One of the principal tenets of law in the UK is that a successful action in damages will restore the claimant to the position they would have been in had the 'tort' not taken place: there is no concept of punishment for the person causing the damage.
However, where losses are suffered as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation, a recent case has seen the court award damages to the claimant beyond what one might consider to be mere restitution for the loss suffered.
The case involved an investment in financial futures by a trader who relied on statements made by a broker about the level of profits that would be made. Those statements were false and the funds collapsed, becoming almost valueless in the space of two years.
The trader claimed restitution for the loss of capital and the loss of profit he would have made had he made alternative trades. The court agreed that he could recover these sums and also the ‘profit on profit’ he would have made had he made other trades. What was most significant was that the court did not consider it necessary for the claimant to identify specific transactions he would have undertaken had he not been duped. The court considered his prior and subsequent track record as sufficiently impressive to conclude that profits would have been made.