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News

Telling Tales - September 2017

22 Sep 17

If in Doubt, Notify..! The end of September is peak season for renewals of professional indemnity insurance, especially for lawyers, whose compulsory insurance schemes have traditionally used annual policies...

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Industry News September 2017

22 Sep 17

The latest ‘timebomb’ issue attracting trade press comments is the growing number of claims by purchasers of leasehold property against their professional advisers for failures to forewarn...

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Legal Viewpoint September

22 Sep 17

Clients Must be Allowed to Accept the Bird-In-Hand. In Thomas v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2017] EWCA (4 September 2017) the Court of Appeal has once again addressed the tricky issue...

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Telling Tales August 2017

24 Aug 17

Telling Tales Exemplary situations of risk or crisis. This month: Last week I received a publicity email from a professional mediator, headed “Should Have Gone to Mediation” and listing...

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Industry News August 2017

24 Aug 17

Industry News Censorious messages are expected imminently from the UN against the high costs of using British courts to seek justice on environmental matters, contrary to the UK’s international...

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Legal Viewpoint

24 Aug 17

Mrs Justice Carr, who has a rich and respected experience in the field of professional conduct, has continued to be busy with significant appeals to the Divisional Court against dishonesty findings by...

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Telling Tales - July 2017

23 Jul 17

Telling Tales Exemplary situations of risk or crisis. This month: Whom must I serve? A cliché interchange in the car with my wife the other day involved her barely-heard mutterings about the...

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Industry News - July 2017

23 Jul 17

Industry News Proposals for an on-line court, and reforms to confront ‘compensation culture’, are back on the agenda in the Queen’s Speech last month. Erosion of lawyers’ exclusive...

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Mike’s Thoughts - July 2017

23 Jul 17

“As for the witches, none will deny that we are most eager for all their confessions. Therefore, what is left for a lawyer to bring out?”   Arthur Miller 1915 - 2005 (The Crucible,...

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Legal Viewpoint - July 2017

23 Jul 17

Collateral Sticking Mud is a Necessary Price of Open Justice It’s no surprise to read the exultant leader in The Times following its Supreme Court victory in  PNM v Times Newspapers Ltd &...

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Telling Tales - June 2017

21 Jun 17

Telling Tales Exemplary situations of risk or crisis. This month: Doing Right with Bad Laws and Regulations The past few weeks have been momentous, with many unequivocal wrongs dominating headlines....

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Industry News - June 2017

21 Jun 17

Industry News The careful balance between executive government and the Judiciary is tipping dangerously and judges are getting noisy about it: In a speech at the Palace of Westminster last week, the...

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Legal Viewpoint - June 2017

21 Jun 17

Legal Viewpoint Suing a Nobody There has been a potentially wedge-widening decision by the Court of Appeal in Cameron v Hussain & Anor [2017] EWCA (23 May) to allow the victim of a hit-and-run incident...

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Manchester PI Firm bought by high street consolidator

08 Jun 17

The Solicitors Regulation Authority recently confirmed the appointment of Nottinghamshire firm Shacklocks LLP as the intervening agent for the affairs of Clinch Solicitors, a Manchester based specialist...

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Telling Tales - May 2017

22 May 17

Points Means Sizes One of the fascinations of the game of Bridge is that it’s based on arithmetical patterns: by allocating a points value to the top cards dealt to them, players can reckon the...

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Industry News - May 2017

22 May 17

Industry News The Prisons and Courts Bill, which would have radically changed the personal injury market and various aspects of the court system, has been dropped because of the general election. Both...

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Legal Viewpoint - May 2017

22 May 17

Unnecessary Use of the Courts Three recent cases reflect the higher Courts’ disapproval of being asked to decide actions which properly should have been settled much earlier… In a recent...

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Telling Tales - April 2017

20 Apr 17

Telling Tales Exemplary situations of risk or crisis. This month: Climbing trees Years ago, crossing a lawn with guests, I heard an exultant call from the sky and looking up, saw my five-year-old son...

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Industry News April 2017

20 Apr 17

Industry News Progress of the Prisons and Courts Bill, set to introduce widespread reforms, including online courts, is threatened by the snap General Election. A new LexisNexis Report, Amplifying the...

