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Professional Liability

Professional Liability

Robert Wickins
Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 196
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  • Book Info
    Professional Liability
    Book Description:

    Professional Liability has been written to give accountancy and business students a clear and concise description of the legal principles relating to professional liability. The core of the book is a wide-ranging and detailed account of the growth and application of the tort of negligence. Over one hundred leading British and Hong Kong cases covering a wide range of professions and business situations are used to illustrate the basic principles. The facts and a detailed analysis of all major cases are provided. A number of leading Commonwealth cases have also been included. The book is also useful to those studying or seeking information on professional liability in areas such as surveying, banking, and public administration. The text is divided into numbered paragraphs, and the main points are summarized at the end of each chapter, for easier comprehension and study.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-257-3
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. General Editor’s Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Derek Roebuck

    It is now more than six years since the first edition of this book was published, as part of a series created for students taking the examinations of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants, which had decided to localize its educational requirements. Five books were written: on Contracts, Goods, Business Associations, Cheques and this on Professional Negligence. All have required second editions to incorporate changes in the law. With the end of the colonial era and the creation of the Special Administrative Region now very close, further developments will demand even greater revisions. But the sources of our law in...

  4. Preface to the Third Edition
    (pp. ix-x)
    Robert Wickins
  5. Chapter 1 Duty of Care
    (pp. 1-40)

    1.1.1 Two major areas of civil liability in English law are those of contract and tort. Liability in contract is based on a legally enforceable agreement between the parties. Generally, only the parties to a contract can enforce the contract or rely on it as a defence. Other persons cannot sue or rely on the contract even though they are affected by it in some way. A contract thus does not give rights to the whole world. This is the principle of privity of contract. Furthermore, because of the concept of freedom of contract, the parties to a contract are...

  6. Chapter 2 Breach of Duty
    (pp. 41-76)

    2.1.1 Once a legal duty of care has been established, a plaintiff has to prove on the facts that there has been a breach of that duty by the defendant. This is decided by means of the reasonable man test. It is not a question of what the defendant foresaw or failed to foresee, but how a reasonable man in his position would act. The defendant is judged by the actions which could be expected of a reasonable man in his position. This is an objective rather than a subjective test. Fundamentally, the nature of the reasonable man is not...

  7. Chapter 3 Consequential Loss
    (pp. 77-110)

    3.1.1 A number of judges have pointed out that negligence of itself is not generally actionable, there must be some loss caused to the plaintiff as a result of the negligence and for which the law allows recovery. The detailed legal rules governing loss are quite complicated, and overlap with principles of accountancy and valuation. In a book of this nature, it is only necessary to cover certain fundamental principles.

    3.1.2 English law has always accepted that there must be broad practical limits on liability for loss arising from negligence. The law must look at such liability like a practical...

  8. Chapter 4 Professional Negligence
    (pp. 111-142)

    4.1.1 It is not proposed in an introductory book of this nature to cover every major profession of interest to business students. Largely it is a matter of applying the general principles of law set out in the first three chapters to specific situations in specific professions. Also, in judging whether conduct in a particular profession is negligent, the normal practices and procedures of that profession play a major role, as we have seen. It is proposed to consider a few major professions and professional situations in reasonable detail, where matters of general application or special difficulty can be discussed....

  9. Chapter 5 Other Areas of Professional Liability
    (pp. 143-162)

    5.1.1 Although the main areas of professional liability are usually regarded as breach of contract and the tort of negligence, there are a few other matters which deserve a brief mention. Naturally, persons in a professional capacity can be liable for criminal conduct like any other citizen. The criminal conduct perhaps most applicable to professional situations is some form of fraud. Various large frauds in public companies, banks, and other financial institutions in recent times have caused considerable concern, and demands for reform, in a number of countries. Such matters have also been of considerable concern in Hong Kong.


  10. Chapter 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 163-170)

    6.1.1 The tort of negligence is the most important tort relating to professional liability. It overlaps with liability in contract, but is based on different principles. However, many contracts for professional services contain an implied term that the professional person will perform his task with reasonable care and skill.

    6.1.2 The courts were reluctant for many years to formulate any general principle of liability for the tort of negligence, and decided matters merely on a case by case basis. These individual examples of liability were regarded as exceptional situations. It was not until the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932]...

  11. Table of Legislation
    (pp. 171-172)
  12. Table of Cases
    (pp. 173-182)
  13. Index
    (pp. 183-185)