Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

directly with the claimants. The claimants brought various claims against APP, and against Mr Ioannou personally, for misrepresentation and negligent advice on currency risks. They sought to recover the amounts paid to purchase the properties. The first instance judge found APP negligent in failing to warn the claimants of foreign currency risks when borrowing in Swiss francs, especially since the anticipated rental income would be in Cypriot pounds or British pounds. The judge, however, did not find Mr Ioannou, as the director of APP, personally liable. APP appealed the finding on Mr Ioannou’s liability, contending that the judge ought to have held Mr Ioannou personally liable as an accessory to the wrongdoing of APP in line with the principles set out by the Supreme Court in Fish & Fish Ltd v Sea Shepherd UK [2015] UKSC 10, [2015] AC 122. The Court of Appeal rejected APP’s appeal against the liability finding. This judgment provides a helpful explanation of the principles to be used in assessing whether a director is liable for tortious acts committed by a company. The Two Routes to Liability The claimants first argued that Mr Ioannou was personally in breach of a duty to warn the claimants about the currency risks, making him a primary tortfeasor. However, the court rejected this assertion as there was no assumption of responsibility by Mr Ioannou personally and it would never have crossed the claimants’ minds that this would be the case. The Court of Appeal emphasised that, because assumption of responsibility by the defendant and reliance by the claimants are essential elements of the tort, Mr Ioannou himself did not commit any tort in this case and therefore cannot be personally liable. SPECIAL FEATURE 49 Those assisting the tortfeasor to commit a tort may also be held liable as an accessory to the tort.

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