General

High Court dismisses first test case in second wave of Mau Mau claims

RCJ portrait

The High Court has dismissed the first test case brought as part of a second wave of Mau Mau group litigation, following the British government’s settlement of over 5,000 claims for £19.9m in 2013. It said the government’s ability to defend itself had been “severely compromised” by the time taken by the claimant.

August 10th, 2018

Appeal judges take master to task for handing boxes of documents to non-party

The Right Honourable Lord Justice (Brian) Leveson of The Sentencing Council,

The Court of Appeal has strongly criticised a Queen’s Bench Master who allowed six boxes of court documents to be removed from the High Court by a non-party without notifying the defendant. However, it clarified the wide range of documents that could be inspected by a non-party.  

August 9th, 2018

Appeal judges refuse compensation for schizophrenic who killed mother

Sir Terence Etherton

The Court of Appeal has unanimously rejected a compensation claim brought by a schizophrenic woman who stabbed her mother to death. Elicia Henderson argued that Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust should pay substantial damages for negligence.

August 7th, 2018

Brexit already turning businesses away from resolving contract disputes in UK

Brexit Direction Sign

Brexit may result in a “substantial minority of businesses” changing from having their contractual disputes heard in the UK to being heard in EU courts, according to new research. Some 35% of businesses surveyed said they have already changed jurisdiction and choice of law clauses.

July 23rd, 2018

Lawyers could be forced to share notes of hearings with litigants in person

Lucy Frazer MP

A new rule giving judges the power to order lawyers to share notes of hearings with litigants in person is being proposed by the Ministry of Justice as part of its ‘open justice’ plans. Another new rule would put the parties under an explicit obligation to disclose to the other side communications with the court.

July 17th, 2018

Neuberger urges peers not to impose “straightjacket” on judicial delegation

Inaugural Harbour Litigation Funding Annual Lecture - 8 May 2013

Lord Neuberger, former president of the Supreme Court, has called on peers to reject restrictions on the ability of judges to delegate work under the Courts and Tribunals Bill. He was responding to renewed attacks on the bill by Baroness Chakrabarti, the shadow Attorney General.

July 17th, 2018

“No need” for judge who rejected permission to appeal to recuse herself from hearing

rcj 2

There was no need for a judge who rejected permission to appeal on paper to recuse herself from the full hearing, the Court of Appeal has ruled. It is the first the time the Court of Appeal has been asked to consider the possibility of apparent bias in relation to an appeal heard by a single judge.

July 12th, 2018

Claim against law firm within limitation period despite “unconnected” abuse of process

rcj 3

A professional negligence claim was brought within the limitation period despite an “unconnected” abuse of process over the court fee paid, the High Court has held. Providing an incorrect statement of value on the claim form “for tactical reasons” was abuse, but not “sufficiently egregious” for the claim to be struck out.

July 11th, 2018

Five new judges for High Court but spaces still to fill

Sarah Falk

The first five of 10 new High Court judges were announced yesterday – including two solicitors from magic circle law firms – but the Judicial Appointments Commission was unable to find enough candidates of sufficient quality among the 52 who applied to fill all the vacancies on the bench.

July 10th, 2018

Burnett calls for urgent action over shortage of High Court judges

Lord Burnett

There is an “urgent need to act now” to make the High Court bench an attractive destination for lawyers as it struggles with fewer judges than it should have, the Lord Chief Justice said yesterday. The High Court’s statutory complement is 108 but currently there are only 93 judges.

July 5th, 2018

Blog

QOCS and multiple defendants – why both sides need to be wary

Chris McClure

The recent case of Cartwright v Venduct Engineering Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 1654 represents a very interesting development in the interpretation of rule 44.14. The question before the Court of Appeal was this: where, in a matter to which QOCS applies, a claimant has brought an action against multiple defendants, is a successful defendant entitled to enforce a costs award in its favour against damages recovered by the claimant from an unsuccessful defendant?

August 16th, 2018

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