Court finds against Openwork in duty of care case

Court finds against Openwork in duty of care case

Openwork has failed in an appeal against a decision that they must pay more than £6,000 in damages after an adviser failed in his duty to a client.

Judge Raeside at Guildford County Court upheld the award in favour of David Anderson, who sued over his purchase of a Newcastle Guaranteed FTSE Bond in September 2005.

Mr Anderson claimed that adviser David Brameld - a partner in Rutherford & Co, which is part of a network of financial advisers working under the title of Openwork - recommended the bond to him, and advised him to purchase it, when it was not in fact suitable for his needs.

Article continues after advert

While District Judge Parker at Slough County Court rejected a number of Mr Anderson’s grounds of claim, he found Mr Brameld had breached his duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that the product was suitable for the client. The District Judge awarded Mr Anderson £5,459 damages and £685 interest, totalling £6,144.

Openwork challenged that decision, claiming that the District Judge had applied too high a duty of care in this case.

However, dismissing Openwork’s appeal, Judge Raeside said: “I consider that the judgment is a carefully and fully considered decision and that there are no grounds on which the District Judge should be overturned.

He added: “The facts are unusual in that the District Judge found (as he was fully entitled to do) that Mr Brameld had gone beyond simply giving information in relation to this product, and gave Mr Anderson advice.

“In doing so he was opening himself up to higher obligations than in most transactions of this type, and sadly he failed to meet those obligations.”