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Professional & Financial Risks

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Transferring limited partnership interests

24 October 2017

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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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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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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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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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FCA's review into non-advised retirement product sales

Published on 21 July 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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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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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

12 May 2017

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

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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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Complaints against insolvency practitioners hold steady

Published on 11 April 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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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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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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Altogether now – aggregation in solicitors' professional negligence claims

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

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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 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!

06 February 2017

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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 Strong, 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, Partner

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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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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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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

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

Published on 13 April 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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

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

Published on 22 February 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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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Solicitors can owe a limited duty of care to third parties

Published on 16 February 2016. By Sally Lord, Senior 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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The end of the low cost insurance scheme?

Published on 15 February 2016. By Sally Lord, Senior 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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Litigants in person – approach with caution?

10 February 2016

The increase in recent years of the number of litigants in person (LiPs) is largely due to the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (the Act), which came into force on 1 April 2013.

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Resolving mistakes in trust deeds and wills – a new, cheaper and quicker approach?

Published on 08 February 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

Claims are often made against professionals arising out of errors in trust deeds and wills.

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Don't leave me this way: SRA to split from the Law Society?

Published on 05 February 2016. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

From almost a standing start around ten years ago, solicitors are now among the most regulated professionals in the UK.

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Stand and deliver: what documents must a solicitor deliver up to its client when asked for 'the file'?

Published on 05 February 2016. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

Most compliance managers or complaints partners will experience that sinking feeling when yet another file request lands on their desks, often with the distinct aroma of a 'fishing expedition'.

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47% decrease in claims against solicitors – a false sense of security?

29 January 2016

2015 saw a 47% decline in the number of professional negligence cases brought against solicitors to 221, down significantly from 418 in 2014.

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Standstills – direct, indirect, connected to, arising out of – has time been stopped?

Published on 27 January 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner and Rhian Howell, Partner

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Defendants are often invited to enter into Standstill Agreements, stopping time for limitation purposes.

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Update: CFAs will not continue for insolvent companies

Published on 25 January 2016. By Layla Todd, Associate

Earlier in April last year, we wrote an article on the insolvency exemption to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

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Pay the correct court fee – or else!

Published on 08 January 2016. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

On 9 March 2015 there was a substantial increase in the fees to issue civil proceedings. As a result, the court fee is now £10,000 to issue a claim worth in excess of £200,000 (or the damages are unquantified).

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Lawyer v lawyer: where there's blame there's a claim?

Published on 09 December 2015. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

Dissatisfied clients of law firms have probably never had so many ways to complain about their solicitor.

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Small businesses; large losses?

Published on 01 December 2015. By Robert Morris, Partner

On Friday the FCA published a wide ranging discussion paper in which it seeks comments on proposed changes to the way in which it, and the FOS, deals with SME businesses.

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Limiting your retainer – success before the Court of Appeal for divorce lawyers

Published on 20 November 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

Divorce settlements have attracted a number of professional negligence claims recently.

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British Racing no longer in the fast lane: indemnity costs prevail where costs claimed as damages

Published on 16 November 2015. By Chloe Derrick, Senior Associate

In a notable departure from earlier case law, the High Court determined last month in Hawksford Trustees Jersey Ltd v Halliwells LLP (In liquidation) [2015] EWHC 2996 (Ch) that the proper method of assessing costs claimed as damages in the context of proceedings was on the indemnity basis.

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Loopholes in the Limitation Act – when will the court finally stop the clock?

11 November 2015

Think you're safe after the expiry of the statutory limitation period?

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Cyber Attacks on Law Firms on the Up

Published on 29 October 2015. By Simy Khanna, Senior Associate

Law firms are the custodian of clients' intellectual property, commercially sensitive and personal information.

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Section 14A revisited – how much does a claimant need to know?

Published on 28 October 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The Court of Appeal has looked at whether or not a claimant had sufficient knowledge under Section 14A when it was told that a firm had been negligent but not told that any damage may result.

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