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Professional and financial risks

Publication

Lawyers Covered - May 2022

Published on 26 May 2022. By Will Sefton, Partner and Carmel Green, Partner and Tina Campbell, Senior Associate and Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

Beware the client who is too busy to litigate

Published on 23 May 2022. By Will Sefton, Partner and Tom Morris, Associate

Clients need to understand from the outset of litigation not only how significant the cost of litigation can be, but also the time commitment.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - April 2022

28 April 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Podcast

The Month That Was - March 2022 - An update on the British Steel pension scheme FCA consultation and McClean v Thornhill

25 April 2022

Money Covered Podcast by RPC

Welcome to Money Covered, a monthly podcast from RPC aimed at those dealing with complaints, claims and risk management in the financial services sector.

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Blog

Important Court of Appeal clarity on the operation of s1(4) of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978

Published on 12 April 2022. By Rhian Howell, Partner and Sam Kneebone, Senior Associate

A recent Court of Appeal decision (in which RPC acted for the successful barrister Appellant) provides important clarification on the operation of section 1(4) of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 (“the Act”). Although the matter concerned a contribution claim by a solicitor against a barrister brought pursuant to the Act, the decision is of wider relevance/application for litigation practitioners and the Insurance market.

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Blog

FCA consultation on British Steel redress scheme published

Published on 31 March 2022. By David Allinson, Partner and Robert Morris, Partner

The FCA has now published its consultation paper on the proposed redress scheme for British Steel Pension transfers under s.404 of FSMA. The scope of this is wider than anticipated and the proposals contain some surprises around the lack of an opt-in process and potential involvement of FOS.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - March 2022

31 March 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

No judicial review for FOS defined benefit transfer case

Published on 31 March 2022. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The High Court has rejected an application for permission for judicial review in a number of FOS complaints upheld against the adviser who advised on a defined benefit pension transfer. The adviser had advised on the transfer but not the subsequent investments made after the transfer. The adviser was led to believe that UCIS investments would not be made with the transferred funds but in fact UCIS investments were made. The FOS found that the adviser had given unsuitable pension transfer advice partly on the basis that it should have asked more questions about the ultimate investments and it was not enough to have provided for a general spread of investment type. Permission for judicial review was rejected on the basis that there was nothing unlawful in the FOS decisions including the fact that the adviser was held responsible for 100% of the losses despite the involvement of the separate adviser that advised on the investments following the transfer.

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Blog

National Audit Office on the British Steel Pension Scheme

Published on 21 March 2022. By Rachael Healey, Partner

On Friday the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report on the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), looking at the regulation of pension transfer advice and extent to which compensation has been delivered. The NAO's report does not look at the merits of individual decisions made by the FCA and other organisations but includes some insightful information on the BSPS scheme and the status of complaints at FOS and the FSCS and the NAO's findings. With the report coming just before the FCA is due to publish its consultation on a consumer redress scheme for impacted BSPS members and makes for useful reading for those involved with BSPS complaints.

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Blog

Shell directors facing potential UK ESG shareholder derivative lawsuit

Published on 18 March 2022. By James Wickes, Partner

In the wake of COP26, more focus than ever is being given to the climate risks which apply to every aspect of business. Scrutiny of a company's climate awareness and adherence to applicable regulation is at the forefront of minds of companies' stakeholders.

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Publication

Duties of Care to Third Parties in Tax Avoidance Schemes – Disappointment for Investors in McClean as Zacaroli, J Rejects Claims

Published on 09 March 2022. By Nick Bird, Partner and Laura Stocks, Partner and Charlotte Thompson, Associate

Mr Justice Zacaroli has now handed down his judgment in David McClean and others v Andrew Thornhill QC [2022] EWHC 457 (Ch) - a ~£40m claim by investors in a tax scheme against one of the leading tax barristers in the country. The judge dismissed the claim in its entirety holding, amongst other things that the barrister did not owe a duty of care to the investors.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - February 2022

28 February 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

The X-Client Files: who owns a solicitor's file

Published on 23 February 2022. By Claire Revell, Partner

It's a perennial headache for solicitors: what exactly am I supposed to do when a client asks me for 'their file'?

