General

Asbestos documents must be disclosed to pressure group, High Court rules

RCJ portrait

A huge collection of documents, including “those relating to the history and development of knowledge in the 20th Century about the risks of asbestos”, must be disclosed to the public, the High Court has ruled. It said a man who made the application on behalf of an asbestos victims’ support group had a “legitimate interest” in the documents.

December 13th, 2017

Solicitors “at risk of contempt finding” by signing statement of truth in bogus claims, judge warns

Mr Justice Warby

The High Court has raised the prospect of solicitors who sign statements of truth on behalf of fraudulent clients being held in contempt of court. Mr Justice Warby suggested that the Civil Procedure Rule Committee should look at the issue.

December 7th, 2017

Leading judge warns litigants not to start playing games over “minor procedural glitches”

Mr Justice Coulson

The incoming deputy head of civil justice has warned parties not to abuse the courts’ tougher approach to rule compliance. Mr Justice Coulson said applications based on “minor procedural glitches” were on the rise, having all but dried up following the 2014 ruling in Denton.

November 28th, 2017

Sumption deprecates fault-based liability for PI claims and predicts statutory damages

Lord Sumption 2

Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption has outlined his dislike of fault-based liability for personal injury claims but admitted it is unlikely to be replaced by a no-fault system. However, he predicted that the principle of full indemnity would be abolished and replaced by a statutory measure of damages.

November 21st, 2017

New rule to emphasise that no Business & Property Courts case is “to big to be heard outside London”

Business & Property Courts Rolls Building

There is to be a new part of the Civil Procedure Rules to deal with the launch of the Business and Property Courts to emphasise that no case is too big to be tried outside London, it has been decided. The Chancellor of the High Court said the idea was to have “a critical mass of specialist judges in each regional centre.

November 20th, 2017

Fixing hearings around barristers’ diaries “fundamentally the wrong approach”, judge says

rcj 2

A High Court judge has said that fixing trial hearings in a complex group litigation case “around the diaries of busy counsel” was “fundamentally the wrong approach”. Mr Justice Fraser also warned of “draconian costs orders” if legal advisers continued to behave badly

November 15th, 2017

Defendant granted relief even though its solicitor lied about breach

surgeons

A circuit judge has narrowly decided to grant relief from sanctions in a case where the defendant solicitor lied that documents had been sent in time when they had not. He said he was “just prepared to accept that human error amounts to a good reason in this case” after the firm said that was the real reason for the default.

November 13th, 2017

An end to private hearing deals and unilateral emails to court: CPRC to strengthen open justice

No entry sign

A default position that all court hearings should be conducted in public, and parties and witnesses named, is under consideration by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee as part of a push to emphasise the importance of open justice, it has emerged.

November 7th, 2017

HMCTS back-office consolidation sparks union warning over impact of digitisation

Dominic Raab

Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent have been chosen to house the country’s first Courts & Tribunals Service Centres, but a decision also to centralise the collection of criminal fines has sparked a warning from the Public and Commercial Services Union about the wider impact of court modernisation on staff.

November 6th, 2017

Court allows defendant to ditch settlement reached three days before discount rate change

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The High Court has upheld the right of a defendant in a personal injury claim to resile from a settlement agreement made three days before the discount rate was cut earlier this year. As the claimant was a protected party, the compromise of the action was not binding as it had yet to be approved by the court.

November 3rd, 2017

Blog

All I want for Christmas is…

Stack of documents and papers

This is my valedictory blog for 2017. I am grateful to my loyal reader for enduring the polluted flushings of my diseased mind over the past six months. It has been fun to write and I hope that I have given the reader an insight into the world of a litigation flaneur. Before I bid you happy holidays, I would like to share with you my two wishes for Christmas. For the avoidance of doubt, these relate to litigation finance and not my personal desires, which include a solid gold house, rocket shoes and the power to become invisible at will.

December 12th, 2017

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