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Excluding liability (and avoiding judicial red ink)

28 March 2013

Exclusion clauses – by which a party excludes or restricts a liability or duty that would otherwise arise – are common 'boilerplate' provisions in commercial agreements.

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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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Supreme Court clarifies what constitutes 'making' a patented product

Published on 25 March 2013. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Louise Morgan, Senior Associate

On 13 March 2013 the Supreme Court issued its weighty decision in the long-running case of Schütz v Werit([2013] UKSC 16).

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Reliance on misleading information or guidance from HMRC can constitute a 'reasonable excuse'

Published on 22 March 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In recent years, with the difficulties that many taxpayers have experienced in the current economic climate, the issue of 'time to pay' agreements with HMRC has become of greater concern.

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Costs overruns in Target Costs contracts

22 March 2013

Who is liable for costs overruns in a Target Cost contract, and to what extent? AMEC Group recently went to the TCC to appeal against an arbitration decision which found the Secretary of State for Defence ("the Authority") would only be liable for actual costs which were reasonably and properly incurred.

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Blog

NPPF – 1 year on: smooth transition or wasted opportunity?

21 March 2013

Given that over 50% of Britain's local councils are still to adopt Local Plans, is the window of opportunity for local residents to take control of development in their local area about to close?

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First-tier Tribunal considers whether a single supply may be taxed at two VAT rates

Published on 15 March 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

When a taxpayer makes a supply of goods or services, it is not always clear cut whether there is more than one supply, or a single composite supply for VAT purposes.

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Blog

New Kids on the Block : alternative funders in the real estate lending market

15 March 2013

Over the last couple of years, there has been a surge in real estate lending by non-bank lenders as traditional banks started withdrawing from the market.

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Blog

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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Blog

What are the potential risks associated with BIM?

14 March 2013

This is the second of three blogs about Building Information Models, or BIM. This blog will consider the potential risks associated with BIM, but don't worry we provide some practical advice on how these risks can be tackled in our final BIM blog.

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Blog

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

ECJ ruling in Grattan plc v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2012] All ER (D) 246 (Dec)

08 March 2013

The Court of Justice of the European ('ECJ') has recently confirmed the opinion of the Advocate General in Grattan Plc v HMRC.

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Blog

Successful lawsuit against bank in Singapore but appeal due

08 March 2013

In Deutsche Bank AG v Chang [2012] SGHC 248, the Singapore High Court has upheld a retail investor's claim that the bank owed a pre-contractual duty of care to advise him as to (among other things) the preservation of his new wealth, despite contractual disclaimer and estoppel points arising out of a subsequently signed service agreement with the bank.

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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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Blog

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

Tribunal finds for the taxpayer and concludes that a trade was being carried on

Published on 27 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent case of Albermale 4 LLP v HMRC,1 the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') was called upon to consider the difficult question of the meaning of 'trade' for the purpose of section 262 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 ('ITTOIA 2005').

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Blog

Good Faith Clauses

26 February 2013

There is no general doctrine of good faith in English law and it is not therefore implied into contracts.

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Blog

Late expectations – taxpayers succeed in their application to appeal out of time

20 February 2013

The 30 day time limit, contained in section 31A Taxes Management Act 1970 ('TMA 1970'), for giving notice of appeal against an amendment of a self-assessment contained in a closure notice is well known to tax practitioners

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Blog

Rights to Light Reform: Law Commission Consultation

20 February 2013

On 18 February 2013 the Law Commission announced that it was beginning a consultation process regarding possible changes to the law governing "rights to light".

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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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Blog

JCT Insurance Options: what's the right fit for fit-out?

18 February 2013

Where a tenant is fitting out premises within a multi-occupied building, the JCT's standard insurance options are not always appropriate and, left unaddressed, place unintended and severe risks on the tenant.

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Blog

Substantively procedural: Delineating boundaries in cross-border litigation

14 February 2013

In a recent decision, the High Court has ruled that the manner in which expert evidence should be given is to be determined by reference to the procedural law of the forum and not the applicable, substantive law governing the dispute.1

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Blog

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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Blog

Lenders' contributory negligence - a blunted blade?

11 February 2013

Notwithstanding the growing impact of limitation defences, many UK lenders' portfolios remain exposed.

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Blog

Clarification of solicitors' breach of trust claims in a re-mortgage situation

Published on 11 February 2013. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

The Court of Appeal on 8 February 2013 in AIB Group (UK) plc v Mark Redler & Co [2013] EWCA Civ 45 has provided further clarification of the necessary ingredients to establish breach of trust by solicitors in a lender's claim.

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Blog

The Prudential decision – implications for taxpayers

Published on 08 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Supreme Court has refused to extend legal advice privilege ('LAP') to legal advice given by professionals who are not lawyers.

