REUTERS | Mike Hutchings

On 8 January 2021, the Civil Justice Council (CJC) Working Group on Guideline Hourly Rates published its report for consultation on guideline hourly rates (GHRs). The consultation ends on 31 March 2021.

GHRs have not risen since 2010 and the report recommends increases ranging from 6.8% to 34.8% depending on grade and location.

Continue reading

REUTERS | REUTERS/Amir Cohen

In Mosley v Associated Newspapers Limited, Nicklin J analysed whether the defendant was liable for the tort of malicious prosecution after it sent a dossier of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), intending that the claimant be investigated for alleged perjury, even if ultimately no criminal investigation or prosecution ensued.

Nicklin J found that the claimant’s claim did not show any reasonable grounds for bringing a claim for malicious prosecution. In fact, the claimant failed to show that there was a “prosecution” at all. So it followed that Nicklin J allowed the defendant’s application to strike out the claimant’s claim because there had been no prosecution of the claimant.

Continue reading

REUTERS | GCS

Despite the very many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many costs lawyers are reporting that they are busier than ever.

I am also pleased to report that the Association of Costs Lawyers’ (ACL) latest survey also found that the profession is becoming increasingly comfortable with the electronic bill of costs.

Some 126 costs lawyers (approximately a fifth of the profession) completed the survey, and 37% said they were busier than ever since the pandemic struck, while for 38% it had not made much difference to their practice. However, 15% said work had dropped off, although only one respondent said they had lost their job as a result and three said they were having to consider making redundancies.

Continue reading

REUTERS | REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Last month, international law firm Brown Rudnick announced the launch of an initiative to create standardised documentation for the litigation funding market. Teaming up with numerous funders, insurers, brokers and other associated professionals, it made reference to the standardisation of documentation in the syndicated loan market, driven by the Loan Market Association (LMA), as an example of how this initiative could evolve.

Continue reading

REUTERS | GCS

Under CPR 17.4(2), the court may allow an amendment to add or substitute an otherwise time-barred new claim but only if the new claim arises out of the same or substantially the same facts as an existing claim in proceedings.

In Libyan Investment Authority and others v King and others, the Court of Appeal held that facts in a statement of case which has been struck out are not facts which “are already in issue” for the purposes of allowing an amendment to an add an otherwise out of time claim under CPR 17.4(2) and section 35 of the Limitation Act 1980.

Continue reading

REUTERS | REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

With the transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU having ended on 31 December, and no information on whether, and if so when, the UK might join the Lugano Convention 2007, attention has turned squarely to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements 2005.

Where this Convention applies (that is, where there is an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the courts of a contracting state), the position regarding jurisdiction and enforcement between the UK and the EU is similar (although not identical) to the position under the Recast Brussels Regulation (1215/2012) (RBR). A court must accept jurisdiction where it is the chosen court (and more importantly decline jurisdiction when it is not) and it must enforce judgments from other Convention countries, with limited defences to enforcement available.

Continue reading

REUTERS | GCS

The defence of illegality has long been considered available to negligent practitioners where an underlying fraud has been committed by their clients, but the courts have shown they are no longer willing to let lawyers or their insurers use it as a get out of jail free card.

In a unanimous judgment handed down by Lord Lloyd-Jones last month, the Supreme Court considered the defence of illegality in Stoffel & Co v Grondona, developing the Court of Appeal’s application of the principles set down in the Supreme Court’s decision in Patel v Mirza.

Continue reading

REUTERS | REUTERS/John Sibley

From 1 January 2021, lenders may reconsider whether it is desirable to include in their finance documents “asymmetric” or “one-way” jurisdiction clauses that grant English courts exclusive jurisdiction to decide disputes, subject to the option of the lender to sue the borrower in any other jurisdiction it wishes. Such clauses are widely used in financial instruments such as loan agreements, their aim being to ensure that creditors can always litigate in a debtor’s home court, where the debtor’s assets are located, or anywhere else a creditor might prefer, and to reassure a creditor that it can only be sued in its preferred jurisdiction.

Continue reading

REUTERS | GCS

The second part of this blog post looks at Lavender J’s reasons, in Belsner v Cam Legal Services Ltd, for allowing Ms Belsner’s appeal against District Judge Bellamy’s decision in which he had found that “informed consent” to the deduction of a success fee was not required where the solicitor relied on CPR 46.9(2), and that the retainer documentation was sufficiently clear that the client could be charged more than the costs of recovery from the losing defendant.

The background to and facts of this decision were explored in the first blog post which can be read here.

Continue reading