General

Judges “need neutral assistance” in commercial cases, says Lord Chief Justice

Lord Thomas_crop

The legal profession’s objections to judges having access to neutral assistance from a third party when facing specialist commercial or scientific matters in court need to be overcome, the Lord Chief Justice has said. He also revealed that the judiciary was “revisiting the rather neglected use of judges as arbitrators”.

May 19th, 2017

MDU calls on GPs to lobby election candidates over discount rate

CMT

The Medical Defence Union has launched a campaign called ‘Save General Practice’ to push for changes to the personal injury discount rate. The MDU called on doctors to raise the issue with election candidates. It was one of several responses to the government consultation that has recently closed.

May 17th, 2017

Sumption: Supreme Court pulling back from broad construction of contracts

Lord Sumption

Lord Sumption has called for a return to a more straightforward approach to how judges construct contracts that focuses on the words rather than trying to work out what the parties intended by looking at the surrounding circumstances.

May 16th, 2017

High Court rejects litigation privilege claim in test case

rcj 3

The High Court has rejected a mining company’s claim for litigation privilege in a test case which for the first time involves potential criminal, rather than civil, litigation. Accepting that the claimant believed an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office was imminent, Mrs Justice Andrews said such an investigation was not “adversarial litigation”.

May 10th, 2017

Top judge struggling to stem woman’s efforts to unseal Princess Margaret’s will

Princess Margaret credit David S Paton

There is no kind of order available to prevent a woman who claims to be the late Princess Margaret’s daughter from bringing repeated “nonsensical” claims in an effort to unseal her will, the president of the Family Division has found.

May 2nd, 2017

Former top judge sounds alarm over “flawed and rushed” discount rate consultation

Sir Henry Brooke

A former senior judge has expressed alarm at the way the government is rushing to “neutralise” the impact of the Lord Chancellor’s decision to cut the discount rate to -0.75%, based on what he says is a flawed consultation and without considering the effect on injured people.

April 6th, 2017

Competition tribunal rejects bid to throw out first opt-out class action application

Mr Justice Roth

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has rejected strenuous attempts to dismiss the first application to certify an opt-out class action under the new collective proceedings procedure. The tribunal said the fact that the impetus for the action came from the claimant’s solicitors was not objectionable

April 5th, 2017

Government delivers discount rate consultation and puts every issue in play

Liz Truss

The government today launched its promised consultation on how the discount rate should be set in the future, and has given just six weeks for responses. Among the questions is whether the rate should be set on the basis that claimants who opt for a lump sum over a periodical payments order should be assumed to be willing to take some risk.

March 30th, 2017

Katie Hopkins “too late” to ask trial judge for permission to appeal libel ruling

Mr Justice Warby

A High Court judge has refused newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins permission to appeal against his high-profile ruling that she had to pay £24,000 in damages over two libellous tweets, saying she applied too late. He indicated that he would not have granted permission anyway.

March 29th, 2017

Bar Council issues warning over plan for extended court sittings

BAR Council

Forthcoming plans for courts to start earlier and finish later will disadvantage barristers with children and do not take account of the cab-rank rule, the Bar Council has warned. The barristers’ body was making a pre-emptive strike on HM Courts and Tribunals Service proposals, expected next week

March 24th, 2017

Blog

Fixed recoverable costs: unfair and wrong in principle?

Alex Bagnall

Are fixed recoverable costs inevitable? On 11 November 2016 it was announced that Jackson LJ was to consult on the extension of fixed recoverable costs. That announcement was clear: those involved were to “look at options to extend fixed recoverable costs much more widely”; and to “develop proposals for extending the present fixed recoverable costs regime”. It was said that “the momentum is heavily for reform” and that the purpose of the review was to provide “opportunity for comments and submissions on the form and scope that reform should take”.

April 18th, 2017

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