You are here

When a parent company may be liable in negligence for the acts of its subsidiary

The ruling in Chandler has established that a parent company may be liable for breaches of health and 
safety laws by a subsidiary without the need to consider lifting the corporate veil. 
Alan McKenna reviews 
the court’s reasoning 
while Robert Weir QC 
and Vijay Ganapathy assess the circumstances 
and extent to which liability may attach as a result

11 May 2012

The most significant aspect of Chandler is that it addresses the injustice of many tort victims otherwise being denied a remedy when they have been injured as a result of the activities of subsidiary companies both here and overseas.

It is not always possible to sue the subsidiary company; the subsidiary may not have relevant insurance (such as in the case of Mr Chandler) and the subsidiary itself may have been wound up (again as in Chandler). It may also have insufficient assets. Claimants have for some time considered the possibility of suing parent companies instead as they are more likely to have sufficient means and remain in existence for a longer period of time. This is especially so in asbestos disease cases, where the injury develops many years ?after exposure. The Chandler case is the ?first where such a claim has been pursued to trial.

There are numerous situations, as demonstr...

Want to read on?

This article is part of our subscription-based access. Please pick one of the options below to continue.

Already registered? Login to access premium content

SUBSCRIBE for one User

Unlimited access to the entire SJ website for a full year for one user.

  • 10 issues a year delivered to you
  • Digital edition of the magazine for one user – sent to your inbox or accessible through the website
  • Access to premium content on the website
  • Access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online
  • Advanced search feature
  • Online support
  • Access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices – coming soon!
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

Subscribe

CORPORATE SUBSCRIPTION

Your department or entire firm can subscribe to Solicitors Journal online, providing easy access for all who require it. Discount corporate subscription rates apply, based on number of users.

The Corporate IP Licence includes:

  • Digital copy of the magazine sent to individuals’ inboxes and accessible through the website. Solicitors Journal publishes 10 issues per year
  • Unlimited access to premium content on the website based on IP addresses
  • Unlimited access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online (username required)
  • Unlimited access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

The Corporate IP Licence is tailored to your firm, making it the most cost effective way for the firm to access Solicitors Journal, and enables the firm to remain compliant with copyright and our Terms and Conditions. This gives you the ability to print and circulate articles within the firm.

To enquire about a Corporate IP Licence for your firm, please contact our Subscriptions Manager on emily.beechey@solicitorsjournal.com.