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PII – SRA?

There is no doubt that many solicitors feel Leigh Day has been harshly treated by the SRA in its disastrous attempt to bring 19 charges before the SDT over the firm’s Iraqi claims.

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SIF – closes 2020!

Apparently, only one-third of all solicitors are aware that the Solicitors Indemnity Fund closes in 2020.

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Services – digital or non-digital?

We all know there are numerous EU directives on e-commerce and the ‘information society’. But, what services are subject to those provisions, and which are outside the information society (and thus subject to local rules)?

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Professional – update

Leigh Day has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the SDT (although that decision seems to have generated far less press coverage than the proceedings against them). A finding against the firm would have had serious implications for the future of public interest litigation. See [2017] LSG 19 June 4.

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Shiner – duty of candour

The striking off of Phil Shiner attracted considerable publicity. As is well known, he actively pursued legal claims against British soldiers who were alleged to have tortured and killed Iraqi civilians.

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SRA – integrity or dishonesty?

From a professional conduct point of view is there any difference between ‘dishonesty’ and a ‘lack of integrity’? In fact, the distinction is very important – traditionally, ‘dishonesty’ involves a subjective element, whereas ‘integrity’ is purely objective.

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‘The file’ – guidance

The Law Society has published new guidance on what a solicitor should do when a client requests a copy of the file. Needless to say, some documents will belong to the solicitors, and those do not need to be handed over. As a result, solicitors should not feel pressurised into handing over the whole file merely because it has been requested by the client; moreover, it should not be forgotten that the pre-action protocol for professional negligence expressly prohibits fishing expeditions (which will often be what these are).

The Law Society advice is:

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Professional indemnity – ‘aggregation’

The Supreme Court has handed down an important decision on ‘aggregation’ claims in the SRA minimum terms and conditions. In essence, the Supreme Court has emphasised that each case is fact-specific, but for claims to be aggregated it must be shown that they ‘in some way fit together’.

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Accounts – three-way reconciliation

A three-way reconciliation is a comparison between the balance of client money shown in the firm’s cashbook, the bank statements, and the matter balance listing. Most accounting software packages will compare the cashbook balance and the bank statements as part and parcel of the standard bank reconciliation, but many packages then fail to undertake the third step (ie the matter balance listing).

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Partners – gender disparities

Mandatory reporting of earnings disparities between men and women will apply to law firms with more than 250 staff. The comparison between male and female earnings will only apply to salaried (not equity) partners but could lead to embarrassment for some of the larger firms.

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Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references: Read more...

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