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Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

Firms ponder 'City specific' training to prepare for 'super-exam'

Sat, 10/20/2018 - 11:00

Toolkit poses questions for City firms ahead of Solicitors Qualifying Examination rollout.

Civil Liability Bill: Labour makes final pitch for £1,500 small claims limit

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 12:36

Amendments tabled ahead of crucial Commons vote next Tuesday.

Leigh Day in the clear as High Court throws out SRA appeal

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 10:36

Ruling likely to bring an end to epic prosecution over Iraqi claims which has cost at least £9m so far.

Breaking: Leigh Day cleared in High Court as SRA appeal fails

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 10:36

Ruling likely to bring an end to epic prosecution which has cost at least £9m so far.

Judges hearing traumatic cases to get extra emotional support

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 10:12

Professional support service has been designed to help judges before, during and after proceedings.

'Drunk' women face harsher sentences than men, research claims

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 02:01

University of Liverpool studied sentencing outcomes when intoxication taken into account.

Another judge sanctioned over 'serious delay' in producing judgment

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 01:02

Formal advice issued days after another judge was sanctioned after a similar complaint was made.

Solicitors celebrated at glittering Excellence Awards evening

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 16:34

Law Society’s annual awards recognised achievements of solicitors and firms - and the Secret Barrister.

No deal Brexit opens potential £840m black hole in legal sector

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:29

Two reports show respondents increasingly wary of departing Brexit negotiaitons without a deal.

Home Office asks lawyers to help simplify immigration letters

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:18

Government acknowledges that the current system is complex and can be difficult to navigate.

Veteran solicitor struck off after failing to take out insurance for 12 years

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 11:00

Peter Rollin also failed to get SRA authorisation to operate as a sole practitioner.

Judge berates aggressive litigation tactics 'from an earlier era'

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:30

Legal advisers for the parties 'regularly give the appearance of taking turns to outdo their opponents in terms of lack of cooperation’.

Government told to 'wake up' over family law chaos post-Brexit

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 06:00

House of Lords EU committee tells David Gauke that vulnerable children will be the victims of family justice uncertainty.

Disclosure reforms will 'change the culture' - Gloster

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 17:31

Far-reaching reforms being piloted next year will bring about a much needed ‘change in culture’ in relation to disclosure, Dame Elizabeth Gloster told the Law Society’s commercial litigation conference yesterday.

Gloster, who chaired the working group responsible for the changes, said the current rules made wide-ranging disclosure available in too many cases, and was simply not ‘fit for purpose’.

From 1 January, a two-year mandatory pilot of the new disclosure regime will begin in the Business and Property Courts in the Rolls Building in London, and the regional centres of Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

While wide disclosure will still be an option in appropriate cases, the new rules force parties to focus on what documents are really needed at a much earlier stage, and seek to avoid making the disclosure exercise any broader that it needs to be. The rules provide a new menu of five disclosure options.

Solicitor Ed Crosse, partner at City firm Simmons & Simmons and a member of the working group behind the reforms, told the conference that the hardest part of the new regime will be the list of disclosure issues that litigators must agree with the opposition. Lawyers must exchange a draft list of issues 42 days after the final statement of case, to be agreed before the case management hearing. If no agreement is reached, the parties will need to apply for a ‘disclosure guidance hearing’ to resolve the issue.

Crosse said: ‘This is likely to be the most challenging part, and there will be a natural tendency to make the list too broad’.

The pilot imposes new duties on lawyers in relation to disclosure, backed by sanctions. These include a duty to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to assist their client in complying with their disclosure obligations; and to ‘liaise and co-operate’ with the opposition lawyers ‘to promote the reliable, efficient, and cost-effective conduct of disclosure’.

Crosse said these duties had been imposed because solicitors had told the working group that they wanted them.

He said: ‘It may seem like turkeys voting for Christmas, for solicitors to be advocating for duties backed by sanctions, but that is the feedback that we got.’

Crosse added that solicitors felt the duties would be helpful where their opponent’s representatives were not co-operating in the disclosure exercise.

Mr Justice Robin Knowles, also speaking at the conference, added that the new regime would provide a benefit ‘in the international context’ by showing that England and Wales had not just tackled the problem, but was at the ‘cutting edge’ in how it deals with disclosure.

The pilot will apply in the Business and Property Courts excluding admiralty, public procurement, and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court cases, and cases under the shorter and flexible trials scheme or subject to fixed or capped costs.

It will be monitored by Professor Rachael Mulheron of Queen Mary University, and if successful, is likely to be adopted more broadly.

LiP-friendly small claims portal on course for April 2020

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:26

Head of the organisation implementing the system says it is not as complicated as people think.

'Manifestly excessive' anti-fracking jail sentences quashed

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 13:23

Conditional discharges for three protesters imprisoned in September for up to 16 months.

MPs call for review of 'patchwork' laws on dangerous dogs

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 12:14

Government urgend to commission independent review of current laws by January.

Government-sponsored panel launched to make UK 'LawTech capital'

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:17

Panel will tackle challenges in areas including commercial dispute resolution and education and training.

DIY probate provider ordered to halt 'limited offer' £29 claim

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:11

Advertising watchdog found cut-price offer had actually been in place for six years.

SRA given green light to pursue £800,000 Blavo intervention costs

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:21

Court of Appeal says there were no grounds to set aside statutory demands served on John Blavo.