43 episodes

4 New Square Chambers: In Brief is the regular podcast series from leading commercial barristers' chambers 4 New Square. In each episode, you will hear from our members of chambers who will examine current issues in commercial dispute resolution as well as life at the Bar.

4 New Square Chambers: In Brief 4 New Square Chambers

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 52 Ratings

4 New Square Chambers: In Brief is the regular podcast series from leading commercial barristers' chambers 4 New Square. In each episode, you will hear from our members of chambers who will examine current issues in commercial dispute resolution as well as life at the Bar.

    Conflicts of Interest: Recognition, Avoidance, Resolution

    Conflicts of Interest: Recognition, Avoidance, Resolution

    This topic brings into focus two competing tensions; the first is the tension between the professional and ethical obligations of a solicitor on the one hand as opposed to the commercial factors that can be brought to bear, particularly under the partnership model. The second tension is between solicitors’ regulatory obligations and what can be seen as practical good sense because the law of conflicts is an area where doing the right thing can in fact lead you to the wrong place.



    As law firms become larger and are forced to be more cost effective per retainer, the need for work grows. Combine this need with (i) increasingly sophisticated and challenging clients and (ii) ever more intense regulation, and the scene is set for problems relating to conflicts of interest.



    In this podcast, we aim to summarise the principles applicable to conflicts of interest and to identify what can and cannot be done to manage the risks of and arising from conflicts of interest.



    The law in this area is far from settled and the existence of conflicts and how they are best dealt with is very fact sensitive. Accordingly, what follows is not intended to be definitive or a panacea. But we hope it will serve as a helpful guide through what can seem rather a maze of law and regulation.

    • 50 min
    Corporate Veil & Conspiracy: novel applications of the economic torts and ongoing uncertainties in this area

    Corporate Veil & Conspiracy: novel applications of the economic torts and ongoing uncertainties in this area

    The talk is borne primarily of thoughts and considerations which arose in the course of Palmer Birch v Lloyd [2018] 4 WLR 164. In that case, Matthew acted for the successful claimant, which faced and overcame a defence founded on the separate legal personality of companies. The Court also rejected the contention that a defence of justification exists in the tort of unlawful means conspiracy.



    Having considered how the “corporate veil” defence in Palmer Birch was overcome, Matthew discusses other recent decisions in this area and the very real and vital uncertainties they exemplify, including:

    - The potential impact on cases such as Palmer Birch of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Garcia v Marex Financial [2018] EWCA Civ 1468, in relation to which a decision of the Supreme Court is awaited.

    - Precisely what the Supreme Court meant by the concept of a “just cause or excuse” for an unlawful means conspiracy in JSC BTA Bank v Khrapunov [2018] UKSC 19.

    - Recent decisions underscoring the ongoing gulf in the authorities as to whether a claimant must prove knowledge of unlawfulness on a defendant’s part in order to affix that defendant with liability for unlawful means conspiracy, and the potentially large impact of this uncertainty on claims under that tort (Stobart Group v Tinkler [2019] EWHC 258 (Comm); Racing Partnership Ltd v Done Brothers [2019] EWHC 1156 (Ch)).

    - Whether acts which are unlawful under foreign law may serve as the relevant unlawful means in a conspiracy claim.

    • 37 min
    #MeToo: Regulatory and disciplinary issues arising out of sexual harassment in the professional services sector

    #MeToo: Regulatory and disciplinary issues arising out of sexual harassment in the professional services sector

    In order to do that, we are going to address the following:

    - What is sexual harassment?

    - By reference to a hypothetical example: who are the relevant stakeholders, what are their rights and obligations?

    - Investigation by the firm and reporting to the regulator – does one follow the other or should they be done at the same time?

    - What are the problems and pitfalls of non-disclosure agreements?

    • 30 min
    The numbers game – hot topics in civil claims against accountants and auditors

    The numbers game – hot topics in civil claims against accountants and auditors

    In this episode, Jamie Smith KC, Helen Evans, and Anthony Jones survey the current state of play for claims against accountants and auditors following the Supreme Court’s decision in BPE v Hughes-Holland [2018] AC 599 and the two important cases handed down on consecutive days in January 2019: Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton [2019] EWCA Civ 40 and AssetCo v Grant Thornton [2019] EWHC 150 (Comm).Jamie Smith KC starts by considering duty and scope, identifying the particular challenges which the audit context presents for the SAAMCo and BPE ‘information and advice’ dichotomy. In doing so, Jamie sets out a handy checklist to assist classification for SAAMCo/BPE purposes, drawing from the first instance and Court of Appeal decisions in the Manchester Building Society case. Jamie goes on to address the implications of the SAAMCo approach to scope of duty for the type of ‘common sense’ legal causation favoured by the Court of Appeal in Galoo  v Bright Graeme Murray [1994] 1 WLR 1360, asking whether Galoo retains any relevance in the current era, but offering a way to rationalise the outcome in that case.Helen Evans then reviews how contributory negligence operates for accountant and auditor claims, bearing in mind the impact fraud on the part of the subject company/its officers may have on the accountant’s culpability (including the recent approach of the Commercial Court in the AssetCo case). Addressing another means by which accountants may effectively reduce their liability, Helen explains how the law of contribution from third parties tends to operate in accountants’ cases. First, Helen examines so-called ‘net contribution’ clauses frequently found in accountants’ retainers, which seek to impose a ‘just and equitable’ proportionate limit on liability with the need for formal contribution proceedings. Then Helen looks at common grounds and targets for accountants’ contribution claims and the best strategy on deploying them.Finally, Anthony Jones reviews the means by which accountants can formally limit liability, looking first at the statutory audit context under the Companies Act 2006 and the technical requirements for liability limitation agreements (which anecdote suggests have failed to catch on). Considering general methods of limiting liability, Anthony looks at the role of important (but sometimes hard to define) ‘basis clauses’ and then more conventional explicit restrictions on liability as they tend to operate in the accountancy market, and how the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 ‘reasonableness’ test has come to be applied in the field.

    • 40 min
    What you need to know about audit

    What you need to know about audit

    In this latest episode of our back to basics Conversations in Professional Liability series, Helen Evans KC, Marie-Claire O'Kane and Will Cook explain all you need to know about audit, discuss key judgments and legal developments and consider what might lie ahead in auditor's negligence.

    • 16 min
    Jurisdiction: international claims, Brexit, and the pitfalls for professionals

    Jurisdiction: international claims, Brexit, and the pitfalls for professionals

    This talk looks at professional liability claims brought in England but which have a cross-border element.  Listeners will follow how to found or resist jurisdiction in England where the defendant is situated in another jurisdiction, either within the current UK, within the current EU, or anywhere in the rest of the world; and how the rules are affected by Brexit. Paul also looks at the exposure of professionals to future claims arising from the way they handle cross-border litigation during the current period of uncertainty regarding Brexit.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

Gaurav @ PwC ,

Great series

Topical informative and stimulating. Great initiative.

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