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Procedure

Ceasing to act – permission?

Suppose you validly terminate the retainer with the client. Do you still owe duties to the court (eg to incur costs and represent the client) until such time as the court gives you permission to withdraw?

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Debt claims – Protocol 13

Protocol 13 (in force since October 2017) provides extra administrative hoops for creditors to jump through before starting court proceedings.

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Business – Shorter Trials Scheme

The Shorter Trials Scheme has been described as ‘litigation for adults’. It has been used in the Rolls Building since October 2015 (Practice Direction 51N applies).

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Part 36 offer – vary or withdraw?

Be wary of withdrawing a Part 36 offer. It will usually be better to vary or change the offer.

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FTT – appeals

The time limit for appealing an FTT decision is 28 days from when ‘the tribunal’ sends notification of its decision, or the written reasons.

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Defamation – ‘serious harm’

The common law tests for defamation are very broad, and that is why England was – until recently – known as the defamation capital of the world.

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Security for costs – ATE insurance?

An insolvent (or impecunious) claimant may well take out an ATE insurance policy to cover the potential costs liability in their claim. The alternative would be to face a security for costs application, and then have to pay cash into court or produce a bank guarantee. It was thought that a valid ATE policy would suffice, and therefore defeat a security for costs claim. However, the CA, in an important decision, has held that that is not the case.

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Litigation funders – cap on costs?

For many years, litigation funders have been able to claim a cap on their costs liability. This dates from Arkin [2005] in which the costs liability was capped at the amount invested by the funder. In that case, the funder had invested £1.3m to cover the costs of expert evidence, but the overall unpaid costs were £6m. It was held that the maximum costs liability was £1.3m.

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CFA – transferrable

A solicitor’s retainer under a CFA can be validly transferred from one law firm to another.

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Malicious prosecution – civil claim?

We always think of malicious prosecution in terms of criminal cases. But, what is the position with civil claims? Is it right to leave a defendant without redress if they have been sued by a claimant who acted maliciously, or on the basis of a legitimate purpose (eg fraud)?

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Disputed will – guidance; procedure
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What should you do if asked for correspondence and other documents in relation to a will you prepared for a client who has since died?  Read more...
MoJ – IT meltdown
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Many litigators are no doubt all too aware of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) January 2019 IT failures that hit the delivery of frontline legal services in some courts.  Read more...
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The SC has widened the scope of the service of statutory notices. Read more...
Part 36 offers – appropriate
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Part 36 of the CPR allows a claimant or defendant to make an offer of settlement before trial. If the offer is not accepted and the opposing party does not meet the offer at trial, the court may... Read more...
Noise nuisance – liability?
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A recent High Court decision has confirmed that L is not liable for nuisance caused by its T merely because L does not take steps available to prevent the cause of the nuisance, even when L knows... Read more...
RICS – service charges
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We noted the RICS Code of Practice on service charges in our October 2018 issue, p19; the ‘Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)’ comes into force on 1 April 2019. Read more...
Notice of severance – rectification?
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A recent case reminds practitioners of the importance of ensuring that a notice of severance accurately records all of the titles intended to be severed. Read more...
Children – parental responsibility; removal of
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In what circumstances might the court order the removal of PR from the father? The author comments on a recent case which involved a unique set of circumstances justifying the removal of PR.  Read more...
Incompetence – not discrimination
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The CA has held that an incompetent process does not amount to discrimination. Read more...
Sentencing – contempt of court
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The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in relation to a claimant remanded to prison overnight for discussing evidence in a civil case.  Read more...

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