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Blog

Going viral: Supreme Court on YouTube

06 February 2013

It has now been two weeks since the launch of the UK Supreme Court's YouTube channel.[1]

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Blog

Security Trustee – fiduciary or mortgagee?

Published on 06 February 2013. By Adam Forster, Senior Associate

The High Court has recently given judgment in a case* relating to the duties owed by a security trustee to mezzanine lenders, in circumstances where the security trustee is enforcing security on behalf of senior lenders.

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Blog

Engineer held liable for losses caused by the fall in property values

Published on 06 February 2013. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

An engineer may be liable to his client for losses caused by a fall in property values. So held the Court of Appeal in the case of John Grimes Partnership Ltd v Gubbins.

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Blog

LeO maximum monetary award increases – but at least it's final

01 February 2013

The Legal Ombudsman – or LeO to its new friends – has today been granted the power to award £50k (up from £30k).

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Blog

Taxpayer misled by HMRC amidst settlement confusion

Published on 01 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

It is normally very clear to both parties when a tax dispute has been settled by way of agreement, but this is not always the case, especially when the 'agreement' was based on a misunderstanding.

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Blog

Government property, Kirstie and Phil style?

01 February 2013

Ok, so Ms Allsopp and Mr Spencer haven’t quite been called in yet, but almost.

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Blog

Annual Review 2012/13

01 February 2013

2013 is set to be a turbulent year across many classes of insurance business, especially those which will be affected by the Jackson Reforms revolution in the UK.

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Blog

The End of the British High Street?

31 January 2013

2012 was a hard year for the retail sector but 2013 is shaping up to be an even tougher year for High Streets in the UK.

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Blog

RICS guidance note on Risk

31 January 2013

As a profession, surveyors (and their insurers) have been hit very badly as a result of claims arising from the credit crunch.

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Blog

Court dismisses interest rate swap misselling case

Published on 29 January 2013. By Tom Hibbert, Partner

Green & Rowley v RBS1, the first reported case of its kind to come before the English court, saw Mr Green and Mr Rowley – property developers operating in a partnership (the "Claimants") – bring proceedings against the Royal Bank of Scotland (the "Bank"), alleging that they had been mis-sold an interest rate hedging product.

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Blog

Is the Green Deal a great deal?

29 January 2013

There is no denying the Green Deal has many advantages but consider the deal in relation to short term leases and it may not be as great as it initially seems.

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Blog

Permission to appeal denied in Walter Lilly v Mackay

29 January 2013

Permission to appeal was refused on 24 January 2013 in the case of Walter Lilly and Company Limited v (1) Giles Patrick Cyril Mackay (2) DMW Developments Limited.

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Blog

New standard terms for Bar creating controversy

Published on 29 January 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

The Law Society yesterday issued a practice note on the new standard contractual terms for the supply of legal services of barristers. These rules are due to come into effect in January 2013.

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Blog

The Court of Appeal's decision in Henry v News Group Newspapers: costs budgeting

Published on 28 January 2013. By Claire McNicholl, Senior Associate

Costs budgeting is one of the key planks of the Jackson reforms due in force on 1 April 2013.

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Blog

Report Card

28 January 2013

We're casting our critical eye over the Government's employment law proposals and writing its school report.

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Blog

Faith and Freedom

27 January 2013

In a debate that has lasted several years, one of my colleagues and I have been at odds on the case of Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who refused to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.

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Blog

Surveying the legal landscape

Published on 26 January 2013. By Jeremy Drew, Partner

The Court of Appeal has handed down its much anticipated judgment on the admissibility of survey evidence in the long running trade mark dispute between Marks & Spencer and Interflora.

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Blog

Crown Prosecution Service announces major expansion of prosecutions for tax fraud

Published on 25 January 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

As announced in the national press this week (see e.g. the Financial Times Monday 21 January 2013) the Crown Prosecution Service ('CPS') has announced that it will increase five-fold the number of tax cases that it considers for criminal prosecution.

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Blog

Have you notified a claim?

Published on 25 January 2013. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

How precise do you need to be when notifying your professional indemnity insurers of a possible claim?

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Blog

Legal advice privilege remains for qualified lawyers only

Published on 23 January 2013. By Robert Morris, Partner

The Supreme Court has today rejected an attempt to extend legal advice privilege to legal advice given by professionals other than lawyers.

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Blog

The meaning of (commercial) words

21 January 2013

Arguing over the meaning of words is an archetypal lawyerly activity and one which litigators accustomed to disputes over contractual construction know all too well.

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Blog

Accountants' Duty of Care to Third Parties

Published on 21 January 2013. By Anna Murley, Senior Associate

In a welcome reminder of a long established principle, the High Court decision in the October 2012 case of Arrowhead Capital Finance Limited v KPMG

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