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Volume 401: debated on Wednesday 19 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to require auditors to owe a duty of care to individuals who are shareholders at the date of the audit report. [100916]

The Company Law Review carefully considered the arguments for and against extending by statute those to whom a company's auditors owe a duty of care. The Final Report concluded, in the light of responses to consultation, that the case for statutory extension had not been made out and that negligence law in this field was best left to the normal process of case law. The Government is considering this recommendation as part of the wider issue of auditor liability.