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Professional & Financial Risks

Blog

Section 14A, don't delay!

Published on 24 May 2018. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

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The Court of Appeal has upheld a judge's decision to deal summarily with a dispute as to the claimant's date of knowledge under s14a Limitation Act 1980. The judgment also contains a handy summary of the key law in the area.

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Blog

Dreamvar and identity fraud in conveyancing transactions

Published on 17 May 2018. By Paul Castellani, Partner and Graham Reid, Legal Direcor, Professional Regulation

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The issue at stake in the combined appeals of Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya and P&P Property Ltd v Owen Catlin LLP was a fairly fundamental one, namely: “Who ought to bear the risk of loss when a fraudster pretends to sell a property?”

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Blog

Professional negligence adjudication – it's all part of the Protocol

Published on 04 May 2018. By Cristina Faro, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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On 1 May 2018, an amendment to the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol saw a further attempt to encourage parties to use the professional negligence adjudication scheme first devised as a pilot scheme in February 2015.

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Publication

Asset management market study update

Published on 10 April 2018. By James Kaufmann, Legal Director and William L. Jones, Senior Associate

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On 5 April 2018 the FCA published proposals to address concerns identified in its asset management market study

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Publication

Enhancing the cross-border distribution of collective investment funds

Published on 16 March 2018. By William L. Jones, Senior Associate

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The European Commission has published a draft Regulation and Directive on the cross-border distribution of investment funds. The aim is to establish a genuine internal capital market by addressing fragmentation and removing regulatory barriers (namely Member States’ marketing requirements, regulatory fees and notification and administrative requirements), which can all prevent the cross-border distribution of investment funds in the European Union.

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Blog

Frederick & Others v Positive Solutions Limited – a win for principals on vicarious liability

Published on 14 March 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate and Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal has reinforced the idea that liability will only attach to a principal in cases where a tort committed by an agent can be shown to have been completed as an integral part of the business activities of the principal. Furthermore, all elements composing the tort must take place within the course of the agency. The case thickens the lines defining what conduct of an agent could lead to recovery from the principal.

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Blog

Bad news for litigants in person?

Published on 21 February 2018. By Tom Toulson, Associate

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When a litigant in person fails to correctly serve a claim form they can expect the courts to take a firm approach, following the Supreme Court's decision in Barton v Wright Hassall

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Blog

Insuring Cryptocurrency risk, and why a duck might not actually be a duck

Published on 13 February 2018. By Max Rossiter, Trainee Solicitor

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Cryptocurrencies have dominated headlines with their soaring value and accelerating use. Their regulation has remained somewhat of an afterthought, however. This blog post looks at some of the pitfalls and the larger implications for financial professionals and the insurance industry that the risks of cryptocurrency present.

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Blog

FOS consultation on SME access to Ombudsman service

Published on 23 January 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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The FCA is currently consulting on proposed new rules to allow larger small and medium sized enterprises to refer complaints to the FOS.

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Blog

To each his own: which papers belong to the solicitor?

Published on 12 January 2018. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

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Although it has previously been established that clients don't necessarily own all of their solicitors' file, clients don't always appreciate this when making a file request. Some recent case law provides support to solicitors when dealing with such requests.

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Blog

Name and Shame: HM Land Registry to publish list of worst offenders

Published on 09 January 2018. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

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HM Land Registry has announced plans to publish a list of the top 500 entities responsible for the highest number of applications and ranking them by their track record of correctly completing Land Registry forms and applications.

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Blog

Unauthorised introducers, the Pension Ombudsman and SSASs

Published on 04 January 2018. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

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The Pension Ombudsman has rejected a complaint against a SSAS provider in relation to investments in carbon credit investments made on the instigation of an unauthorised introducer. In contrast to FOS decisions we have seen, the Pension Ombudsman appeared to put the onus and risk on the consumer for engaging with an unauthorised introducer.

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Blog

Broken bonds - the FCA clamps down on firm promoting mini-bonds

Published on 21 November 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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According to a recent article in Citywire, the FCA has ordered a firm promoting mini-binds to "cease all regulated activity" following a series of losses being incurred by investors in respect of mini-bonds.

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Publication

Favourable approach for insurers to the construction of exclusion clauses

31 October 2017

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In a recent decision the Commercial Court has followed the Supreme Court in the Impact Funding case. It declined to apply the contra proferentem rule to an exclusion clause in an insurance policy. Insurers will welcome the decision.

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Blog

PE funds: Risks to LP limited liability status 

Published on 24 October 2017. By William L. Jones, Senior Associate

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One of the key attributes of an English limited partnership is that the general partner has unlimited liability for the debts and obligations of the limited partnership.

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Blog

Transferring limited partnership interests

Published on 24 October 2017. By William L. Jones, Senior Associate

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A limited partner may assign its interest in a limited partnership, subject to the general partner's consent and any contrary agreement between the limited partners.

