Procedure

Failure to pay correct court fee not an abuse of process

coins

The Court of Appeal has refused to consider a circuit judge ruling which held that failure by a solicitor to correctly value a personal injury claim and pay the right court fee did not amount to an abuse of process. The solicitor valued the case at £50,000 or less, before seeking to change the damages claimed to over £500,000.

June 20th, 2017

Judge warns of costs sanctions for parties that drowned him in skeletons and bundles

The pile of file binder with papers

A High Court judge has described as “absurd” the conduct of parties in an employment dispute that produced thousands of pages in bundles – but only referred to 100 of them – and skeleton arguments more than seven times the expected length. Mr Justice Garnham warned that he was likely to penalise them in costs.

June 14th, 2017

Firms leading huge VW emissions scandal claim forge links with European counterparts

Volkswagen logo

The law firms running a huge group action against Volkswagen over the car emissions scandal have joined forces with a Dutch organisation that yesterday launched proceedings against VW in the Netherlands, as part of efforts by claimant firms across Europe to co-ordinate their actions.

June 14th, 2017

Silk takes over as new chairman of Expert Witness Institute

Martin Spencer QC 2

The Expert Witness Institute has appointed leading clinical negligence specialist Martin Spencer QC as its new chair of governors. He replaces the Sir Anthony Hooper, who completed his four-year tenure at the institute’s AGM last month.

June 13th, 2017

First opt-out class action withdrawn after damages found to be insufficient

Mr Justice Roth

The first attempt to bring an opt-out class action has failed after a decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal that meant the claim would not be worth enough money to proceed. It will nonetheless help others bringing class actions, including the finding that the fact the impetus for the case came from the solicitors was not objectionable.

June 5th, 2017

Appeal court judge outlines hesitation at penalising parties who shun mediation

Courthouse

Litigants who shun mediation because they want their day in court should not be penalised for their conduct, a Court of Appeal judge has suggested. The comments by Lord Justice Patten fly in the face of the generally harder line taken in recent times by the senior courts on those who unreasonably refuse to mediate.

May 25th, 2017

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

Blog

Formal regulation – a price worth paying for third-party funders

Christopher Deadman 2

The comments by Lord Faulks QC last week that third-party litigation funding is “in danger of undermining the integrity of our much-admired legal system”, has been met with predictable howls of derision by those involved in the industry. The issue of statutory regulation or licensing has been on the agenda for a while but the creation of the Association of Litigation Funders, with its voluntary code of conduct has gone some way to persuading the Ministry of Justice (before the election, at least) that this is not necessary for the time being.

June 13th, 2017

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