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Professional & Financial Risks

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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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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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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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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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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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Interest rate hedging products: mis-selling - Update on Green v Royal Bank of Scotland

22 October 2013

The Court of Appeal recently published its judgment in Green v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2012] EWHC 3661 QB, the first decided case concerning the alleged mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products ("IRHPs").

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Update on Clark v In Focus appeal

22 October 2013

The landmark appeal in Clark v In Focus is today being heard by the Court of Appeal, who will decide whether a complainant can accept an award at FOS and then sue for the balance through the courts.

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Ministry of Justice's call for evidence leads to cry for fully independent regulation from SRA

Published on 07 October 2013. By Katherine Roberts, Senior Associate

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has responded to the Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) call for evidence on the regulation of legal services in England and Wales demanding truly independent regulation.

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Blog

Is sunlight a nuisance?

Published on 04 September 2013. By Jonathan Carrington, Senior Associate

Reports that sunlight reflecting from the unusually shaped "Walkie Talkie" building at 20 Fenchurch Street in London has melted parts of a Jaguar motor-vehicle parked on Eastcheap Street raises an interesting question whether reflected sunlight or heat from a building is actionable in law.

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Blog

Tax avoidance – the beginning of the end?

Published on 21 August 2013. By Rachael Healey, Partner

Last week HMRC published a consultation document entitled "Raising the stakes and tax avoidance".

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First reported vibration white finger professional negligence claim brings white knuckle decision to those advising defendants

06 August 2013

The first reported professional negligence case arising out of under-settlements for former miners in the government's vibration white finger ("VWF") compensation scheme has recently come to trial.

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Competition Commission releases proposed remedies on the supply of statutory audit services

25 July 2013

Earlier this week the Competition Commission ("CC") published its provisional decision on the remedies it is considering introducing when it publishes its final report on the supply of statutory audit services to large companies in the UK.

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Proposals to increase claims against directors

Published on 16 July 2013. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

We note with interest the Government's Discussion Paper, 'Transparency & Trust: Enhancing The Transparency of UK Company Ownership And Increasing Trust in UK Business', published yesterday.

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Flood risk insurance: disaster averted?

27 June 2013

In a press release co-ordinated with the Government's announcement to Parliament on 27 June 2013 on infrastructure spending ...

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Guillotine for ATE/CFA recoverability?

25 June 2013

A Law Society Gazette report emanating from a recent conference suggested that introduction of a six month time limit is under consideration by MOJ for recoverability of CFA/ATE premiums entered into prior to the 1 April cost reforms.

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Insurer collapse adds to mounting financial pressures within the legal sector

Published on 19 June 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

Latvian insurer Balva announced yesterday that it has called in liquidators, leaving approximately 1,300 firms of solicitors across England and Wales effectively without PI insurance cover.

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Redress for unsuitable mortgage advice set to increase as Court of Appeal upholds High Court decision in Emptage v Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Published on 18 June 2013. By Robert Morris, Partner

The Court of Appeal has today dismissed the appeal in the case of Emptage v Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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Blog

Substantial delays and the FOS - R (on the application of CALLAND) v FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE LTD (2012)

Published on 13 June 2013. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

The court has recently decided that a six and a half year delay between the FOS receiving a complaint from an investor and making a final decision against an IFA did not breach the IFA's rights under Article 6 of the ECHR.

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Flood risk insurance open market – countdown to 31 July

06 June 2013

In less than 8 weeks a substantial number of properties may suffer significant loss of capital value if their owners are no longer be able to obtain flood risk insurance.

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When the going gets tough, the tough must keep their standards….

Published on 06 June 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) yesterday warned solicitors of the danger of the non-compliance trap in tough financial times.

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Blog

CPR3.9 Refusal of relief from sanction - solicitors negligence claim now pending

Published on 31 May 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

In Venulum Property Investments Ltd v Space Architecture Ltd & Ors, an application was made for permission to extend time for service of the Particulars of Claim as a result of the Claimant's solicitors misreading the relevant rule and failing to serve the Particulars within time.

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Blog

Interest Rate Hedging Products Mis-selling Update

Published on 30 May 2013. By James Wickes, Partner

(The following article by Simon Greenley/James Wickes was first published in Insurance Day (www.insuranceday.com) on 30 May 2013).

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Blog

Unravelling Transactions – The Party's Over

Published on 13 May 2013. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's decision in Futter v Futter and Pitt v Holt as to the scope of the rule In re Hastings-Bass, but has overturned the Court of Appeal's decision on the application of mistake in Pitt.

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Blog

"Transition management" – possible notifications from FCA investigations

Published on 09 May 2013. By James Wickes, Partner

It has been reported in the FT overnight that the FCA is swooping on the London offices of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers in a new probe aimed at a widespread (and reportedly lucrative) type of business known in the industry as "transition management".

