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Professional & Financial Risks

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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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, Legal Director

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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Blog

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, Legal Director

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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

Published on 20 November 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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

Published on 28 October 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

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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Blog

The hidden costs of divorce – lawyers beware the price tag!

Published on 26 October 2015. By Laura Stocks, Senior Associate

As a result of the Supreme Court's decision on 14 October 2015 in the cases of Sharland and Gohil, parties in divorce proceedings are now able to re-open their financial settlements where there is evidence of fraudulent non-disclosure.

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Blog

ENE Dream Will Do

Published on 01 October 2015. By Philip McCormack, Associate

A host of case management powers is available to the Court by virtue of CPR 3.1.

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Blog

Hope in Hell: Defamatory references to a law firm removed from SolicitorsFromHellUK.com

Published on 18 September 2015. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

This week's High Court decision ordering the removal of defamatory statements from a website which 'exposes' solicitors and other lawyers may come as some relief to members of the legal profession.

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Blog

Litigation privilege under the spotlight

Published on 17 September 2015. By Caroline Shiffner, Senior Associate

A Claimant's application for an injunction against the use in litigation of unhelpful pre-application planning advice he had obtained from a local planning authority was dismissed by John Jarvis QC sitting as a deputy High Court Judge.

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Blog

Time is running out… clarity on time bar at FOS?

03 September 2015

New DISP pro forma final response language seems to allow firms to be more confident when time barring complaints.

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Lord Justice Jackson tackles Costs Management

Published on 07 August 2015. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

The post-Jackson costs management regime celebrated its second birthday earlier this year.

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Blog

LEO intent on including Third Party Debts

Published on 30 July 2015. By Sally Lord, Associate

Following on from my post earlier this year, it seems that LEO is set to go ahead with plans to consult on its vision of dealing with third party complaints.

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Blog

Where there's a will there's a way? The Court of Appeal awards an estranged daughter £164,000 from her mother's estate

Published on 30 July 2015. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

The Court of Appeal this week handed down its hotly debated landmark decision in Ilott v Mitson & Others, causing many to query the purpose of making a will at all.

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Blog

Incompetence as a defence? Stick to what you know!

Published on 24 July 2015. By Sally Lord, Associate

Branching out into an unknown area of law as a favour to one of your well-respected clients may seem like a natural extension to the "all-round client service" that you are accustomed to providing.

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Blog

A sting in the tail: ACAS Early Conciliation requirements take their toll on unwary Claimants

Published on 11 June 2015. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

The ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme came into force in April 2014 and has been lauded for its part in the significant reduction in Employment Tribunal claims in the last year.

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Blog

Section 14A: Equity aids the vigilant!

Published on 19 May 2015. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

The recent Court of Appeal case of Chinnock –v- Veale Wasbrough [2015] EWCA Civ 441 is a stark reminder to potential claimants to seek a second opinion if they are dissatisfied with their legal advice, or risk the consequences.

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Blog

We have all the time in the world: the Supreme Court rules that a wife can pursue a financial settlement from her husband 23 years after they divorce

Published on 07 May 2015. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

The Supreme Court recently week handed down its decision in Wyatt v Vince, a case which has troubled both the headlines and anyone that divorced in the last decade or two.

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Blog

CFAs continue for insolvent companies

Published on 30 April 2015. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

In April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) came into force, making the success fee applied to a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA), and the After the Event (ATE) insurance premiums, irrecoverable by a successful party to litigation proceedings.

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Blog

Oxford solicitor receives biggest SDT fine yet

Published on 14 April 2015. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

Former solicitor Nigel Harvie has been ordered to pay £305,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ("SDT") – the biggest fine (by a long way) ever imposed by the tribunal.

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Blog

Fraud Alert 3 – a new weapon

Published on 09 April 2015. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

In July 2014 and February 2015 we warned about fraudsters targeting law firms client accounts, especially on Friday afternoons.

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Blog

Key Reforms to CPR Part 36

Published on 08 April 2015. By Tina Campbell, Senior Associate

Part 36 is a crucial tool in litigation. Most claims end in a settlement and the incentives and penalties within Part 36 help to encourage parties to make/accept sensible offers.

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Blog

Solicitors' responsibility for conveyancing credit risk denied by the High Court

10 March 2015

In a transaction the claimant's own counsel described as 'murky', the High Court has dismissed a negligence claim against solicitors for the alleged failure to make further enquiries regarding the solvency of the vendor:

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Blog

Part 36 – Make your offers early

Published on 06 March 2015. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

A recent judgment has highlighted the importance of early timing in the making of Part 36 offers.

