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Professional & Financial Risks

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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, Senior 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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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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LEO's future to include Third Party complaints

Published on 26 January 2015. By Sally Lord, Senior 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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Compareasolicitor.com: Simples?

Published on 26 January 2015. By Sally Lord, Senior 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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"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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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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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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SRA's compensation fund to provide cover for negligence claims against uninsured firms

Published on 29 September 2014. By Philip McCormack, Associate

A recent article in Legal Futures suggests that it will cost contributors to the SRA's compensation fund £2.5m in the 2014/15 year in order to cover negligence claims against uninsured firms following the ARP's closure last September.

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Blog

Brokers' Duties – Business Interruption

Published on 23 September 2014. By Ben Goodier, Partner

Whilst not exactly a reason for brokers to jump for joy, the recent case of Eurokey Recycling Limited v Giles Insurance Brokers Limited has at least reversed the trend of brokers' duties becoming more onerous with each reported case.

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Blog

Supreme Court: Insurers counting the costs of negligent will drafting

19 September 2014

Insurers beware: where limited funds are available in an estate and there has been a dispute caused by solicitor negligence over a will then the usual 'loser pays' rule may not apply...

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Slapdash SIPPs told to sharpen up by FCA

15 September 2014

SIPP Operators have repeatedly been in the headlines since the FCA completed its second thematic review in 2012.

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No reason to delay October 2014 renewal for solicitors

Published on 09 September 2014. By Tina Campbell, Senior Associate

This is traditionally a busy time of year for insurers, brokers and law firms in the run up to the 1 October deadline for securing professional indemnity insurance cover.

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Blog

The Insolvency Service Complaints Gateway – first year report card

Published on 08 September 2014. By Rachael Healey, Partner

In June 2013 the Complaints Gateway was established to provide a single entry point for regulatory complaints against insolvency practitioners.

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The perils of skiing, reduced bonuses and missed deadlines

26 August 2014

The High Court has recently revisited how loss of chance damages will be quantified in professional negligence claims.

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Denton v White guidance applied

26 August 2014

In little more than a month since the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment ...

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Ensuring that where there's a Will, the right way is adopted – and by the right person

26 August 2014

The Law Society Gazette has recently reported that claims for mishandling a deceased's estate have more than tripled over the last year, according to figures released by the High Court.

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Blog

Solicitors beware! Fraudsters want your client account!

Published on 24 July 2014. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

A solicitor's client account has long been a target for fraudsters.

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Court to give clarity on Mitchell?

12 June 2014

In order to try and provide much needed clarity on the effects of the Mitchell case on case management, Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, is set to hear three appeals over two days on 16 and 17 June in respect of:

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Arck advice could lead to a flood of claims

Published on 15 May 2014. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

There have been some recent developments in the on-going saga involving Arck LLP, Yorkshire bank and around 400 disgruntled investors.

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Net contribution Clause: Court of Appeal Guidance

11 April 2014

The recent Court of Appeal decision in West v Ian Finlay and Associates has confirmed that a properly drafted net contribution clause ("NCC") is a valid and enforceable contractual term.

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Court of Appeal confirms no general duty to advise on sophisticated tax planning

Published on 25 March 2014. By Robert Morris, Partner

Last year the High Court's decision in Mehjoo v Harben Barker gave rise to plenty of lurid headlines.

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Litigation privilege in liquidations

Published on 11 March 2014. By Robert Morris, Partner

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Rawlinson and Hunter Trustees SA & others v Akers & another [2014] serves to emphasise that third party reports commissioned by liquidators to enable them to consider whether litigation should be commenced ...

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Annuities – what next for providers and advisers?

Published on 21 February 2014. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The FCA has published its of Thematic Review of Annuities having conducted a substantive review of the annuity market.

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When is a solicitor acting as a solicitor?

Published on 20 February 2014. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The High Court has recently given some guidance on whether, when operating its client account, a firm is acting in its capacity as a solicitor.

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Blog

Mitchell: No excuse for a 'common sense' blind spot

19 February 2014

A recent decision by Mr Justice Stuart-Smith in the TCC in The Governor & Company of The Bank of Ireland -v- Philip Park Partnership illustrates that it is possible to push strict emphasis on CPR compliance too far.

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Blog

FOS is the one and only

14 February 2014

After what has felt like an interminably long wait, the Court of Appeal has today allowed the appeal in Clark v In Focus.

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SEC ups the ante on audits of Chinese companies listed in US

Published on 13 February 2014. By Robert Morris, Partner

In its "Initial Decision" No. 553, a US Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law court recently concluded that the Chinese affiliates of five international accounting firms breached section 106 of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 ...

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Blog

No way out

Published on 27 January 2014. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

If there was ever any doubt about the determination of judges to follow the Court of Appeal's decision in Mitchell v NGN [2013] EWCA Civ 1537, cases since then have shown that they are at least taking heed of the warning delivered by the Master of the Rolls.

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RICS UK Valuation Commission Report

Published on 24 January 2014. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

Today sees the launch of the RICS UK Valuation Commission Report.

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Now do as you are told!

Published on 17 January 2014. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

In the case of Thavatheva Thevarajah -v- John Riordan and Others, the Court of Appeal has once again made clear that, if you fail to follow directions for a claim, you will be penalised.

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Architect's negligence: Strike Out Application fails to determine limitation position

10 January 2014

Edwards-Stuart J recently held in Venulum Property Investments Ltd v Space Architects Ltd & 5 Ors (2013) that it was not appropriate to decide the limitation issues via a strike out application in the absence of full evidence.

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Aspect Contracts (Asbestos) Ltd v Higgins Construction Plc

06 December 2013

Court of Appeal - 29 November 2013

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You have been warned - comply or else!

Published on 27 November 2013. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

On 27 November 2013 the Court of Appeal handed down its eagerly awaited judgment in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers [2013] EWCA Civ 1526.

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Blog

Mediate or be damned

Published on 24 October 2013. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

In a landmark decision released yesterday, the Court of Appeal has upheld the decision to deprive a Defendant of part of its costs, for failing to respond to repeated requests to mediate, even though it made a Part 36 offer which the Claimant failed to accept until just before trial.

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