General

High Court overturns security for costs order against chief’s son

City of Lagos, Nigeria

The High Court has allowed an appeal by a son of a Nigerian chief against a security for costs order made against him. Mr Justice Newey overturned a recorder’s ruling that Clifford Chuku, one of the 37 children of Chief Friday Chuku, did not live in this jurisdiction and could be treated as a “nominal claimant”.

March 21st, 2017

High Court orders solicitors to cease acting for client

Piles of files

The High Court has ordered international law firm Dechert to cease acting for the principal creditor of a Russian businessman because it is also acting for his trustees in bankruptcy and has access to thousands of documents that are covered by legal professional privilege.

May 9th, 2016

CA: Courts must consider “all the circumstances” before imposing part 36 penalties

RCJ portrait

Courts must consider “all the circumstances” before deciding whether it would be unjust to impose costs penalties on claimants who fail to beat offers made under part 36, appeal judges have ruled. Lady Justice Arden said a “subsidiary purpose” of part 36 was to prevent injustice.

January 5th, 2016

Government decides against doubling court fee cap but gives green light to general increase

Shailesh Vara 2

The government has decided against doubling the maximum court fee cap to £20,000, but is to press ahead with its planned 10% increase in court fees across the range of civil proceedings.

December 17th, 2015

Privatised systems of justice mean “the law can ossify”, LCJ warns

Lord Thomas_crop

Privatised systems of justice, such as arbitration, can result in situations where the “law can ossify” and democracy is undermined, the Lord Chief Justice has warned. Lord Thomas said that “many have felt” that the restrictions on the right to appeal decisions of commercial arbitrators were “too tight”.

November 20th, 2015

Tribunals president urges web-based “expansion of justice” and rationalisation of judiciary

Lord Justice Ryder

The courts should embrace IT and the internet in ways that improve access to justice and make scarce resources go further, if the values embodied in Magna Carta are to be realised, according to a senior judge.

November 17th, 2015

“I don’t see how a dog could give instructions,” says judge as he throws out case

Beware of dog lo res

A litigant in person’s bid to sue HSBC and their solicitors Shoosmiths on behalf of two dogs has led the High Court to describe her as “one of those very rare litigants” against whom a two-year general civil restraint order had to be made.

November 16th, 2015

Judge calls for fast-track civil contempt procedure after application is stymied by criminal trial

Red London bus

A claimant found to have brought a bogus personal injury claim – but then cleared of fraud in the Crown Court – can only face civil contempt proceedings if there is new evidence, the High Court has ruled. The judge instead urged the Civil Procedure Rule Committee to consider creating a fast-track procedure.

November 4th, 2015

“Typical claimant” is male, self-employed, Asian and aged over 45, major MoJ survey finds

Courthouse

The “typical claimant” in a civil court case is male, self-employed, Asian, healthy and aged over 45, a major survey for the Ministry of Justice has found. Many found court fees “more than expected”.

November 2nd, 2015

Companies can be represented by McKenzie Friends, High Court decides

RCJ portrait

Companies can be represented in court by McKenzie Friends, under rights of audience granted in exceptional circumstances, the High Court has decided. Mr Justice Hildyard said “no authority has been found” on the issue.

October 30th, 2015

Blog

Proportionality – not just a matter for detailed assessment

Stack of documents and papers

Proportionality is one of the major issues that we find we are dealing with at the end of a matter, particularly in the small-to-medium-value claims. Why was it introduced? It was considered that the then existing system was not working and that a system needed to be put in place which would “promote access to justice at proportionate cost”. In 2009, Court of Appeal judge Sir Anthony May said: “Assessments which have to concentrate retrospectively on what the winning party has spent will always risk producing a disproportionate result.”

March 29th, 2017

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John M Hayes

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