Rule committee declines to consider contempt question over solicitors who act on fraudulent claims

Mr Justice Warby

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has rejected a High Court judge’s suggestion that it consider whether solicitors who sign statements of truth on behalf of fraudulent clients could be held in contempt of court. Mr Justice Warby said the rules were not clear on whether this was possible.

March 13th, 2018

Supreme Court: No dispensation for LiPs in complying with rules and orders

Lord Sumption

A lack of representation may mean that litigants in person (LiPs) are afforded some latitude in case management decisions and in hearings, but it will “not usually justify” applying a lower standard of compliance with rules or court orders, the Supreme Court said today.

February 21st, 2018

Court of Appeal castigates judge who thought litigant with severe depression was “putting on act”

Gloster LJ

A senior circuit judge who “clearly thought” that a litigant with severe depression was “putting on an act” has been strongly attacked by the vice-president of the civil division of the Court of Appeal. Lady Justice Gloster said the judge “did not explain why he felt able to reject the doctor’s view” of the “plainly ill” litigant.

February 15th, 2018

CPRC backs rule changes to ensure courts sit in public

Private Sign on a Door

The Civil Procedure Rules Committee has backed rule changes to ensure that courts sit in public “irrespective of the parties’ consent” unless certain strict conditions are met. Its open justice subcommittee said there was no “right” to a private hearing, for example where personal finances were being discussed, and a “change of culture” was needed.

February 13th, 2018

Regional “ethos” of Business & Property Courts on show as Bristol judge refuses London transfer

Business & Property Courts Rolls Building

The focus of the new Business & Property Courts structure on keeping cases in the regions and not transferring them to London unless necessary has seen a judge in Bristol refuse an application to move a piece of group litigation to the capital.

February 1st, 2018

Claimant who boosted injuries claim over £1m withdraws in face of fundamental dishonesty plea

Matthew Perkins Keoghs

An injured motorcyclist who went through what turned out to be unnecessary operations to bolster his £1m-plus claim has dropped his case altogether after the defendant insurer found that he was not as badly hurt as he portrayed.

January 30th, 2018

High Court rejects BBC’s bid to move Paradise Papers case to media list

BBC Broadcasting House

Offshore law firm Appleby has won the first skirmish in its case against the BBC and The Guardian newspaper over the ‘Paradise Papers’ leak, after the High Court refused the defendants’ bid to move the case from the Chancery Division to the media and communications list.

January 29th, 2018

Top barristers who refuse to become judges “will destroy infrastructure”, warns Vos

Sir Geoffrey Vos

Commercial barristers “of the highest quality” who refuse to become judges will “destroy the very infrastructure that has allowed them to prosper”, the chancellor of the High Court has warned. Sir Geoffrey Vos noted the salary gap between judges and leading commercial lawyers, but said judicial salaries were still good.

January 25th, 2018

High Court on ‘fundamental dishonesty’ – it must have a “substantial affect” on case


A personal injury claimant’s dishonest actions must “substantially affect” the presentation of his case if the court is to make a finding of ‘fundamental dishonesty’, the High Court has ruled. It is the first authoritative guidance from the higher courts on what amounts to fundamental dishonesty in the context of section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

January 22nd, 2018

Defendants “dragging their heels” in hope of discount rate change

Trevor Ward Fletchers

Defendants are dragging their heels in anticipation of the discount rate increasing, a medical negligence specialist has complained. He also warned fellow claimant lawyers that it would be “extremely dangerous” for them to settle at any rate other than the current -0.75%.

January 22nd, 2018


Here today, gone tomorrow

Andy Talbot Arag

In 2016, it was AU Insurance Services. Last summer, it was Elite Insurance Company. Already in 2018, New Zealand’s CBL Insurance Limited has collapsed, leaving Alpha Insurance A/S in solvent liquidation and run-off. Often, it seems, these failures impacting the legal expenses sector get associated with the after-the-event insurance market, somehow remote from the majority of brokers. But most legal expenses underwriters, wherever they are based, will have feet in both after- and before-the-event camps. The precise causes and circumstances of these failures (and the several others that have occurred in between them) may be very different, but they have all left brokers, other intermediaries and their clients in the lurch.

March 15th, 2018

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John M Hayes

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