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Blog

Causation Basics: The breach must cause the loss

Published on 07 May 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

In the recent case of Clack v Wrigley Solicitors LLP, the Courts have reaffirmed the principles set down in SAAMCO and Nykredit; liability for loss is limited to the loss attributable to the misconduct.

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Blog

Even Consumers Can Forfeit Their Rights For Breach of Policy Conditions

Published on 03 May 2013. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

The judgment of Teare J in Parker v National Farmers Mutual [2012] EWHC 2156 (Comm) is worthy of note on a number of fronts, but particularly with regard to the judge's application of ICOBS 8.1, under which an insurer cannot unreasonably reject a consumer policyholder's claim.

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Blog

Prosecuting "insider dealing" in Hong Kong

Published on 30 April 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

Hong Kong's top court expected to confirm there is a "third way"

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Professional indemnity insurers urged to robustly defend growing number of cases

Published on 26 April 2013. By Robert Morris, Partner

There has been a spate of professional negligence claims lodged against the promoters of tax avoidance schemes following a clampdown on these schemes by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), as we have recently noted in the Financial Times.

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Blog

US Auditor Scandal Intensifies Calls for Tougher Regulation

22 April 2013

The recent revelation that a partner in KPMG leaked insider information in exchange for cash and gifts may intensify calls for a shake-up in the regulation of auditors, especially in the US.

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Rise of accountancy profession in China

Published on 22 April 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

The accountancy profession is on the rise in China.

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Size does matter – risk of potential claims against estate agents

Published on 17 April 2013. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

A recent Financial Times article has highlighted a potential risk area for estate agents.

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Court of Appeal gives judgment on the potential liability of solicitors for a non-party costs order

Published on 11 April 2013. By Simy Khanna, Senior Associate

In two joined cases , the Court of Appeal considered the potential liability of solicitors for a non-party costs order, if they fund disbursements.

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NEWS: Scullion appeal to Supreme Court withdrawn – no duty of care owed by mortgage valuer to BTL investors – relief for valuers and their insurers

10 April 2013

The appeal by buy-to-let (BTL) investor Mr Scullion – due for hearing at the Supreme Court today – was withdrawn on confidential terms this morning.

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The official line – how Judges are being instructed to implement Jackson costs reforms

08 April 2013

A recent speech at the Judicial College by the Master of the Rolls (Lord Dyson) shows precisely how Judges are being instructed to implement two key aspects of the Jackson costs reforms:

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Follow landmark valuers 'duty of care' hearing (Scullion) live next week

05 April 2013

In 2011 the Appeal Court decided unanimously that the valuer's duty of care, when reporting to its lender client, should not extend to cover a buy-to-let investor (as distinct from a residential purchaser):

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Blog

The trigger for liability coverage - actual liability or reasonable settlement?

26 March 2013

On 28 February 2013 judgment was delivered in the case of AstraZeneca Insurance Company Limited v XL Insurance (Bermuda) Limited and ACE Bermuda Insurance Limited [2013] EWHC 349.

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Robust judicial case management in action

15 March 2013

In a Judgment handed down on 14 March 2013, the Court has sent a powerful message to all parties, and to their solicitors, about the immediate and painful financial consequences of 'manoeuvring' and seeking to frustrate effective judicial case management.

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LSB request rejected: SRA confirm no review into separate business rule

Published on 14 March 2013. By Katherine Roberts, Senior Associate

The Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA") have rejected the Legal Services Board ("LSB") request that they conduct a review of the separate business rule ("SBR"), as it is not in the public interest to do so and the necessary resources are not available.

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Blog

No Fishing!

11 March 2013

A recent High Court decision has reminded Claimants that pre-action disclosure applications cannot be used as fishing expeditions to form or strengthen any unsubstantiated claims.

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Blog

New Sanctions Guidance For Accountants and Actuaries' Investigations

08 March 2013

The Financial Reporting Council ("FRC") has published its first Sanctions Guidance for individuals and member firms under investigation.

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The rush for ATE – and the risk of claims arising

Published on 06 March 2013. By Victoria Paxton, Associate

After-the-event insurance premiums have been a plague to surveyors, who have borne the brunt of claims arising from the property crash.

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Blog

Flood risk insurability – are you exposed?

20 February 2013

On 1 July 2013, barring unexpected developments, flood risk insurance for residential property will move to the open market leaving an estimated 200,000 properties exposed to the possibility of severe capital value reductions.

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Blog

Final curtain call

Published on 19 February 2013. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

On 14 February 2013 the Court of Appeal in Miller v Sutton [2013] EWCA Civ brought to an end a long running campaign by Mr Miller against his former solicitor in relation to his failed business selling Jimi Hendrix CDs.

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Take care of your letterhead ...

Published on 14 February 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

In UCB Home Loans Corporation Ltd v Soni & Co the Court of Appeal has found that a partner in a solicitor's firm was not liable under the S14 Partnership Act 1980 for fraudulent representations made by another partner to a mortgage lender.

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