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Publication

Construction of the insuring clause in solicitors’ MTC compliant policy considered in law firm funder’s claim

Published on 17 February 2022. By Laura Stocks, Partner and Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

On 3 February 2022 Mr Justice Butcher handed down judgment in Doorway Capital Ltd v American International Group Ltd1, granting reverse summary judgment in favour of the insurer defendant.

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Blog

SIPPs and FOS - does the Rowanmoor decision change anything?

Published on 02 February 2022. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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Last week FOS published a decision it reached last year in a complaint against a SIPP provider involving advised sales. The FOS upheld the complaint, finding that the SIPP provider should have rejected business from the regulated financial adviser, CIB Life and Pensions Limited (CIB), given, broadly, red flags available to the SIPP provider with respect to the operation of CIB's business model including that CIB was not advising on the ultimate investment within the SIPP and as a result such introductions involved a significant risk of consumer detriment. The decision has received quite a bit of press attention - but has it moved the dial for SIPP complaints before FOS or not?

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - January 2022

31 January 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

Good faith does not go both ways

Published on 31 January 2022. By Tom Toulson, Senior Associate

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It is common knowledge that solicitors owe fiduciary duties to their clients but what about the other way around? Do clients owe a duty of good faith to their solicitors (as an implied term of the retainer)?

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Blog

The Future of Insolvency Regulation

Published on 04 January 2022. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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On 21 December 2021 the Government launched a consultation into the future of insolvency regulation. The changes proposed in the consultation document will have a wide ranging impact on the insolvency profession (and its insurers) with the proposals including: the direct regulation of insolvency firms, the introduction of a single regulatory body with powers to order compensation against insolvency practitioners and firms, a new additional requirements regime, changes to the bond regime and a public register of insolvency practitioners and firms. Many of the changes proposed require primary legislation and so it may be some time before the changes to take effect (if adopted). But there does appear to be some wind behind these proposals given they follow on from the Call for Evidence in 2019 and a more general focus on insolvency issues in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - December 2021

23 December 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - November 2021

30 November 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - July 2021

30 October 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - October 2021

30 October 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

FOS proposals to clear the back-log - attractive or not?

Published on 18 October 2021. By Cory Gilbert-Haworth, Associate and Rachael Healey, Partner

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The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has proposed a temporary approach to the classification of certain complaints in an attempt to alleviate their complaints backlog exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach could see firms looking to pro-actively resolve complaints before a defined cut off date before FOS reaches a decision so that the complaint is recorded separately and not as a "change in outcome" (i.e. where a complaint has been rejected by a business and upheld by FOS). The consultation was open for a short two-week period between 4 and 18 October 2021.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - August 2021

23 August 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Publication

The Professional Negligence Law Review, Edition 4

Published on 13 August 2021. By Nick Bird, Partner

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This fourth edition of The Professional Negligence Law Review provides an indispensable overview of the law and practice of professional liability and regulation in 15 jurisdictions. The Professional Negligence Law Review contains information that is invaluable to the large number of firms, insurers, practitioners and other stakeholders who are concerned with the liability and regulatory issues of professionals across the globe. The variation in law and practice across the different jurisdictions is very noticeable and underlines the usefulness of a guide such as this.

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Blog

Aggregation under the solicitors' minimum terms: are primary layer insurers ready for potentially limitless liability?

Published on 13 August 2021. By Laura Stocks, Partner and George Barratt, Associate

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In Baines v Dixon Coles & Gill the Court of Appeal has substantially limited the extent to which claims against solicitors can aggregate.

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Blog

Solicitors' Undertakings: will the lacuna in the law undermine the smooth and efficient transaction of legal business

Published on 28 July 2021. By Laura Stocks, Partner and Tom Toulson, Senior Associate

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Solicitors undertakings are a vital tool in legal practice to ensure the smooth running of litigation and transactional matters.

