News

“Panicked” solicitor suspended for signing witness statements himself

Signature

A sole practitioner with over 35 years’ experience has been suspended from practice for nine months after signing witness statements himself and attempting to mislead the court. He ran out of time to meet a court deadline, “panicked” and wrote in the signatures of his claimant client and two witnesses.

October 13th, 2017

Ministry of Justice “set to repeat mistakes of LASPO”, warns MASS chairman

MASS conference and 25th anniversary dinner

LASPO has not brought down insurance premiums, stopped referral fees or seen accident victims benefit from the promised 10% uplift in damages, and the Ministry of Justice is set to repeat its mistakes in the Civil Liability Bill, the chairman of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society claimed yesterday.

October 12th, 2017

Hunt unveils plan to provide state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs

Jeremy Hunt

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt today announced plans to develop a state-backed indemnity scheme for general practitioners (GPs) in England. He said the aim was to deliver “a more stable and more affordable system for GPs and their patients” that could cover future and, potentially, historic claims arising from the delivery of NHS services.

October 12th, 2017

Regan: £250,000 threshold for High Court cases on the way

Dominic Regan

The senior judiciary is making progress towards introducing a £250,000 threshold for cases that are eligible to be heard in the High Court, Professor Dominic Regan has claimed. However, there are contradictory views on the enthusiasm of the Ministry of Justice for Lord Justice Jackson’s proposed extension of fixed recoverable costs.

October 11th, 2017

High Court denies claimants relief from sanctions after “serious and substantial default”

RCJ portrait

The High Court has rejected an application for relief from sanctions from claimants found to be in “serious and substantial” default by serving their particulars of claims three months late. A deputy Chancery master said the claimants had provided “inadequate reason for the breaches”.

October 10th, 2017

Regional costs judge reverses position on part 36 offers in fixed-costs cases

Judicial Roundtable

A regional costs judge has concluded that he was wrong to rule in a previous case that late acceptance of a part 36 offer automatically entitled the claimant to an award of indemnity costs, and thus provided an escape route out of fixed costs.

October 9th, 2017

Thinktank report urges “ultimate” form of no-fault compensation for clinical negligence

Dr Paul Goldsmith

The current system for assessing and paying medical negligence claims is “expensive, unsustainable and can cause more harm than good”, according to a report published by the Centre for Policy Studies that said it should be replaced by no-fault compensation.

October 9th, 2017

Six-month warning – lawyers told they cannot ignore electronic bill of costs

Alex Hutton QC

Practitioners have been warned that they can no longer ignore the electronic bill of costs, which now seems certain to become mandatory in the Senior Courts Costs Office and county courts on 6 April 2018. Though it was initially due to become compulsory this week, a leading figure from the project said there would be no further delay.

October 5th, 2017

Competition Appeal Tribunal decision to refuse biggest-ever class action “not susceptible to appeal”

Mr Justice Roth

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has refused solicitor Walter Merricks permission to appeal its decision to deny him a collective proceedings order to bring a £14bn action against Mastercard on behalf of 46m people. It said there was no right to appeal the decision, and even if there was, it would have refused permission.

October 4th, 2017

Gone but not forgotten – Asons ordered to pay costs after running case without claimant’s knowledge

Asons office 4

The now-defunct law firm Asons, together with the director of a one-time claims management company, have been ordered to pay £40,000 in costs to insurer LV= over a bogus whiplash claim. They judge described the former Bolton firm’s conduct as “improper, unreasonable and negligent” in taking on the claim without verifying that the claimant was genuinely providing instructions.

October 4th, 2017

High Court questions growing use of standstill agreements

Business & Property Courts Rolls Building

The High Court has questioned the growing use of standstill agreements in litigation, saying they are “potentially just another self-inflicted complication” when it would be simpler to apply for a stay. Mr Justice Coulson said he did not understand why they had become more common.

October 3rd, 2017

Strong support from UK public for consumer class actions, while half back third-party funding

European Commission

There is strong public support for collective consumer actions in the UK, new research has found, although most want it, and any third-party litigation funding that supports a case, to be subject to controls – many of which already exist here.

October 3rd, 2017

Third-party funder backs major potential claim against patent renewal business

Jersey

The London office of an American law firm, together with a Jersey firm, have secured litigation finance to investigate and possibly sue CPA Global over alleged systematic and widespread overcharging of clients for patent renewal services.

October 2nd, 2017

Supreme Court to hear appeal against defective service ruling in law firm negligence case

Supreme Court night

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal in November by a litigant in person over the defective service of a negligence claim against a Midlands law firm, it has been confirmed. The Court of Appeal agreed with Wright Hassall last spring that the litigant’s service of a claim form as an attachment to an email could not be regarded as good service.

September 29th, 2017

Exclusive: Law firms face off in High Court over lead solicitor role for VW group action

Volkswagen logo

Two law firms are in the High Court this week, battling it out to be named the lead solicitors in the group action being taken over the Volkswagen emissions scandal, Litigation Futures can reveal. The face-off comes ahead of a hearing next month on whether to grant a group litigation order in the case.

September 28th, 2017

Blog

Hands up who knows what litigation financiers sell?

A#1000

If your answer was ‘money’, you would be correct but sadly out of step with the prevailing thinking. If, however, you asked some other litigation financiers the same question, you would very likely receive answers like ‘project management skills’, or ‘an experienced litigation partner’. Whilst none of these answers are wrong per se, they do rather miss the point of why lawyers and clients engage with funders. Experienced and successful litigators do not want the views of litigation financiers on how to project manage their litigation – they want access to their cash pure and simple.

October 19th, 2017

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John M Hayes

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