Privy Council decision on limitation in professional negligence cases

A recent Privy Council decision has considered the point at which damage is suffered where a claimant has entered into a flawed transaction as a result of a defendant’s professional negligence. This is a controversial issue of particular relevance where claims are brought long after the negligent acts were committed. The court’s conclusion will often be, as it was in this case, that measurable damage was suffered as soon as the flawed transaction was entered into, and therefore time begins to run at that point for limitation purposes. However, the Privy Council disagreed with observations of the Court of Appeal in previous cases which suggested that damage would always be suffered at that point. Each case will depend on its facts – in particular whether at that point the claimant was measurably worse off than if the transaction had not been flawed: Maharaj & Anor v Johnson & Ors (Trinidad and Tobago) [2015] UKPC 28.

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