Question of Ethics

Question of Ethics is supplied by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We publish one question a week, which will over time build into an invaluable resource on ethics issues. If you have a question you would like us to ask the SRA ethics team to answer, then e-mail us at

Eclipse announces new functionality to cater for the Precedent S Electronic Bill of Costs

Tracy Blencowe

Eclipse Legal Systems, the Law Society’s endorsed legal IT provider, has announced updated functionality in its Proclaim solution to enable firms to utilise the new Electronic Bill of Costs.

April 23rd, 2018

Court of Appeal finds way to apply fixed costs to EL case wrongly run outside portal

Lord Justice Coulson

A claimant who wrongly began and settled their claim for noise-induced hearing loss outside of the EL/PL protocol should be limited to fixed costs under the provisions that penalise poor conduct in costs, the Court of Appeal has ruled, after finding that neither the protocol nor rule 45.24 applied the fixed-costs regime in the circumstances.

April 23rd, 2018

Focus on persuading me, not drowning me in paper, Court of Appeal judge urges advocates

Lord Justice Irwin

A Court of Appeal judge has urged advocates to focus on persuading the judges in front of them and not drowning the court with “excessively long and complex” skeleton arguments, which he described as a “curse”. Sir Stephen Irwin said that this was one of the causes of “complexity and obscurity in the law”.

April 20th, 2018

Solicitors should go after other third-party capture insurers after Haven ruling, says Law Society

Law Society

The Law Society has encouraged solicitors to consider taking action against insurers who settled personal injury cases directly with their clients without paying their fees. It comes following yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the Court of Appeal ruling that Haven Insurance should pay Gavin Edmondson Solicitors what it was due.

April 19th, 2018

Solicitor rebuked and fined after misleading court and failing to make proper note of hearing

RCJ portrait

A solicitor has accepted a rebuke and a fine of £2,000, after a High Court judge found he had misled the court and failed to make a proper note of a hearing. In search of a freezing order over an investment scheme, he supplied the court with brochures purporting to prove the company was promoting the scheme, but actually they came from another company.

April 19th, 2018

Supreme Court upholds decision that third-party capture insurer still has to pay solicitors’ costs

Supreme Court sign

An insurance company that settled personal injury claims directly with the clients of a law firm has to pay the solicitors the costs they would have earned, the Supreme Court ruled today. Though it upheld the outcome of the Court of Appeal hearing, the court disagreed with the route taken to get there.

April 18th, 2018

High Court: claimant who gave “misleading impression” not fundamentally dishonest

Manchester Civil Justice Centre

A personal injury claimant who gave a “misleading impression” of his injuries was not fundamentally dishonest, the High Court has ruled. Mrs Justice Yip said that in finding that the man “had not established his claim for future care”, the trial judge was “not bound to find” he was dishonest.

April 18th, 2018

Government “to remove obstacles” to greater take-up of PPOs, says Keen

Lord Keen

The government will look to remove “avoidable obstacles” stopping the greater use of periodical payment orders, Ministry of Justice spokesman Lord Keen said yesterday. He also reassured claimant lawyers that the government “is fully committed to the 100% compensation principle”.

April 18th, 2018

SRA bans unqualified litigator from profession over costs claims

SRA reception sign

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has banned an unqualified litigator from working in the profession after trying to recover costs to which his firm was not entitled. The decision comes shortly after the owner of the Manchester law firm was himself suspended for three years by a disciplinary tribunal.

April 17th, 2018

Technology and case officers will make your lives better, Lord Chief Justice tells district judges

Lord Justice Burnett

The various pilots being run in the courts to test digital ways of working are already showing very positive signs, the Lord Chief Justice has revealed. But, speaking to Association of District Judges annual conference, Lord Burnett also acknowledged “the very real difficulties” its members faced.

April 17th, 2018


The increasing appetite for third-party funding in Europe

Ross Nicholls

Although investors in common law jurisdictions have for sometime recognised litigation as an asset worth investing in, litigation funding remains less prominent in the civil law jurisdictions of mainland Europe. However, the European appetite is beginning to shift in favour of litigation funding, and many large dedicated funds active in common law jurisdictions such as the US, UK and Australia are starting to provide third-party capital to claimants with strong cases.

April 10th, 2018