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Integral Memory plc v Haines Watt [2012] EWHC 342 (Ch) 22/2/12


Accountants were retained to provide tax advice on a bonus scheme. The Deputy Master granted summary judgment on the basis that the claim was time-barred. Following permission to appeal on paper the appeal was refused. Assuming in 2003 they should have advised that there was a material change in the law affecting the bonus scheme, proceedings could have been brought then and there was no continuing breach. All that there was, was a failure to remedy the existing breach. In terms of liability it was not a case of contingent liability. There was either an actual liability to pay the contributions and interest or there was not. It was not contingent on the outcome of proceedings in the tax tribunal. That Revenue and Customs could waive a liability was different to whether the liability existed in the first place. For the purposes of s.14A of the Limitation Act the contemporaneous correspondence indicated in 2003 that the company had sufficient knowledge of the relevant facts or at least to investigate further. The Claimant has informed Law Brief Update that it is seeking to appeal the decision.