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Blog

Are there dark clouds on the horizon for SIPP providers?

Published on 17 October 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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According to Citywire, the FCA is poised to complete further supervisory work on the SIPP industry with a specific focus on non-standard investments. We understand that the FCA has questioned SIPP providers on the number of high risk investments they hold following a spate of complaints about such products in recent years.

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Blog

Over the Insured's Dead Body

Published on 13 September 2017. By Tom Toulson, Associate

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One year on from the entry into force of the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 and the fun and games are just getting started.

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Blog

A level playing Field?

Published on 31 August 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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Frank Field's Work and Pensions Select Committee is intending to review the impartiality of defined benefit pension transfer advice. What could this mean for the advisory industry and its PI insurers?

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Blog

FCA's review into non-advised retirement product sales

Published on 21 July 2017. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

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The FCA has published its retirement outcomes review interim report. The report forms part of the FCA's assessment of the impact of the pension freedoms on the pension market and consumer behaviour. Although the focus of the report is non-advised sales it provides a useful insight for all those involved in the pensions market in relation to (1) customer behaviour post the introduction of the pension freedoms and (2) how the pension market is responding to those reforms. The report also puts forward some proposed "remedies" in relation to areas where the FCA considers behaviour may be detrimentally impacting customers. The remedies include permitting customers to access part of their pension at an earlier date in what appears to be an attempt by the FCA to steer customers away from drawdown products.

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Blog

A Simple Twist of ATE

Published on 25 May 2017. By Philip McCormack, Associate

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This blog considers the pitfalls of over-reliance on ATE cover and suggested solutions.

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Publication

Conveyancing liability

Published on 12 May 2017. By Paul Castellani, Partner

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The perils of reports on title: Orientfield Holdings Limited v Bird & Bird

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Blog

Corporate crime – the new offence of failure to prevent tax evasion

Published on 11 May 2017. By Cristina Faro, Associate

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At the end of April, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 was passed, bringing to life a new raft of measures aimed at increasing state powers to tackle financial crime. The rules are set to come into force in September 2017 and include new powers to obtain information, share knowledge and recover criminal property. Of most relevance to the professional community is the new power to prosecute corporate bodies whose agents or employees fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion carried out by another person, including customers and suppliers.

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Blog

A case of unintended consequences

Published on 12 April 2017. By Victoria Sugden, Senior Associate and Tim Bull, Partner

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Supreme Court Judgment of Lowick Rose LLP (formerly known as Hurst Morrison Thomson LLP) (in liquidation) v Swynson Ltd and another [2017] UKSC 32

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Blog

Complaints against insolvency practitioners hold steady

Published on 11 April 2017. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

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The insolvency service has published the latest figures for complaints against insolvency practitioners made to the Complaints Gateway during 2016. The statistics indicate that the Gateway has received a reasonably steady level of complaints since it was established in 2013 but promisingly for practitioners the Gateway does appear to be weeding out more complaints with the Gateway having rejected 29% of complaints in 2016, compared to 18% in the Gateway's first year.

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Blog

Whose file is it anyway: What should a solicitor provide to a client when met with a request for "the file"?

Published on 28 March 2017. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

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The Law Society has published new guidance on what a solicitor should do when a client requests a copy of its file.

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Blog

Altogether now – aggregation in solicitors' professional negligence claims

Published on 23 March 2017. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director and Anna Greco, Trainee Solicitor

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The Supreme Court in AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others [2017] UKSC 18 provides welcome clarification of how you can aggregate claims against solicitors under the SRA's Minimum Terms and Conditions.

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Publication

Supreme Court judgment on SAAMCo

Published on 22 March 2017. By Nick Bird, Partner

On 22 March 2017 the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the application of SAAMCo to claims against professionals.

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Publication

Between a rock and a hard place

Published on 13 March 2017. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

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Difficulties for lenders arising out of limitation

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Blog

BDO report finds fraud at a 5-year high

Published on 01 March 2017. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate and Esme Watson, Associate

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There has been a cascade of negative headlines in recent months about increased incidences of fraud in the UK. Stretched police resources, combined with an array of opportunities for online exploitation of businesses and consumers, are perceived to have made it a good time to be a fraudster.

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Publication

Buyer’s solicitor beware!

Published on 06 February 2017. By Paul Castellani, Partner

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Is it safe to act for a purchaser in a property transaction?

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Blog

Adjudication costs not recoverable as costs of proceedings

Published on 23 November 2016. By Felicity Johnson, Senior Associate

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The Technology & Construction Court ("TCC") has recently considered whether there are circumstances in which a party can recover adjudication costs; the position, ordinarily, being that the costs of adjudication are not recoverable from the other side.

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Blog

Enhanced annuity non-advised sales – not as bad as first feared?

