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Professional and financial risks

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

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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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Blog

Legal advice privilege extended to in-house foreign lawyers

Published on 30 September 2020. By Tina Campbell, Senior Associate

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The court has held that a foreign company's communications with its in-house lawyers attract legal advice privilege irrespective of the local status of the lawyer

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Blog

Part 36: avoid a storm, use the form!

Published on 23 September 2020. By Harriet Keltie, Senior Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Pepperall J's impressively clear judgment in Essex County Council v UBB Waste (2020) makes it abundantly clear that, when it comes to Part 36 Offers, the rules are strict. If litigants wish to reap the significant rewards of this regime, the price they must pay is to ensure they (or their solicitors) follow the rules on how offers should be made.

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Blog

A Warning to Architects to be Smart about their Social Media

Published on 11 September 2020. By Emma Wherry, Senior Associate and Laura Sponti, Paralegal

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The Architects Registration Board has recently erased Peter Kellow from the register of architects as a result of a racist post on his Facebook which was publicly visible.

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Blog

Invest in due diligence for dubious schemes

Published on 26 August 2020. By Oliver Plunkett, Paralegal and Claire Revell, Partner

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The SRA provides updated guidance for firms to avoid becoming involved in dubious investment schemes.

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Blog

Reflective loss in claims against solicitors and accountants after Marex

Published on 14 August 2020. By Nick Bird, Partner and Laura Stocks, Senior Associate

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The so called "rule against reflective loss" has been clarified in an important decision handed down by the Supreme Court in Marex Financial Ltd v Sevilleja [2020] UKSC 31.

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Blog

Where there's a will there's a remote possibility of a way

Published on 03 August 2020. By Simon Love, Senior Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic the government has acted to change the law to allow wills to be witnessed remotely.

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Blog

Is more co-operation the new normal?

Published on 07 July 2020. By Jonathan Wyles, Of Counsel

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What keeps you as a lawyer awake at night during the coronavirus pandemic? The list is likely to be very long and the fear of making a mistake will be close to the top. Help may come from some unexpected quarters such as the Courts.

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Blog

Relief from sanction: claimant being forced to pursue his solicitors for negligence is not desirable

Published on 23 June 2020. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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A recent High Court decision demonstrates a common-sense, realistic approach to relief from sanctions. Solicitors might have become used to judges, when striking claims out, reassuring the claimant that they can always sue their solicitors for negligence. In a welcome judgment, Mr Justice Fancourt reversed a decision to refuse relief from sanction.

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Blog

SRA powers and client legal professional privilege: Part I

Published on 23 June 2020. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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Legal professional privilege gets a pretty good billing in the case-law.

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The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal: new rules, new game?

Published on 05 May 2020. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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There are few things that strike fear into the heart of a solicitor more than the prospect of being sent to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This article looks at its new rules of procedure.

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Publication

COVID-19: The suspension of wrongful trading provisions and a moratorium for businesses in restructuring: what is the likely impact on Insurers?

27 April 2020

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On 28 March 2020 the Business Secretary announced further new far-reaching measures to help businesses combat the financial impact of COVID-19.

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Blog

Judicial guidance on listing of hearings remotely

Published on 22 April 2020. By Rhian Howell, Partner and Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

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Senior judges have issued guidance to the judiciary on listing hearings in light of the current coronavirus situation. This gives litigants some clues as to how the court will approach upcoming hearings.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #4 - investigations panel stage

Published on 14 April 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Further to our previous three articles which provided (1) an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process and (2) a review of the complaints stage (3) the review stage, this article explains the next stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect: the investigations panel stage.

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Publication

Insurance broker E&O exposures: COVID-19

26 March 2020

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As insurers brace themselves for large volumes of notifications across all lines of business relating to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) we expect to see a second wave of E&O notifications by insurance brokers when policyholders (businesses and individuals) find themselves without adequate cover for losses relating to the pandemic. Some insurers are already seeing a spike in such notifications.

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the Impact on Litigation

Published on 23 March 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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In these unusual times, we are all having to adapt our social, family and working lives to deal with an unprecedented global situation which throws up a vast number of new worries and issues to deal with. This article looks at concerns raised specifically about litigating in the current climate.

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Regulatory Update

Published on 23 March 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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Our lawyers' liability and regulatory team take a look at the areas of solicitors' regulation that are likely to be impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the consequent move towards working away from the office.

