the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Scullion appeal abandoned

News reaches us that Mr Scullion abandoned his appeal to the Supreme Court the day it was due to be heard.  This means that the law remains as set out by the Court of Appeal [2011] EWCA Civ 693 - that is to say, that the principle in Smith v Bush  [1990] 1 A.C. 831 only applies to ordinary residential property purchases and not to buy-to-let investments.     ... [More]

LASPO - not joining the dots

It has been two weeks since the legal aid provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) came into force on 1 April 2013. More of a whimper than a bang on an inauspicious day. Will LASPO achieve its objectives: to reduce the legal aid bill and reduce the number of claimants who use court as a first resort. The first aim is likely to be achieved given t... [More]

Re-visiting Pilkington v Wood [1953] Ch 770 in light of qualified one-way costs shifting

It is still far too early to know precisely what effect the Jackson reforms relating to costs in personal injury cases will have on professional negligence claims. Given the extent of the changes they are undoubtedly going to spawn a number of claims against solicitors for not using the rules to best advantage. But I would like to raise a different point, which is the extent to which qualified o... [More]

Conflicting medical evidence: solicitors' duties in CICA claims

In Boyle v Thompsons Solicitors [2012] EWHC 36 (QB) Mr Justice Coulson considered the scope of a solicitor’s duty in resolving conflicts of expert medical evidence. The claimant (“Mrs B”) claimed damages from the defendant solicitors (“the Solicitors”) for their allegedly negligent conduct of her compensation claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (&ldq... [More]

Lawyers' liability for costs

  A recent decision of Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart in the Technology And Construction Court (“TCC”) in Webb Resolutions Ltd v JV Ltd t/a Shepherd Chartered Surveyors [2013] EWHC 509 (TCC) considers lawyers’ obligations when drawing up court orders. The Claimants were assignees of a centralised mortgage lender suing the Defendant surveyors in respect of three allegedly negligen... [More]

Complaints against lawyers – The Legal Ombudsman Scheme 2013

  The First of April might appear a foolish day to write about the Legal Ombudsman Scheme.  It is not new, but it is steadily gaining in popularity.  Since 2007, the scheme has been administered by the Office for Legal Complaints.  This free scheme is being expanded – up to £50,000 could now be awarded by way of ‘compensation’ – and therefore could... [More]

Engineers liable for market fall

    The claimant company (“JGPL”) in John Grimes Partnership Ltd v Gubbins [2013] EWCA Civ 37 provided consulting engineering services. It was engaged by Mr Gubbins, a farmer and property developer, to design a road and drainage scheme for his residential development and to obtain the necessary statutory approval by March 2007.  JGPL failed to complete its work by t... [More]

Judicial snipe

If you want some entertaining reading for Easter, have a look at the judgment Sir Alan Ward delivered yesterday in Wright v. Michael Wright Supplies Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ. 234.  He bemoans the increase in the number of cases conducted by litigants in person and has a pop at the politicians for withdrawing legal aid from so many.  There is no eventual saving in cost to t... [More]

Claims against solicitors and the “new” CPR 3.9

CPR 3.9 ‘Relief from Sanctions’ is being entirely reformed. From the 1st April 2013, gone will be the checklist which is to be replaced by a much broader discretion as to whether to grant relief, with the judge specifically referred to the need for litigation to be conducted efficiently, at proportionate cost, and with a need to enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and or... [More]

The Supreme Court of Ireland reviews SAAMCo

In the Republic of Ireland this week the Supreme Court is being asked to consider one of the country’s largest lender cases of recent years: KBC Bank Ireland Plc v BCM Hanby Wallace (   In March 2012 Mr Justice McGovern held that the Defendant firm of solicitors had not merely breached its duty in not ... [More]