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Legal Viewpoint - April 2017

20 Apr 17

The Dishonesty Spade Must Be So-Called... A High Court Judge has ordered a retrial of a solicitor struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for dishonestly back-dating a critical document, because...

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Fixing legal errors

21 Mar 17

Most lawyers are acquainted with the clammy instant when they realise their advice, work or action was not founded on an accurate legal understanding: An obsolete principle or rule replaced by more recent...

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Industry News March 2017

21 Mar 17

The NIC U-turn aside, the most radical tax-hike in the spring Budget is the introduction of a new scale of probate fees to take effect from May, uplifting the price of Probates for larger estates 129 times,...

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Legal Viewpoint March 2017

21 Mar 17

Supreme Court Supports Freedom to Disinherit The profile court decision this month is the Supreme Court’s Judgment in Ilott v Blue Cross [2017] UKSC Judgment (PDF) that the discretion exercised...

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Measuring Loss

21 Feb 17

Measuring Loss One of the consolations – there aren’t many - of the recent rises in court fees, especially the anchorage of the fee for issuing proceedings to the reckoned ‘value’...

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Industry news roundup

21 Feb 17

Industry News The legal status of Gig economy workers has become a space to watch, both politically and in the courts. The recent Court of Appeal result in Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith, which favoured...

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21 Feb 17

Legal Viewpoint The case generating most noise recently for professional risks lawyers is Dreamvar (UK) Limited v Mishcon de Reya & Anor [2016] EWHC, in which a property buyer’s solicitors,...

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Industry news round-up

Industry news round-up

23 Jan 17

New legal service business structures: The trend towards multi-disciplinary businesses and flexible working structures continues … Setfords, a national ‘virtual’ firm of 160 lawyers...

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Legal Viewpoints

23 Jan 17

Win Some But Lose Others: Costs Consequences The recent case of Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited -v- Wilkins Kennedy [2016] EWHC was a high value professional negligence action in which the...

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Mike's Thoughts

23 Jan 17

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.” “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)   Seeking and receiving compensation...

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Telling Tales

23 Jan 17

Managing conflicts The purpose of almost all professional advice or service is the protection or advancement of one or more interests, at least in commercial terms and usually concerning legal rights...

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December's Industry Round-up

16 Dec 16

The Government’s Consultation on proposed reforms of personal injury claims, which closes on 5 January, is hotting up. It includes proposals to raise the value of small claims (for which winners...

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Legal Viewpoint

16 Dec 16

Keep the Date! Quite widespread publicity has been given to a recent county court decision in Wells -v- Wood & Nottinghamshire Council (Lincoln County Court 09/12/2016) b78ym721-wells-v-wood-notts-cc-judgment-final...

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‘Trading Loss’ Exclusions

18 Nov 16

‘Trading Loss’ Exclusions An important Supreme Court decision last month has given prominence to an issue often requiring early and careful appraisal by professional firms facing a third-party...

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MOJ Proposals on tackling low value injury claims

MOJ Proposals on tackling low value injury claims

18 Nov 16

The MOJ has released long awaited proposals following upon last year’s autumn statement pledge by George Osborne to take measures to reduce low value injury claims, especially for whiplash and soft...

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Good News for Claimant Lawyers re Costs : Disposal Hearings are Trials

18 Nov 16

Disposal Hearings are Trials In the context of what costs are recoverable, a ‘disposal hearing’ – ie the process by which damages or other remedies are determined by the Courts following...

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Don’t Ask Can’t Blame

18 Nov 16

Don’t Ask, Can’t Blame… A common challenge for lawyers in professional negligence disputes is establishing or evidencing exactly what the defendant professional was engaged to do, and/or...

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Telling Tales: Compromising Causation

24 Oct 16

Establishing causation – that the alleged loss is the direct result of the alleged wrongdoing – remains probably the hardest and most perilous aspect of professional risks litigation, and usually...

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October Industry News Round-up

24 Oct 16

Courts funding: Rupert Jackson LJ has published a new book – The Reform of Civil Litigation, which includes views that it would be wrong for the entire cost of the civil justice system to be shifted...

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Judging Plainly

Judging Plainly

19 Sep 16

Publicity has rightly been given to a family Court judgment by Peter Jackson J in Lancashire County Council v M & Ors [2016], because it’s written in language intended to be understandable to...

