Barings Plc and Another v Coopers and Lybrand (A Firm) and Others: ChD 11 Jun 2003

Evans-Lombe J expressed an unwillingness to accept any all-embracing test for what may constitute the breaking of the chain of causation, saying: ‘It seems to me that what will constitute such conduct is so fact-sensitive to the facts of any case where the issue arises that it is almost impossible to generalise. If one must do so, I would say that it must be some unreasonable conduct, not necessarily unforeseeable . . a new cause coming in and disturbing the sequence of events . . not necessarily reckless . . which may result from an accumulation of events which in sum have the effect of removing the negligence sued on as a cause . . which accumulation of events may take place over time.’


The Honourable Mr Justice Evans-Lombe


[2003] EWHC 1319 (Ch), [2003] Lloyd’s Rep IR 566, [2003] PNLR 34




England and Wales


CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .

Cited by:

CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .
CitedSingularis Holdings Ltd v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Ltd SC 30-Oct-2019
The Court was asked whether a claim against a bank for breach of the Quincecare duty is defeated if the customer is a company, and the fraudulent payment instructions are given by the company’s Chairman and sole shareholder who is the dominating . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Vicarious Liability

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.183401