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Blog

Rocha-Afodu v SRA – the regulator's powers over solicitors' private lives are examined again

Published on 26 July 2021. By Graham Reid, Partner and Charlotte Thompson, Associate

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If the boundary between a solicitor's professional and private lives were ever to be mapped, it would probably look like the coastline of Norway - infinitely complex, jagged and largely rocky. The da Rocha-Afodu v SRA decision ([2021] EWHC 1666 (Ch)) is another Divisional Court case exploring this difficult terrain, following upon that of Beckwith v SRA [2020] EWHC 3231 (Admin).

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Blog

The Regulatory Spotlight is shining bright and not just on AFMs

Published on 14 July 2021. By James Wickes, Partner

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On 20 June 2021, the FCA published its findings from the review it carried out on host Authorised Fund Management firms during 2019-2020. The purpose of the review was "to test the viability of the host Authorised Fund Manager (AFM) business models and assess whether conflicts of interests were being effectively managed."

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Blog

Supreme Court Changes to the Assessment of Loss in Professional Negligence Claims

Published on 18 June 2021. By Nick Bird, Partner and Bryony Howe, Senior Associate

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On 18 June 2021 the Supreme Court handed down two judgments in cases examining the application of the SAAMCo principles. These are principles that have dominated the law of professional liability since 1997 and limited the recovery of damages by claimants against professionals. In these judgments the Supreme Court significantly alters the tests for determining whether a particular loss falls within the scope of duty of the professional.

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Blog

A tale of loss, limitation and a flawed transaction: why a loss may not feel like a loss

Published on 28 May 2021. By Peter Mansfield, Partner

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A recent Court of Appeal decision, Elliott v Hattens [2021] Civ 720, has once again raised the vexed issue of when the limitation period starts to run in a flawed transaction case. Does it start running immediately or at some later date? .

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - May 2021

25 May 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Publication

It's Cocoa, Jim, but not as we know it: Court's modern interpretation of underwriters' and brokers' duties #4 - getting the witness evidence right and new rules

Published on 12 May 2021. By Tim Bull, Partner and Matthew Wood, Senior Associate and Elizabeth Singleton, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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This is the fourth and final article in our series following the decision in ABN Amro Bank N.V. v Royal Sun Alliance Insurance plc and 13 Underwriters and Edge Brokers (London) Limited, in which RPC acted for Edge.

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Blog

Escalating ground rents: CMA takes further action against developers

Published on 26 April 2021. By Scott Ashby, Partner and Anna Murley, Senior Associate

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A look at the recent developments in the leasehold market and the effects on leasehold owners and future purchasers.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - April 2021

25 April 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

It's Cocoa, Jim, but not as we know it: Court's modern interpretation of underwriters' and brokers' duties #3 - A broker's harsh reality

Published on 19 April 2021. By Tim Bull, Partner and Matthew Wood, Senior Associate and Elizabeth Singleton, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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This is the third article in our series following the decision in ABN Amro Bank N.V. v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc and 13 Underwriters and Edge Brokers (London) Limited, in which RPC acted for Edge. Please click here for our first article, setting out a more detailed background to the case.

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Publication

It's Cocoa, Jim, but not as we know it: Court's modern interpretation of underwriters' and brokers' duties #2 – The underwriters defence

Published on 09 April 2021. By Tim Bull, Partner and Matthew Wood, Senior Associate and Elizabeth Singleton, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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A modern show of the historic defence strategy at its worst, or should that be best? We'll let you decide.

