Estoppel – Res judicata. The claimants issued proceedings, seeking damages from the defendant financial adviser following an award by the Financial Ombudsman Service under the scheme established by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The claim was dismissed at first instance by virtue of the doctrine of merger. The judge allowed the appeal and the defendant appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the appeal, held that the Act did not exclude the doctrine of res judicata. Accordingly, acceptance of the award precluded the claimants from starting legal proceedings.