will serve as a general test of liability is to pursue a will-o'-the wisp."
"Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties."
"... the economic interests connected with the running of [the restaurant] were `possessions' for the purposes of Article 1 of the Protocol." (See paragraph 53 of the Court's judgment.)