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September Industry News Round-up

September Industry News Round-up

13 Sep 16

Abusive claims practice remains a topical issue:  The Fundamental Dishonesty defence laws introduced last year to enable insured defendants to dispute spurious claims, continue to create news. Law...

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Telling Tales: Dodging the Traps of Hearsay

Telling Tales: Dodging the Traps of Hearsay

05 Sep 16

I rarely see allegations or regulatory charges, or defence responses, which are not at least flavoured by intonations sourced from second or third hand reports, gossip or anecdotal accounts. At best, they...

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August industry news round-up

August industry news round-up

22 Aug 16

Lord Justice Briggs has published his final report on the future of civil courts, recommending a new online court designed to be used with ‘minimum assistance’ from lawyers with its own set...

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Undoing Deceitful Injury Claim Settlements

Undoing Deceitful Injury Claim Settlements

15 Aug 16

Cases continue to arise which tip the risks further against claimants who exaggerate their injuries or loss to gain higher settlements. In Hayward v Zurich Insurance Company plc [2016] UKSC 48 (27 July...

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Telling Tales: Should Systems Replace Experience?

Telling Tales: Should Systems Replace Experience?

01 Aug 16

Experience and practised skills are paramount assets for any effective professional team in all its deliveries, but especially for preventions as well as resolutions of errors or mischances, and the exposures...

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No Witness Exclusions from Civil Courtrooms

No Witness Exclusions from Civil Courtrooms

16 Jul 16

In Da Costa & Anor v Sargaco [2016] EWCA (14 July 2016), the Court of Appeal (CA) has reviewed the principles governing entitlements of parties and witnesses to sit in court and hear other witnesses...

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Engagement? – What engagement?

Engagement? – What engagement?

12 Jul 16

Radford v Frade [2016] EWHC (08 July 2016) is a salutary warning to lawyers engaged under conditional fee agreements (cfa) to ensure that those agreements cover all the work they do, and the clients...

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Telling Tales: Managing the Client

Telling Tales: Managing the Client

01 Jul 16

The skill with which a bad news story is told to those who need to hear it is always critical.  Sharing it with a client requires a fine balance between transparent report of what they need to know,...

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June industry news round-up

June industry news round-up

30 Jun 16

The EU referendum: - has spawned supporters on both sides among professional firms. - Commercial slowdowns caused by the uncertainty are damaging many businesses. - A ‘remain’ vote is expected...

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Reducing Costs for Disproportionality – Principles Applied

Reducing Costs for Disproportionality – Principles Applied

24 Jun 16

The principles, and mode of approach, to applying reductions of otherwise recoverable costs on grounds of their disproportionality have received useful steerage from Master Gordon-Saker in BNM -v-MGN Limited...

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QOCS Applies to Appeal costs

QOCS Applies to Appeal costs

18 Jun 16

In Parker v Butler [2016] EWHC (26 May 2016), the Court of Appeal has usefully clarified that ‘One-way costs shifting’ principles, whereby a personal injury claimant is not at risk for a defendant’s...

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Don’t Forget to Prove it..

Don’t Forget to Prove it..

09 Jun 16

In England and Wales Cricket Board v Revenue and Customs [2016] UKFTT (19 May 2016), the Revenue has lost its claim for surcharged VAT because it failed to provide proof that an appropriate demand...

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Telling Tales: If only... Telling the Truth

Telling Tales: If only... Telling the Truth

01 Jun 16

The famous oath taken by witnesses, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is vital to underline honest intent, but is hardly ever possible. Even simple facts are often equivocal; and their...

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May industry news round-up

May industry news round-up

19 May 16

Him and Her: - The Law Society has published that the number of women holding solicitors Practising Certificates reached 65000 in 2015, against 68,000 men, and two thirds of lawyers under 35 are women....

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Pleading Cases Properly

Pleading Cases Properly

16 May 16

Two recent cases have highlighted the importance of setting out protagonists’ cases properly in fully and clearly pleaded Statements of Case. In Prudential Assurance v Commissioners for HMRC [2016...

