Following the recent dramatic falls in the property and equities markets and given their continued volatility, investment advisors can expect to receive a growing number of claims arising out of advice offered many years ago. It is therefore worthwhile touching, once again, on the issue of from when limitation runs.
In Shore v Sedgwick the Court held that the six-year limitation period for negligence began to run from when the client had become “demonstrably worse off”, for which it might be necessary to look back to fluctuations in the market since the advice had been given.
For the purposes of s14A Limitation Act, the three-year period ran from the date the client had broad knowledge of the matters pointing to the firm’s negligence and an appreciation, in general terms, that the loss was attributable to the negligent act or omission.
The DISP rules applicable to FOS complaints are slightly different: time runs from when the complainant became aware (or ought reasonably to have become aware) that he had cause for complaint. This difference should be borne in mind as firms may be able to time-bar complaints under DISP before they would under the Limitation Act.