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Blog

Beware a broad brush approach to costs assessment

Published on 10 March 2020. By Stacey Davies, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Court of Appeal dismisses former client's objection to solicitors' invoices on assessment.

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Publication

Artificial Intelligence and law firms – considerations for lawyers and insurers arising from M&A transactions

24 February 2020

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Law firms continue to broaden their reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) across different practice areas. Many are partnering with third party tech companies to develop the application of AI in corporate due diligence and contract drafting, litigation document disclosure and as an aid to predicting litigation outcomes. However do insurers really understand what challenges AI technology presents to law firms and how it might be changing their risk profile?

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #3 – The review stage

Published on 24 February 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

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Further to our previous two articles which provided (1) an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process and (2) a review of the complaints stage we explain the next stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect, the review stage.

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Blog

Bossing the rules - the SRAs enforcement strategy

Published on 21 February 2020. By Sarah Lloyd, Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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The new SRA Standards and Regulations came into force on 25 November 2019. In this article in our 'Bossing the Rules' series, Sarah Lloyd and Graham Reid examine the SRA's enforcement strategy which sets out their approach to the new rules. Important reading for solicitors and those who insure the profession as guidance on the new rules is scarce.

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Blog

CE-Filing nightmare not so scary if you act quickly…

Published on 20 February 2020. By Nick Bird, Partner

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We all know that CE-filing at court can sometimes be difficult, particularly when you are trying file documents close to the deadline. Whilst this case involves the filing of a Notice of Appointment of Administrators, this case may give solicitors comfort if something similar happens in litigation and a genuine mistake has been made in the e-filing process which, on the face of it, would mean that the document was filed out of time.

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Publication

SRA v Ryan Beckwith and the regulation of the private lives of solicitors

Published on 17 February 2020. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Charlotte Thompson, Associate

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In October 2019, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) upheld professional misconduct allegations against Mr Ryan Beckwith, an ex-magic circle partner. The Tribunal’s reasons were published on 30 January 2020.

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Blog

Legal advice privilege not lost by repeating the client's instructions

Published on 17 February 2020. By Will Sefton, Partner and Tom Toulson, Associate

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In Raiffeisen Bank International AG v Asia Coal Energy Ventures Ltd (1) Ashurst LLP (2) [2020] EWCA Civ 11, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that legal advice privilege over a client's instructions to their lawyers is not lost, merely because the client authorises their lawyers to repeat the substance of those instructions to another party.

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Blog

FRC - The Final Curtain Call

Published on 13 February 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FRC has released its draft budget plan and budget for 2020/21.

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Blog

High Court grants proprietary injunction over Bitcoin cyber ransom payment to a third party

Published on 31 January 2020. By Bethan Griffiths, Associate

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Instances of Ransomware are becoming increasingly common. We regularly deal with these types of cases and are seeing an escalation in both the sophistication of the attacks and the ransom demands being made.

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Blog

Bossing the rules: lowering the standard?

Published on 27 January 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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Solicitors everywhere will be concerned at the recent move of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, alongside the recent SRA Standards and Regulations reforms, to alter the standard of proof to be applied in disciplinary proceedings. This article looks at the background to the Tribunal's recent decision, the reasons for the change, and the concerns around it.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #2 - Complaints to the ARB

Published on 23 January 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

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Further to our previous article which provided an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process, we explain the first stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect, the complaint stage.

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Blog

Bossing the rules: Your obligations to report concerns

Published on 20 January 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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Our lawyers' liability and regulatory team continue their series demystifying the SRA's new Standards and Regulations in this article looking at solicitors' revised reporting obligations under #StaRs Rules 7.7 and 7.8.

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Blog

Part 36 – Stick, Twist…. or Stay?

Published on 13 January 2020. By James Ainsworth, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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The case of Allen Campbell v Ministry of Defence [2019] EWHC 2121 (QB) provides useful guidance on the appropriate way to respond to a Part 36 offer when you are unsure of the value of the claim (and therefore the merits of the offer), in order to avoid the costs consequences of late acceptance.

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Blog

Bossing the Rules: StaRs Rule 1.4: “you do not mislead anyone”

Published on 23 December 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

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The Solicitors’ Practice Rules 1990 (“SPR”) did not contain any express prohibition on misleading anyone; although, depending on the circumstances, such conduct was likely to have contravened the basic principles. Like today’s principles, these required solicitors not to do anything in the course of practising as a solicitor (or permit anyone to do anything on their behalf) which compromises or impairs (or is likely to compromise or impair) the good repute of the solicitor or the profession or the solicitor’s duty to the court.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #1 - the process

Published on 19 December 2019. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

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In this series of articles, we explain the procedure for disciplinary investigations against architects. This article gives an overview of the process. The remaining articles will examine each stage of the process and highlight the dos and don'ts for architects unfortunate enough to be the subject of investigations. In essence, there are 4 stages.

