pnBlawg

the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

The fallout from fraud: what is a solicitor’s duty when advising a client about signing a document?

One Saturday morning in March 2003 Mrs Padden told her husband that she was going into Exeter to do some shopping. To her surprise, he told her that she would be unable to use her credit card because the account had been frozen. He explained that this was due to a dispute with his employer about a company car. It was not. Mr Padden was a crook. His assets had been frozen because he had used his em... [More]

Non-Binding Mediation Agreements: The Duty to Warn

Advising on the meaning and effects of settlement is a task faced by most litigators on a daily basis, often in time-pressurised conditions. And yet the effects of getting it wrong can be serious, for client and practitioner alike. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Frost v Wake Smith and Tofields Solicitors [2013] EWCA Civ 1960 is therefore important reading for litigators. It gives a he... [More]

No duty on solicitors to confirm opponent’s PI cover in place

 At the trial last month of a solicitors’ negligence claim the High Court has held that there was no duty on a solicitors’ firm, acting for a client in civil litigation, to ensure that the opponent had effective professional indemnity insurance cover in place.   The claimants sued the solicitors’ firm (BG) which had previously represented them in a dispute with an ar... [More]

The Determination of Consequential Issues after Trial and the Apparently Biased Judge

Who should determine any questions as to costs at the conclusion of a trial? The standard – and it seems almost always correct – answer, would be the trial judge himself. The rationale is obvious and entirely sensible – that such ancillary issues should be determined by the tribunal which heard the case from which the such issues arise. However, the Court of Appeal last week sug... [More]

CPRwatch: relief from sanctions

Does the original checklist under rule 3.9 (relief from sanctions) have any role now? That question was considered by Hildyard J in Thevarajah v Riordan (9th August 2013, unreported). The Claimant sought to strike out the Defendant’s Defence for failure to comply with an unless order in relation to disclosure. The Defendant sought relief from sanctions under CPR r. 3.9. The De... [More]

Plus ça change? Re-litigating the underlying claim in a solicitors’ negligence case

In a solicitors’ negligence claim based on a previous case which was lost or under-settled it is not unusual to see the complaint that one party is seeking to re-litigate the original claim.  However, the complaint is normally one levelled by the defendant against the claimant.  The correct approach is to assess the “value” of the lost chance of the claim succeeding by ... [More]

Disclosure of insurance cover

A common concern for many claimants and their lawyers in litigation is whether the defendants have effective insurance cover and can thus satisfy any judgment obtained them. When a claimant discovers that he only has a “paper” judgment, he often looks to blame his solicitor. This is what happened in the recent case of Dowling v Bennett Griffin (a firm) [2013] EWHC 1995 (Ch) in which Mr... [More]

Mortgage fraud - section 61 Trustee Act 1925 revisited

  The case of Santander UK Plc v R A Legal Solicitors (a firm) [2013] EWHC 1380 (QB) contains a timely review of “mortgage fraud” cases and of the circumstances in which a solicitor might successfully obtain relief under section 61 Trustee Act 1925 (see further Karen Shuman’s posting “Section 61 Trustee Act 1925 and the Three Wise Men”). The brief facts were as f... [More]