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Implied retainer – duty of care?

Another reminder of the importance of having a clear retainer letter which sets out who the client is, and the scope of liability. This is particularly important if you are acting for a company – are you, or are you not, also acting for the individual directors?
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Free advice – friends

We have all given free advice to friends. The dangers of doing so are well illustrated by a recent case involving an architect.
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Accounts rules – client-to-client transfers

Rule 27.2 says that if a private loan is to be made by (or to) joint clients, the consent of each client must be obtained. Often, such instructions are made orally by a lender. But, it is important to get the written authority from both lender and borrower on the file.
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Professional – update

The Slater & Gordon saga rumbles on; the firm posted a loss of £492m for the half (!) year, largely because of the mess it made in buying the assets of Quindell [2016] LSG 7 March 1. Old hands will often suggest that the time to settle a claim with a law firm that is in financial strain is just before the end of the billing quarter or billing month – when staff are under enormous pressure to meet their targets.
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Web browser – Explorer

Microsoft’s web browser, Explorer, has always been regarded as somewhat clunky and insecure. Now, however, Microsoft has abandoned earlier versions and will only provide support for the most recent version (v11). Moreover, according to a recent report, some 60% of small and medium-sized businesses are using those older, unsupported, versions.

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Client care – ADR notice

The ADR directive requires law firms to provide ADR information to clients. Accordingly if you have not already amended your client care letter to include a reference to an ADR-approved body, you should do so immediately to avoid potential disciplinary action by the SRA.

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Professional – update

News that the AA has closed its legal business (largely PI) will surprise few [2016] LSG 25 January 4. Likewise, the news that Slater & Gordon is considering some office closures [2015] LSG 1 February 3. On the other hand, Burford (which claims to be one of the largest litigation funders in the world) has now been granted an ABS licence, which opens up the prospect of a litigation funder putting cash into its own law firm [2016] LSG 18 January 1. Also on the funding front, Cardiff-based Capital Law has set up its own litigation fund (apparently up to £50m) to offer direct finance to clients [2016] LSG 1 February 1.

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SDT – book

There is an excellent new book on SDT; it is extremely comprehensive and it contains many cases that are not available on the web. It has a practical bias and is highly recommended for anyone who has the misfortune to get involved in such proceedings. Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – Law and Practice (Nigel West and Susanna Heley; The Law Society; £125).

 

Retainer – unbundled services

Solicitors offering ‘unbundled’ services do not have a broader duty of care to their clients. Thus, solicitors can offer narrow, bespoke-defined services without having to worry about advising more generally.
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SRA – accountant’s report

The exemption from having to obtain an accountant’s report requires firms to assess at the end of the accounting period whether (i) the average (at least five-weekly) balance of client money they have held or received is less than, or equal to, £10,000, and (ii) the maximum aggregated total of client money held or received is less than, or equal to, £250,000.
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Page 7 of 32

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Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
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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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