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Hillsborough: Still the mistakes and wrongdoings are being misreported

Hillsborough: Still the mistakes and wrongdoings are being misreported

13 May 16

The criticisms of South Yorkshire Police and their lawyers following the recent second full Inquest into the 96 deaths in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, have received widespread reporting and comment,...

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When is a Personal Injury Claim not a Personal Injury Claim?

When is a Personal Injury Claim not a Personal Injury Claim?

10 May 16

The fact of whether or not a court claim is for personal injury damages is often critical for various reasons, including limitation (just three years rather than the usual six); and prospects of costs...

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Telling Tales: If only… Learning the lessons

Telling Tales: If only… Learning the lessons

03 May 16

“What and why?” reflections following a mishap or claim exposure, and upon the lessons to be learned from it,  are usually necessary and appropriate for most service firm owners. Thoughts...

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Upholding Service

Upholding Service

20 Apr 16

Rules for allowing service of court proceedings despite procedural irregularities have received scrutiny by the Court of Appeal in Barton v Wright Hassall [2016] EWCA, going against a litigant in person...

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April industry news round-up

April industry news round-up

19 Apr 16

New costs budgeting Rules are now in place for English/Welsh courts. Harder evidence and track records of cyber-crime threats to legal businesses is emerging: - A New York security firm has issued warning...

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Duties to Mitigate Applied by Court of Appeal

Duties to Mitigate Applied by Court of Appeal

18 Apr 16

In Wight Ltd v Gately LLP [2016] EWCA the defendant solicitors negligently failed to alert the claimant purchaser of a tenancy to harsh forfeiture conditions in the lease. The Court of Appeal usefully...

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Property Frauds: Lawyers on Both Sides Carry Responsibility

Property Frauds: Lawyers on Both Sides Carry Responsibility

16 Apr 16

A High Court decision in Purrunsing v A'Court & Co [2016] EWHC 789 (Ch) (14 April 2016) has been hailed as a landmark decision upholding the responsibility on conveyancers on both sides of...

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Telling Tales: Stay Alert – Insurers’ and Policyholders’ Interests Are Not the Same…

Telling Tales: Stay Alert – Insurers’ and Policyholders’ Interests Are Not the Same…

05 Apr 16

Whenever a professional business is confronted by a new exposure, it must not lose sight of both its own interests and those of its insurers, and the potential differences between them. For insurers, the...

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Block Notifications and Brokers’ Apportioned Responsibilities

Block Notifications and Brokers’ Apportioned Responsibilities

21 Mar 16

A recent case about “block notifications” of claims risks to professional indemnity insurers, primarily turning on facts and expert evidence but containing useful summaries and analyses of...

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Costs Budgets Timetable

Costs Budgets Timetable

17 Mar 16

Even tighter rules and deadlines for filing costs budgets in court actions take effect on 6th April. In claims for less than £50,000 the costs budget must be filed with the directions questionnaires...

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Two more CA decisions Endorsing Sanctions for Procedural Non-compliance

Two more CA decisions Endorsing Sanctions for Procedural Non-compliance

13 Mar 16

There have been two more Court of Appeal decisions upholding lower-court refusals to grant relief from sanctions and underlining the risks of procedural non-compliance. In British Gas Trading -v- Oak Cash...

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March industry news round-up

March industry news round-up

09 Mar 16

In the Budget (16.03.16): - The Chancellor has endorsed tougher compliance requirements for claims management companies: “The new regime will be tougher and will ensure CMC managers can be held...

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Telling Tales: protecting confidentiality

Telling Tales: protecting confidentiality

03 Mar 16

When claims or other exposures arise, a sometimes diverse range of reputational and brand risks, of affected individuals as well as the business(es) they work for, are usually as critical as the prospective...

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Judges must adjudicate properly

Judges must adjudicate properly

24 Feb 16

Two recent Court of Appeal cases have concerned the propriety of trial judges’ conclusions and decisions involving solicitors whose honesty is questioned in their conduct or testimony.  In ...

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February industry news round-up

February industry news round-up

22 Feb 16

Lots to catch up on this month, including: - Five people who were most directly involved in the professional indemnity insurance fiasco which left 1300 law firms uninsured in 2013 have been fined a total...

