REUTERS | Edgar Su

On 7 August 2019, in Singapore, I had the pleasure of watching the signing ceremony of the UNCITRAL Convention on the Settlement of Disputes Resulting from Mediation, otherwise to be known as “the Singapore Convention”. The Convention, approved by UNCITRAL in June 2018, has been signed by 46 countries, the highest number of “first day” signatories ever for a UNCITRAL Convention. They are: Continue reading

REUTERS | Mohamad Torokman

It is not often that litigation funding makes the national, let alone international news, but the recent allegations made by Muddy Waters in respect of Burford Capital’s accounting practices have even captured the interest of many mainstream media outlets. Whether the accusations stem from a lack of understanding about the risks involved in this incredibly niche market, or whether they have substance, is for investment analysts and the investment community to debate. But we can be sure that headlines such as these will always attract scrutiny by those looking for reasons to denounce litigation funding. Such detractors will link any negative news about the industry to the need for regulation and greater oversight. Continue reading

REUTERS | Louafi Larbi

Background

The underlying dispute in Woodward and another v Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Ltd concerned the alleged mis-sale of a drug by the respondent whilst still under patent to a company which claimed that, as a result of the respondent’s breach of contract or misrepresentations, it suffered financial loss in excess of £5 million and which forced it to enter administration. Continue reading

REUTERS | Jonathan Bachman

Assuming that from now on you will always have to budget your costs? Maybe, but not necessarily…

Introduction

Generally speaking, we lawyers dislike procedural change. While we may well understand that a particular change is necessary and we will certainly recognise that we need to adapt to it when it comes, such changes nonetheless tend to make us feel ignorant and highly uncomfortable. We have to treat any new procedural regime as a known unknown, which presents pitfalls for the unwary, at least until we become familiar with it. And in the meantime, a culture of half-knowledge develops, an uncertain and dangerous combination of a little learning, anecdote, and false assumptions. This very often leads to negative over-simplification. Continue reading

REUTERS | Mike Blake

It has been some time since the electronic bill of costs has been compulsory and those that have been prepared this way are beginning to surface at court. Although I have not personally had the pleasure of testing one yet, I did have an interesting opening point in Oxford County Court recently and I have heard many stories from costs lawyers, costs counsel and the judiciary. Continue reading

REUTERS | Hannah McKay

The word “inquest” carries with its overtones of sadness. Before you can have an inquest, there must be a death, so the work of the coroner in investigating what has caused it will inevitably bring tears to the eyes of relatives and to those who have survived or witnessed terrible events in which others have died. Prominent and very much in the public eye at the moment has been the London Bridge inquest. It will be recalled that this inquest into the eight deaths following the terrorist attack close to London Bridge on 3 June 2017 lasted seven weeks and resulted in findings of unlawful killing by the Chief Coroner on 29 January 2019. Continue reading

REUTERS | Pavel Mikheyev

With the news that Pinsent Masons and HFW have both agreed litigation funding portfolio arrangements over the course of the last few weeks, you may be considering whether this sort of facility is the way forward for your practice. If so, read on for my whistle-stop tour of the key types of arrangements that are available, along with some points you should consider along the way. Continue reading

REUTERS | Randall Hill

When tax avoidance schemes fail, professional negligence claims against the scheme promoters will surely follow. And, because HMRC’s investigations of such schemes typically proceed at a ponderous rate, it is likely that limitation defences will be raised, fuelled by the long lapse of time between the advice being given and the failure of the scheme. Continue reading