Hughes and others (By Their Litigation Friend) v Richards (Trading As Colin Richards and Co ): CA 9 Mar 2004

Parents and their children claimed against a tax adviser for negligence in relation to setting up an offshore trust. The defendant applied to strike out the children’s claim on the basis that the defendant owed them no duty of care and only the parents could recover. The success of the claim was dependant upon the development of the law in White v Jones.
Held: An application to strike out on this ground should not be granted unless the court is certain that the claim is bound to fail.
Peter Gibson LJ said: ‘I start by considering what is the correct approach on a summary application of the nature of Mr. Richards’s application at this early stage in the action when the pleadings show significant disputes of fact between the parties going to the existence and scope of the alleged duty of care. The correct approach is not in doubt: the court must be certain that the claim is bound to fail. Unless it is certain, the case is inappropriate for striking out . .’


Lord Justice Aldous Lord Justice Peter Gibson Lord Justice Jacob


[2004] EWCA Civ 266, [2004] PNLR 35




England and Wales


CitedWoodward v Wolferstans (A Firm) ChD 20-Mar-1997
The plaintiff purchased a house. Her mortgage was to be guaranteed by her father. The defendant solicitors acted for her and her father, but the father had almost exclusive contact with the firm, and was in practice their princpal client. She said . .

Cited by:

CitedWalsh v Staines and others ChD 26-Jul-2007
The defendants applied to strike out a claim based on an allegation of a fraudulent deceit and conspiracy in earlier proceedings between the parties. It was said that the defendant solicitors had represented that their client had funds to support an . .
CitedDowson and Others v Northumbria Police QBD 30-Apr-2009
Nine police officers claimed damages for alleged harassment under the 1997 Act by a senior officer in having bullied them and ordered them to carry out unlawful procedures. Amendments were sought which were alleged to be out of time and to have . .
CitedAB and Others v Ministry of Defence QBD 5-Jun-2009
Former members of the armed forces and others claimed damages for personal injuries, claiming that they had been obliged to expose themselves to the effects of atomic bomb explosions in the 1950s. The defendant argued that the claims were now out of . .
CitedHouchin v Lincolnshire Probation Trust QBD 9-Apr-2013
The defendant sought to have the claim struck out. The prisoner said that the defendant’s probation officer had through misfeasance in public office arranged for his transfer back to secure conditions from open ones. The parole board panel had found . .
CitedBoyse (International) Ltd v Natwest Markets Plc and Another ChD 27-May-2020
Claim alleging misselling of interest rate hedging products. The court considered the defendants strike out application, and applications for leave to amend pleadings.
Held: it will normally be appropriate for summary judgment to be pursued on . .
CitedCXZ v ZXC QBD 26-Jun-2020
Malicious Prosecution needs court involvement
W had made false allegations against her husband of child sex abuse to police. He sued in malicious prosecution. She applied to strike out, and he replied saying that as a developing area of law a strike out was inappropriate.
Held: The claim . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Litigation Practice

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.194326