pnBlawg

the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Contractual alteration to limitation periods

Coulson J in the TCC has considered the question of parties’ ability to agree in contractual terms to vary the usual limitation period governing claims either side might make under a construction contract. He noted that this issue had recently been decided by the CA in favour of allowing parties to vary the limitation period to provide certainty in Inframatrix Investments Ltd v Dean Constr... [More]

Cut & paste judgment

A senior specialist judge has recently been criticised in trenchant terms by the Court of Appeal for delivering a written judgment that did little more than to replicate the submissions of counsel for the successful party.  He seems to have used the electronic (Word) copy of the submissions, deleted the barrister's signature and made a few editorial changes, but left approximately 94% of... [More]

Failure to obtain ATE Insurance: Non-party costs

The Court of Appeal in Heron v. TNT (UK) Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ.469 considered whether or not solicitors who failed to obtain ATE Insurance for their client in a personal injury case and who failed to admit that to him - but without any conscious impropriety - should be subject to a non-party costs order.  The defendant's insurers argued that thereby the solicitors had become a "r... [More]

LCLCBA

The London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association has a new website. http://www.lclcba.com  

Judicial assessment of experts

Fancy some feedback?  The criminal Bar is having to come to terms with the prospect of barristers being formally assessed every year by the judiciary if they wish to continue in practice – under a system called QASA (Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates).  And civil practitioners are warned that it could be coming their way some time in the future – despite the fact that we... [More]

GP’s “reconstructed” evidential account preferred

In a judgment handed down last week the Court of Appeal upheld a decision in favour of a family doctor accused of negligence for failing to refer a very young baby to hospital with meningitis.  In Doy v Gunn [2013] EWCA Civ 493 the complaint was that the GP wrongly diagnosed colic.  If the child had been immediately referred to hospital then antibiotic treatment would have been a... [More]

Skeletons in the Courtroom

When I was at law school we only allowed to produce skeleton arguments for moots if they did not exceed four sentences in length. It was no easy task, but it really forced one to be as lexically economical and phraseologically elegant as possible.   However since, I have been encouraged to be far more expansive. I have thence been lead to believe that a skeleton argument is a powerful means o... [More]

Fraud, forgery and conspiracy: Inferring Dishonesty

“The Bank was just able to put salt upon his tail - and only just.” So says a prison warder in Dickens’ David Copperfield of how Uriah Heep came to be convicted and sentenced to transportation for life for “fraud, forgery and conspiracy” in a “deep plot for a large sum” against the Bank of England. The Uriah Heeps of our times have practised mortgage f... [More]

Is the past a foreign country? Similar fact evidence in professional negligence claims

Is a claimant entitled to disclosure of previous claims or complaints against a professional on the basis evidence of past transactions show a propensity to negligence? The House of Lords set out the test for admissability of “similar fact” evidence in civil proceedings in O’Brien v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2005] 2 WLR 1038. In that case, the claimant alleged the p... [More]

Scullion appeal abandoned

News reaches us that Mr Scullion abandoned his appeal to the Supreme Court the day it was due to be heard.  This means that the law remains as set out by the Court of Appeal [2011] EWCA Civ 693 - that is to say, that the principle in Smith v Bush  [1990] 1 A.C. 831 only applies to ordinary residential property purchases and not to buy-to-let investments.     ... [More]