Difference between advice and information provided by a professional (for example a broker) – English law

English law relating to professional negligence draws an interesting distinction between whether the professional person is giving information or giving advice. This is not specifically part of South African law but it is relevant when considering liability, for instance, of brokers under the FAIS Act. The difference is between providing information for the purpose of enabling someone to decide on a course of action, and advising someone as to what course of action to take. An English court held in 2017 that a broker was responsible for failing to inform a client that there was no market for the proposed retrocession cover for a book of reinsurance business contrary to the broker’s duty to inform the client whether or not reinsurance was available. The broker was responsible for the entire transaction in placing the retrocession and was therefore giving advice and not merely information because it took responsibility for the whole transaction. A professional giving advice…

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