pnBlawg

the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Costs budgets and professional negligence claims

 Many lawyers are no doubt wondering how the new costs rules, particularly those as to costs budgets, will affect litigation in the future. The recent decision of Mr Justice Coulson in the Willis v MRJ Rundell & Associates Ltd & Anor [2013] EWHC 2923 (TCC) provides some helpful pointers.  The case, which was run under the costs management pilot in the TCC, involved a £1.1m ... [More]

Flagrant misconduct by trial Counsel

The outgoing Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, lobbed a live grenade into the lap of one barrister in a Court of Appeal judgment on Monday, accusing Counsel concerned of “flagrant misconduct and alleged professional incompetence” in the opening sentence of the judgment.  Three men convicted of offences under the Terrorism Act 2006 appealed to the CA.  One of them, Farooqi, c... [More]

When should the alarm bells ring?

It is just over 6 years since the run on the Northern Rock bank. It is getting too late for anyone bringing a professional negligence claim in respect of their pre-crash investment decisions to rely on the primary limitation periods. There is section 14A of the Limitation Act 1980 of course. This week’s Estates Gazette ((2013) 39 EG 97) contains a useful article by Charlotte Bijani of Nort... [More]

You're Unbelievable

Ever been tempted to apply for summary judgment on the basis that an opponent’s expert's evidence is not credible? This is what happened in Corma Inc v Hegler Plastik GMBH [2013] EWHC 2820 (Pat). Depsite having read this Patent Court case I am still not quite sure how a device for producing a double-walled thermoplastic pipe with integral pipe bell works. The trouble was that neithe... [More]

The Return of the Omni Ombudsman

Our regular readers will recall that we recently blogged about the Legal Ombudsman’s interest in providing redress for clients of non-legal professionals. This is not the only area where LeO's domain may expand. The Legal Services Consumer Panel reported last year that non-client third parties should have a right of redress from LeO. The Panel has since looked into the  2,184 comp... [More]

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]