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Telling tales: managing proportionality and commercial realpolitik

Telling tales: managing proportionality and commercial realpolitik

20 Feb 16

It’s not uncommon for a client to try to reduce financial pressure by challenging their professional advisers’ fees and/or by making claims against them, however unjustified or farfetched....

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January Industry News Roundup

January Industry News Roundup

25 Jan 16

Lots going on, including…Briggs LJ has produced an interim report (12.01.16) in his review of the civil courts, including need for urgent measures to address the Court of Appeal caseload; an Online...

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Loss of Chance – New principles

25 Jan 16

In Harding Homes (East Street) Ltd v Bircham Dyson Bell [2015] EWHC, Mrs Justice Proudman has heavily criticised the defendant property lawyer’s admitted ‘corner-cutting’, and it has...

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Understating Claim Value to Avoid Higher Court Fees is Abuse of Process

25 Jan 16

In Lewis and others v Ward Hadaway [2015] EWHC Claimants issued their proceedings at the end of the limitation period, supported by statements of value that were substantially below the amounts claimed...

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Telling Tales: Simplification- Benefits and perils

22 Jan 16

The predominant craft – which often is also an art - of professional risks resolution is first to distinguish the relevant issues and facts from what is usually a complicated story, and then prioritise...

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Telling Tale: Be Back Soon – Or Maybe Not: dealing with trouble when relevant colleagues are unavailable

21 Dec 15

‘Tis the Season for our ‘Jollies’ … Skeleton staffs and mind and body absences are the norm for most businesses at this time of year. Which makes it a good time for weak claims...

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December Industry News Round Up

21 Dec 15

Plenty to catch the eye this month including insurance law firm BLM has published a ‘white paper’ - The Impact of Macroeconomic Trends on London Market Claims : The legal services sector is...

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Procedural Non-compliance Sanctions Regimen Upheld

21 Dec 15

The awaited Supreme Court decision in Thevarajah v Riordan [2015] UKSC has been published, upholding and endorsing the principles for applications for relief from civil procedural sanctions established...

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Claims culture is a "ticking timebomb"

07 Dec 15

The combination of the UK’s increasingly litigious society and the fierce pressure many professionals are under is a ticking timebomb, according to a leading Yorkshire lawyer. Mike Willis, a former...

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Telling Tale: Don’t let a Complaint become a Claim

24 Nov 15

Time and again, civil liability exposures start their course as complaints which, if properly handled, would have gone no further. But because of misplaced priorities, over-defensiveness, or simply inattention...

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November Industry News Roundup

24 Nov 15

The MOJ seems to be sailing steady with political and funding agendas towards overhaul of legal services regulation structures. – Hopefully to correct current imbalances between properly scrutinised...

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Limited Engagement = Limited Duties

24 Nov 15

The leading professional negligence court case this month is Sharon Minkin v Lesley Landsberg [2015] EWCA (17 November) in which solicitors, who were used just to tidy up a consent order for settlement...

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Penalty-taking

24 Nov 15

Wider headlines have concerned a double-case Decision by the Supreme Court on 4 November in ParkingEye v Beavis  - about a £85 parking charge – and Cavendish Square Holding v El Makdessi,...

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Know What’s What – and Prove It

24 Nov 15

In Goldsmith Williams v E.Serv Ltd [2015] EWCA (13 November) a surveyor sought a contribution from solicitors towards its damages payment to their mutual client lenders to whom they had both been negligent....

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Keeping Up, Smartly

03 Nov 15

A paper released by LexisNexis, “The Art of Keeping Up” follows up its 2015 Bellwether survey Report, “The Age of the Client” – to effect that modern clients are more informed,...

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Telling Tale: Scapegoats - Not Recommended for Damage Limitation

26 Oct 15

Temptations to try to mitigate brand or reputational damage by publicly targeting one person or team for all the blame are often strong when a big exposure arises, but should be resisted. Although dismissals...

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Part 36 Offers: Wrong unless Absolutely Right

26 Oct 15

The traps and niceties of the rules for Part 36 offers have received further court attention in Hertel & Artemis International v Saunders & Anor [2015]: A defence Part 36 offer which, if it had...

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Divorce Settlements: ‘Fraud Unravels All’

26 Oct 15

For a long time, there has been a lot of uncertainty as to when a lack of disclosure is sufficient to set aside financial settlements made following marriage or partnership breakdown. The Supreme Court...

