Procedure

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

Not “wrong in law” for judges to change transcripts

Signing pen document

It is not “wrong in law” for judges to amend transcripts of judgments to better explain the reasons behind their decisions, the High Court has held. It said judges “may properly be asked to clarify or amplify the reasons originally given in a judgment” even after delivery of that judgment.

May 19th, 2017

Hot-tubbing of experts should not be “forced on unwilling parties”

Courthouse

The giving of concurrent evidence by expert witnesses or ‘hot-tubbing’ should not be “forced on unwilling parties,” a sub-committee of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has advised. The rule committee agreed with this and has asked it to draft rule changes that would nonetheless promote the practice.

May 18th, 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

Fixed-cost plans for clinical negligence “will prevent many cases being brought”, CJC warns

surgeons

Government plans to impose fixed costs on clinical negligence cases worth up to £25,000 “will prevent many cases being brought”, the Civil Justice Council has warned. The CJC said it was particularly concerned that the new regime for experts “may indeed prove to be a barrier to access to justice”.

May 11th, 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

Insurer loses bid to appeal indemnity costs issue in unusual case where expert agreed to cover its costs

coins

An insurer has failed to convince a judge that a medical expert who agreed to cover its costs in a whiplash case should be ordered to pay on the indemnity basis. Ageas Insurance appealed against the ruling at Liverpool County Court, but the appeal was rejected by the High Court.

May 9th, 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

Brexit will have “beneficial effect” on arbitration, Lord Chief Justice predicts

Lord Thomas_crop

There is a “strong case” that Brexit will have a “beneficial effect” on arbitration in England and Wales, the Lord Chief Justice has predicted. Lord Thomas said it was “quite wrong” to suggest that Brexit made the law of the UK uncertain, and argued that it “will have no effect on London’s key strengths”.

April 26th, 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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