Published on 31 October 2016. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

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The FCA's thematic review into non-advised enhanced annuity sales found no evidence of an industry wide or systemic failure to provide customers with information about enhanced annuities or the open market option. There will not be a general industry wide remedial action.

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Blog

Uncrystallised personal pensions safe from creditors

Published on 14 October 2016. By Robert Morris, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has resolved previously conflicting case law to confirm that a bankrupt cannot be obliged to crystallise his pension benefits in order to produce income to pay off creditors.

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Blog

New Guidance on when lawyers can attend an SFO section 2 interview

Published on 18 August 2016. By James Wickes, Partner

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On 6 June 2016, the SFO issued 3 short guidance notes to replace the Operational Handbook that had previously governed interviews under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (Section 2).

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Blog

The unexpected effect of Brexit on Part 36 offers

05 August 2016

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Insurers may need to check the adequacy of any Part 36 offer they have made in claims where the claimant seeks damages in a foreign currency and may also need to reconsider whether to accept any Part 36 offer made by a claimant in such a case. This is particularly so where the Part 36 offer was made in sterling.

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Blog

High Court encourages use of FOS to resolve disputes

24 June 2016

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The Commercial Court has encouraged the use of the FOS to resolve disputes, by granting a stay to enable claimants to benefit from what it described as a more economical and informal process.

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Blog

Professional negligence claims set for adjudication

Published on 10 June 2016. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

Abstract building

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Blog

The "new" Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act and late payment of insurance claims

Published on 06 May 2016. By Robert Morris, Partner

After a delay of just six years, it was finally confirmed this week that the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 will come into force on 1 August 2016.

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Blog

Mining for claims: a year on from Proctor v Raleys

Published on 06 May 2016. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

A year has now passed since the Court of Appeal's decision in Proctor v Raleys, a judgment which highlighted the difficulties defendant solicitors will face in stating that they gave sufficient advice if the advice they gave was contained in precedent letters and questionnaires (especially if they didn't actually meet the client, as was the case with the unfortunate Mr Raley).

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Blog

Getting the lie of the land: Conveyancers liable to Land Registry for mortgage fraud

Published on 27 April 2016. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

Hot on the heels of the decision in Purrunsing v A'Court & Co (in which the High Court found conveyancers on both sides of a property fraud to be liable for the loss suffered by the buyer) comes another blow for property solicitors in the High Court decision in Chief Land Registrar v Caffrey & Co.

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Blog

Court refuses s61 relief in claim by buyer against seller's solicitors

Published on 26 April 2016. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

In a decision handed down earlier this month, the High Court in Purrunsing -v- (1) A'Court & Co. (a firm); (2) House Owners Conveyancers Limited [2016] EWHC 789 refused relief under section 61 Trustee Act 1925 to a firm of solicitors and a firm of licensed conveyancers who acted in the sale of a property by a fraudster.

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Blog

Cybersecurity – not just a small firm matter

Published on 20 April 2016. By Daniel Guilfoyle, Senior Associate

Law firms are increasingly becoming the target of Cybercriminals, driven by a perception that the industry's attempts to address security measures still lag behind other professional sectors.

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Blog

Here today, gone tomorrow – Calderbank offers and costs protection

Published on 13 April 2016. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

A recent case highlights a mistake to avoid when trying to obtain costs protection from Calderbank offers.

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Blog

Panama Papers – what does the leak mean for professional advisers?

Published on 13 April 2016. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

The headlines have been full of stories about the so-called Panama Papers since their release 10 days ago.

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Blog

It can still be too late – Denton re-visited

Published on 18 March 2016. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

The Court of Appeal in British Gas Trading Ltd v Oak Cash & Carry Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 153 has reminded all solicitors that Court Orders are there to be complied with, and dire consequences can still follow if they are breached, despite the more generous guidance given in Denton v TH White Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 906.

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Blog

Brokers' block notification guidance provided by the Court

14 March 2016

The Court has provided guidance on making block notifications to PI insurers, in a key area relating to broker's professional liability exposure.

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Blog

Under-settlements – what factors does the Court take into account

Published on 22 February 2016. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

In Dunhill v W Brook and Co and Crossley a damages claim was brought against solicitors and counsel for under-settling a personal injury claim.

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Blog

Solicitors can owe a limited duty of care to third parties

Published on 16 February 2016. By Sally Lord, Associate

In Caliendo v Mischon de Reya, the Court found that a firm of solicitors had not been retained, either expressly or impliedly, to represent the majority shareholders in respect of the sale of their shareholding in a football club.

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Blog

The end of the low cost insurance scheme?

Published on 15 February 2016. By Sally Lord, Associate

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have taken disciplinary action against Mr Shay Reches, the firms Coverall and Millburn, and four other related individuals in relation to solicitors' professional indemnity insurance and other insurance scheme failures.

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