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October Industry News Round-Up

26 Oct 15

A comparison website called The Law Superstore has been launched, designed to offer consumers a choice of legal provider based on 30 selected work-type categories. It will be funded by flat fee charges...

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September Industry News Round-Up

September Industry News Round-Up

22 Sep 15

Stats: The Civil Justice Statistics for the first quarter of 2015 record 366,000 court claims, down 1% on the same period last year; defended claims increased by 4% and judgments fell by...

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Determined to Ignore Instructions..

22 Sep 15

Expert Determination is a relatively underused form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby a specialist is appointed by agreement to provide a valuation or measurement, or decide a narrow point of...

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Rescission or Damages?

22 Sep 15

Misrepresentations which wrongfully induce a contract are remediable either by an award of damages and/or by an order for rescission (undoing) of the contract, restoring the parties to their pre-contact...

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Consumer Rights Act 2015

22 Sep 15

The Act consolidates key consumer rights covering goods and services, digital content and unfair terms, and replaces the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 insofar as it applies to consumers, and all of the...

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Modern Slavery Act 2015

22 Sep 15

The Act has consolidated and updated existing legislation with effect from 31 July 2015, criminalising human trafficking, slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude. It applies to ‘commercial...

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August Industry News Round-Up

19 Aug 15

Revenues are up this year for 86% of City firms, but profits are down for 25%. Profits (averaging £221000 pep) as well as revenues have increased across most regions. A large insurer, Esure, has...

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Supreme Court Approve CFA Success Fees

19 Aug 15

The awaited decision of the Supreme Court in Coventry v Lawrence [2014] UKSC was handed down last month, on the tricky issue of whether the recovery of success fees and/or litigation-risk insurance premiums...

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Aggregations of Related Claims

19 Aug 15

A frequent cause for solicitors’ indemnity coverage disputes is whether a claim is one of two or more “similar acts or omissions in a series of related matters or transactions”, pursuant...

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Defamation: The Test for Serious Harm

19 Aug 15

Statutory and common law remedies for written or verbal abuse are an important protection for all businesses, but especially professional services firms who depend on their good reputation. The Defamation...

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Implementing Contractual Discretionary Requirements

19 Aug 15

A lot of contracts require their parties to implement agreed purposes under a discretion to be applied sensibly or ‘in good faith’. There are no fixed interpretations or definitions for this...

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July Industry News Round-up

17 Jul 15

- Insurance renewal season is now in swing, especially for lawyers, most of whom are still tied to the October-September annual cycle, generating the usual volume of trade press guidance and warnings....

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A Disqualifying Affair

17 Jul 15

In K v D [2015] EWFC, the Family Court has disallowed a solicitor from continuing to represent the mother in a custody dispute because he had formed a relationship with her. There were no special rights...

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Reserving Privilege in Communications to Regulators

17 Jul 15

An important recent caselaw development for my practice is the High Court’s recognition, in Property Alliance Group Ltd v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2015] EWHC, of firms’ rights of privilege...

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Accountants not let off the hook

17 Jul 15

A recurrent chestnut for lawyers and courts in damages claims for professional negligence is whether an event producing a reduction or eradication of a loss is a mitigation, occurring in the course of...

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The Meaning of ‘Natural Meaning’

17 Jul 15

The principle that the ‘natural meaning’ of words in a contract determine its effect, even if they defy ‘commercial common sense’, has been applied by the Supreme Court in Arnold...

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Costs Budgeting

11 Jun 15

Last month, the topical trade media theme was the transition of lawyers into businessmen. This month a prevalent discussion subject has been litigation costs budgeting. Lawyers have never found it easy....

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Finality of Judgments

11 Jun 15

Most lawyers will expect, even if they don’t know, that once a decision has been handed down, there is precious little chance of getting the judge to change or reverse it. But since the Supreme Court...

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The Value of Privilege

11 Jun 15

A recent article in Solicitors Journal (2/06/2015), doesn’t make news, but deserves promotion as a booster for vigilance against the various erosive threats to legal professional privilege, and carries...