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The fraudsters are back – they never left!

Published on 20 February 2015. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

In July 2014 we warned about fraudsters targeting solicitors to gain access to their client account

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PI Insurer Liable to indemnify firm of solicitors in respect of loans made to its clients by a finance company

Published on 04 February 2015. By Sally Lord, Associate

The Court of Appeal has this week handed down its decision in Impact Funding Solutions Ltd v Barrington Support Services Ltd, which is a case that has sparked a lot of interest since the first instance judgment was delivered back in December 2013.

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Blog

Costs warning: unreasonable incurred costs could reduce overall budget

Published on 29 January 2015. By Victoria Sugden, Senior Associate

The recent Judgment of Steven Redfern v Corby Borough Council [2014] EWHC 4526 (QB) is one of the first reported appeals against a decision by a Master in relation to a Costs Management Order.

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Blog

LEO's future to include Third Party complaints

Published on 26 January 2015. By Sally Lord, Associate

The Office for Legal Complaints board meeting before Christmas revealed that there is potential for redress for third parties as long as complaints could be 'clearly and tightly defined'. Currently, the Legal Ombudsman will only consider complaints made by a firm's direct client.

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Blog

Compareasolicitor.com: Simples?

Published on 26 January 2015. By Sally Lord, Associate

The SRA has announced that soon law firms may be featuring on comparison websites. The SRA is currently collating information about law firms for use on such websites.

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SFO makes first use of Bribery Act in prosecution for fraudulent UCIS

Published on 11 December 2014. By George Smith, Senior Associate

The SFO's recent prosecution in relation to a fraudulent UCIS ...

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Saved by the Cap: Third Party Costs Order

Published on 04 December 2014. By Tim Bull, Partner

On 30 June 2014 judgment was handed down by Mrs Justice Rose in Swynson Limited v Lowick Rose LLP (in liquidation)[2014] EWHC 2085 (Ch).

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Proposed reduction in solicitors' PII cover rejected

27 November 2014

The Legal Services Board has today refused the Solicitors Regulation Authority's proposed reduction in the minimum level of professional indemnity insurance cover from the current level of £2m to £500,000.

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Blog

"Time's up" – limitation for a claim against a valuer

Published on 17 November 2014. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

In a decision handed down last week, the court has provided further guidance on the limitation position for claims against surveyors.

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Blog

Financial Services: Minimising Risk in a Dawn of Opportunity

Published on 13 November 2014. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

The Treasury provided an unexpected opportunity for financial advisers earlier this year when they announced that, from April 2015, investors may be able to unlock their pension funds and exercise greater control over investing their hard earned wealth.

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Blog

Who dares pays

Published on 06 November 2014. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

In Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone Inc & Others [2014] EWHC 3436 the Commercial Court has given a warning to third party funders that they can be liable to pay the costs of the winning party where they fund a hopeless case.

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Blog

Supreme Court ruling in eagerly awaited "sale and rent back" test case

03 November 2014

The Supreme Court faced the time honoured question of what happens in a fraudulent transaction where there are two innocent parties with competing claims…

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Court's firm stance refusing to extend valuer's duty of care in tort beyond his contractual duty

Published on 28 October 2014. By Helene Lee, Legal Director

In the case of Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd v Knight Frank LLP [2014] EWHC 3347 (Ch), a landowner instructed a valuer to prepare a valuation report for a plot of land.

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FCA approves 'independent' use of internal specialist advisers

Published on 17 October 2014. By Sarah Dowding, Senior Associate

Ever since RDR 'independence' rules were introduced nearly two years ago, financial advisers have sought clarification on referring clients to internal specialists within their firm for expert advice.

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Blog

Don't (Calder) bank on an analogy to the Part 36 regime

Published on 10 October 2014. By Laura Stocks, Senior Associate

When a party makes a Part 36 Offer, the consequences are clear. The rules and sanctions for failure to beat a Part 36 Offer are set out in the Civil Procedure Rules.

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Blog

Ammunition for Defendants: Claimants may have to waive privilege to prove mitigation

30 September 2014

The High Court recently found in a solicitors negligence claim that a claimant acted unreasonably in (1) settling an arbitration and then (2) refusing to waive privilege such that the Court could assess the reasonableness of the settlement.

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