On 12 May 2023, Mr Justice Jacobs handed down judgment in Watchstone Group Plc v Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP v Slater & Gordon (UK) 1 Limited [2023] EWHC 1133, following a three week trial in the Commercial Court earlier this year.

The Claimant, formerly known as Quindell plc, had issued proceedings against PwC claiming that a former partner of PwC divulged confidential information about Quindell to Slater & Gordon (UK) 1 Limited (“S&G”) at a time when S&G was considering the acquisition of a substantial part of Quindell’s business. It alleged that S&G then used the confidential information to negotiate a significantly lower price for the acquisition, paying £63 million less to Quindell than it otherwise would have done.

Jacobs J rejected the Claimant’s claims in their entirety. There was no wrongdoing by the relevant partner of PwC and no confidential information was divulged. Further, and in respect of the information which was alleged to have been passed, that information was irrelevant to the price negotiations between S&G and Quindell.

Richard Handyside KC and Rebecca Loveridge acted for PwC, instructed by Dentons UK & Middle East LLP.

Ian Bergson, led by James Brocklebank KC of 7KBW, acted for S&G, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP.

A copy of the judgment is available here.