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Bossing the rules

Published on 03 December 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

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Watch out for RPC's new blog mini-series on the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019.

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Costs proportionality: answers at last?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

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Practitioners have been waiting six years for authoritative guidance on how the new post-April 2013 proportionality test applies in the hope that we will be better able to predict the outcome of costs assessment and, therefore, better equipped to advise our clients. A recent Court of Appeal decision has been described as delivering this; however, it raises a number of new issues which are sure to give rise to further satellite litigation. As such, proportionality remains the great unknown.

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Blog

Regulatory change as far as the PI can see

Published on 21 November 2019. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

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Dramatic regulatory change, and an increase in regulatory action, is affecting a number of important sectors in the professional indemnity market, as we exit 2019 and look ahead at 2020. We consider below some key points to be aware of.

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The Supreme Court holds that "subsequently acquired evidence" is to be disregarded in assessing loss of chance in a DTI compensation scheme

Published on 21 November 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Cheryl Laird, Associate (Scottish Qualified)

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On 20 November 2019 the Supreme Court handed down its second 2019 judgment on loss of chance principles in Edwards v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2019] UKSC 54. It held in favour of the claimant rejecting the lawyers' argument that the issue of loss should be determined based on all of the facts available at the date of the professional negligence proceedings.

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Blog

Travelers Insurance Company Ltd (Appellant) v XYZ (Respondents) [2019] UKSC 48

Published on 31 October 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Cristina Faro, Associate

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The Supreme Court has reviewed the principles concerning third-party costs orders and ruled that an insurer was not liable for uninsured claimants' costs.

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Publication

Challenging extensions of time to serve writs on defendants in Hong Kong

22 October 2019

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In another recent high profile judgment, the High Court of Hong Kong has (in effect) sent out an important warning to plaintiffs who apply to the court for an extension of time in which to serve their writ on a defendant. On making such applications, plaintiffs must be very careful to discharge their continuing and important duty to be full and frank with the court – in particular, in the evidence filed in support of such applications, plaintiffs must specifically and clearly confirm the position regarding the limitation periods for different claims in the writ and whether any claim is time barred.

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Abridged Advice and Workplace Pension Schemes - digging deeper into the FCA's Latest Pension Transfer Consultation Paper

Published on 15 August 2019. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

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Now that the dust has settled on the FCA's latest Consultation Paper on Pension Transfers (CP19/25), is there more to the regulator's proposals than first met the eye?

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Blog

The problem of integrity

21 June 2019

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Integrity is beginning to look like the indispensable quality that we could all do without.

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Lost chances à la Moda

Published on 04 June 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Nick Bird, Partner

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Lost chance case-law has come a long way since the ground-breaking decision in Allied Maples. One of its more interesting offshoots is the case of Moda International Brands Ltd v Gateley LLP & Anor. Moda is required reading for any firm of solicitors who wants to defend a lost chance claim arising from its transactional work for a claimant.

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Blog

What’s gone wrong with putting things right?

Published on 21 May 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Nick Bird, Partner

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Solicitors are becoming concerned about their ability to put things right when they make mistakes. We do not consider that much has changed in this area. It is as important as it has always been for a solicitor to realise if he or she has made a mistake and to think carefully about how to remedy it. This is not an easy task. We hope this article will assist in guiding solicitors and their insurers through this complex area.

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Publication

Court of Appeal considers the test for dishonest assistance following Ivey

25 April 2019

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In Group Seven v Notable Services LLP the Court of Appeal considered and applied the two stage test of dishonesty set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting in a claim for dishonest assistance in a breach of trust by various members of a legal disciplinary practice.

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Audit profession – a year of reflection

25 March 2019

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In this legal update we look back at some of the key developments for the audit profession in 2018 and consider what the rest of 2019 may hold for the industry.

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Judge makes alarming comments about validity of standstill agreements in Inheritance Act claims

Published on 12 March 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate and Rhian Howell, Partner

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In a recent judgment, the High Court has cast doubt on the extent to which the court will recognise standstill agreements in applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

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