The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the High Court to strike out a claim by the former shareholders of a dissolved company against an investor on the basis that all the losses claimed were barred by the reflective loss principle: Burnford & Ors v Automobile Association Developments Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 1943.

As a reminder, the Supreme Court in Sevilleja v Marex Financial Ltd [2020] UKSC 31 confirmed that the reflective loss principle is a bright line legal rule, which prevents only shareholders from bringing a claim based on any fall in the value of their shares or distributions, which is the consequence of loss sustained by the company, in respect of which the company has a cause of action against the same wrongdoer (see our blog post).

In the present case, the Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court that although the company had been dissolved, the claimants’ claim fell within the ambit of the reflective loss principle. The decision puts the time at which the reflective loss rule falls to be assessed beyond doubt: it is the time when the claimant suffered the alleged loss and not at the time proceedings were brought.

For more information see this post on our Banking Litigation Notes blog.