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Blog

Company Top Guns may face HMRC investigation

Published on 01 April 2021. By James Wickes, Partner

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HMRC clamping down on furlough fraud by companies in Danger Zone

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Publication

It's Cocoa, Jim, but not as we know it: Court's modern interpretation of underwriters' and brokers' duties #1 - An overview of the case

Published on 30 March 2021. By Tim Bull, Partner and Matthew Wood, Senior Associate and Elizabeth Singleton, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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In this series of articles we take a look at the decision in ABN Amro Bank N.V. v Royal & Sun Alliance plc and 13 Underwriters and Edge Brokers (London) Limited. In this article we give an overview of the case. The remaining articles will focus on particular areas of the case, these will be: 1. Underwriters' duties 2. Brokers' duties 3.Witness evidence

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Blog

Stamp Duty Holiday. Not a "holiday" for conveyancers.

Published on 24 March 2021. By Layla Todd, Associate

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In an attempt to prevent the housing market from stalling during the COVID 19 pandemic, a stamp duty holiday was announced for all residential purchases under £500,000 between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.

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Publication

Lawyers Covered - March 2021

24 March 2021

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Lawyers Liability & Regulatory Update, in which we look back over the last month at key developments affecting lawyers and the professional risks they face.

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Blog

BEIS issues White Paper: D&O perspective

Published on 19 March 2021. By Simon Goldring, Partner and Cristina Faro, Associate

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The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today released its White Paper, setting out its proposals for audit reforms and corporate governance, entitled "Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance".

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Blog

SPACs Invaders – Implications for D&O insurers

Published on 12 March 2021. By Simon Goldring, Partner

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The EU's former Financial Services Commissioner, Lord Hill, has delivered the anticipated UK Listing Review which contains recommendations for reform of the UK's current listing regime. This included changes to listing rules with a focus, amongst other things, on special purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs). SPACs are more flexible than formal IPOs and are used to raise capital in order to merge with/acquire another company. In the US, commentators predict an increase in securities claims involving SPACs, so this development is potentially relevant to London market D&O insurers.

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Blog

800 DB Transfer complaints to the FOS: A 44% increase in one year

Published on 01 March 2021. By Emma Murphy-O'Connor , Associate

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The FOS have seen the number of complaints relating to defined benefit transfer advice increase by 44% since 2019. However, the proportion of decisions being upheld appears to have fallen.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #5 - Referral to Professional Conduct Committee

Published on 16 February 2021. By Emma Wherry, Senior Associate and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Further to our previous four articles detailing the stages of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process up to the Investigations Panel Stage, this article considers the steps that are taken by the ARB in order to refer the matter to the Professional Conduct Committee and the steps that an Architect may wish to take to prepare for that hearing.

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Blog

GameStop – a game of chicken?

Published on 04 February 2021. By Simon Goldring, Partner and Sally Lord, Professional Support Lawyer

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The race to purchase shares in ailing American video game retailer, GameStop, has taken the investment world by storm over the last week, with amateur traders waging war on professional hedge funds.

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Blog

SMCR: an effective deterrent?

Published on 05 November 2020. By Shauna Giddens, Associate

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The Senior Managers & Certification Scheme (SMCR) was introduced in early 2016 to establish "effective governance in firms by encouraging greater individual accountability". However, following a response to a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request, questions have been raised as to its effectiveness as a deterrent.

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Publication

The illegality defence – Stoffel v Grondona revisited

Published on 30 October 2020. By Sarah Lloyd, Associate and Nick Bird, Partner

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"No court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act." This was the opening line of the Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Patel v Mirza , quoting the decision of Lord Mansfield in Holman v Johnson from 1775. Why then has the Supreme Court – in Stoffel v Grondona - declined the appeal of a firm of solicitors who relied on this long established principle when defending itself from a professional negligence action brought by a fraudster?

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Blog

Swift v Carpenter: A new approach to accommodation claims

Published on 23 October 2020. By Rhian Howell, Partner and Michelle Dean, Senior Associate

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The recent landmark decision in Swift v Carpenter (2020) demonstrates a fundamental change in the way that accommodation claims in personal injury cases are quantified, in a manner that is likely to have a significant impact on the value of those claims. Below we take a brief look at how the assessment of accommodation claims has changed, and consider the impact this might have on insurers involved in professional negligence cases arising out of personal injury cases.

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