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Taxation Going Digital

11 Jun 15

One of the unexpected headlines of the March 2015 Budget was the announcement that by the end of the current Parliament, individuals and small business will each have a digital account, showing their PAYE-paid...

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The Businesses of Law

19 May 15

                  The journey of the legal professions from bespoke advisers to commercial businesses has received more than usual trade media attention...

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'Shadow' stakeholders must show themselves

18 May 15

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 has recently received Royal Assent. From January 2016 all companies will need to keep a register of people who directly, or through a nominee, own...

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Fraudulent Claimants beware

18 May 15

The problem of fraudulently fabricated or exaggerated claims is not as acute in the professional risks sector as it has been in the motor and public liability injury fields, because claims management intermediaries...

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Carelessness and Awareness

18 May 15

Every so often, a higher-court decision is publicised which usefully summarises the jurisprudence applicable to a specific area, without necessarily developing it. The Court of Appeal has done so recently...

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A boon day for the Cannibals

30 Apr 15

On 28 April, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Barnsley law firm Raleys against a county court finding of negligence against it for failing to provide more bespoke spoken advice and elaboration...

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Cyber-Insecurity

16 Apr 15

The Government recently published its report on UK Cyber Security: The Role of Insurance in Managing and Mitigating the Risk, including some facts and figures: 81% of large businesses and 60% of small...

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Funding access to Justice

16 Apr 15

I have discussed in a previous newsletter the various pressures and squeezes which are discouragements to formal litigation, notably rising court fees and opportunities to fund the costs of claims. The...

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No altering what is Settled …

16 Apr 15

There cannot be many disputes lawyers who have not felt the chill - or the schadenfreude thrill - of a binding settlement deal made prematurely, or without including a key element. The recent case of...

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Judgments up; defence representations down

30 Mar 15

According to Ministry Of Justice figures, there were 829,000 county court judgments in 2014, an increase of 25% on 2013, apparently attributable to a significant fall in the number of claims being...

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Court issue fees up; access to justice down.

30 Mar 15

From 9 March 2015, substantially increased fees will be charged by the courts for issuing proceedings.  For claims ‘worth’ £10,000 or more, the new fee will be five per...

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EU Directive on ADR is Directing…

30 Mar 15

The European Union Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive will come into force in July 2015 and rules changes are afoot accordingly by and within the Legal Ombudsman Service and other similar schemes. ...

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When Regulators err…

30 Mar 15

The Law Society Gazette has lifted the profile of one solicitor’s distress following a faux-pas Intervention of his practice by the SRA, “withdrawn by the High Court” in December 2014,...

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When Auditors say No, They’re allowed to mean it …

11 Mar 15

Twenty years ago I cut my journalistic teeth with an article about McCullagh v Lane Fox (1996), in which the Court of Appeal endorsed the principle that contractual disclaimers are also important evidence...

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Are the Days of COLPS and COFAs (at least for small firms) Truly Numbered?

11 Mar 15

The news that the SRA is reviewing the need and proportionality for small firms each to have their own appointed Compliance Officers for Legal Practice and Financial Administration respectively is exciting...

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Keeping Proportionate

16 Feb 15

The effects and consequences – some intended, some not – of the Jackson ‘reforms’ are continuing to emerge. One aspect of litigation process to receive reformist criticism from...

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Claims against law firms on the rise

09 Jan 15

The number of High Court actions against law firms in 2013-14 rose by 143 to 418 – an uplift of 52% on the previous year. Most commentators, typically this article from solicitors RPC in the...

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Judges Are Tactical Too

Judges Are Tactical Too

08 Jan 15

Most civil litigation lawyers have ample experiences of judges who prefer to contrive their decisions to do justice as they see fit by latching onto an issue of fact which they can decide at their discretion,...

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New Site for Mike Willis

New Site for Mike Willis

14 Nov 14

F Mike Willis is delighted to unveil his brand new website which showcases his experience in helping professionals in England and Wales with their identified civil liability and regulatory risks and...

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Professional Risk Expertise

Mike Willis has worked with a diverse range of professions including...

The FMWL Approach …

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis;
  • Focus on duty, causal event(s) and consequences; not gossip…
  • Sensitive but objective empathy;
  • Overarching commerciality; and
  • Clear aims, with vision where necessary to explore indirect routes to solutions.