Illinois Law Limits Claims By Non-clients Against Accountants

A recent decision by 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has confirmed that Illinois courts strictly construe Section 3.01 of the Illinois Public Accounting Act, which allows a non-client to bring a claim against an accountant.

The decision holds that the courts will find liability only in instances of fraud or intentional misrepresentation, or if the non-client can show that the accountant knew that its client's primary intent was to obtain accounting services to benefit or influence the non-client.

In other words, merely general knowledge that a client may show the accountant's report or other work product to a non-client will not cause an accountant to be exposed to liability for inaccurate reporting.

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