pnBlawg

the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Relief From Sanctions - The Pendulum Swings

    Two decisions delivered shortly before Easter suggest a change in the direction of the Mitchell pendulum. Chartwell Estate Agents Ltd v Fergies Properties SA [2014] EWCA Civ 506 is a "must read" decision of the Court of Appeal. It concerns the failure to exchange witness statements. Both parties had failed to serve witness statements whilst a squabble about disclosure rumbled on... [More]

Equity Jurisidction of the County Court increased.

Ian Miller of this parish has already blogged about the creation of the “new” County Court http://www.piblawg.co.uk/post/2014/03/26/The-“Single”County-Court.aspx, pursuant to The High Court and County Court Jurisdiction (Amendment) Order 2014, but it is also noteworthy that the County Court Jurisdiction Order 2014 comes into force on 22 April 2014.  That order increase... [More]

SIlence is Not Golden

The Court of Appeal in PGF II SA v OMFS Co [2013] EWCA Civ 1288 considered the question of whether silence in the face of an invitation to mediate could ever be considered reasonable. C had brought proceedings against P for breaches of a tenant’s repairing covenants in respect of a commercial building.  C’s claim was for approximately £1.9 million and C made two Part 36 of... [More]

Mitchell revised?

A little light relief for Friday afternoon. A decision of Males J started doing the rounds last week:  Vivek Rattan v UBS AG, London Branch [2014] EWHC 665 (Comm). It is well worth a read, not least because it is short. The case concerned misselling (or as the Claimant put in its skeleton argument “misspelling”) of investments. The Claimant took the point that the Defendant&rsqu... [More]

Newcastle International Airport Ltd v Eversheds LLP - making sense of legalese

When faced with a complex legal document (the new procedural rules, being one example), it is often tempting to skim read and shrug off any incomprehensible sections, in the hope that they are not important. Newcastle International Airport Limited v Eversheds LLP ([2013] EWCA Civ 1514) demonstrates why it pays to press ahead – in a darkened room, with a wet towel over your head if needs be. ... [More]

Failure to serve Witness Statements on time – better late than never?

Mitchell is still providing a rich source of material for articles, and concern for those worried about being the subject of the next big professional negligence action…   Following on from Andrew’s post last week, I recently encountered the scenario where one party sought to vary a Court timetable of directions but it was not agreed.  Clearly, if the directions themselves... [More]

Professional negligence claims in the post-Mitchell era – a potential minefield

The tough approach to compliance with the CPR and court orders is really starting to bite and one result is bound to be more professional negligence claims where litigation has become derailed as a result of a party failing to comply and being refused relief. Following Mitchell v News Group [2013] EWAC Civ 1537, save where breaches are “trivial”, a party seeking relief faces a high h... [More]

Interest on Costs paid to Negligent Legal Representatives

The High Court recently provided litigants with some guidance as to the principle of a party claiming interest on costs paid to legal representatives in actions which are subsequently held to have been negligently conducted.   Surely, the principle that such a party should recover interest on the returned fees is sound in law, corresponding with such judgments as Lord Denning in  Jeffor... [More]

Contingencies, possibilities, probabilities and limitation.

   The question of when a cause of action arises can be difficult where the Claimant has entered into a transaction which gives rise to a contingency of a loss; is it when the transaction was entered or when the contingency arose? In claims for negligence the cause of action only arises when there is an actual loss. In Venulum Property Investments Limited v Space Architects and oth... [More]

The icing on the cake: proximity needed to establish a duty

  The Court of Appeal has just overturned a decision in which a surveyor was found jointly liable for personal injuries suffered by some members of the public who were struck by part of a shop sign which fell onto the pavement on Putney High Street. The Court has reversed the trial judge’s finding that the surveyor owed a duty of care to the injured claimants, stressing the need for p... [More]