Competence

Barrister not to blame for repeat offender’s heroin conviction, Court of Appeal rules

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A criminal silk was not to blame for a man being convicted of importing and supplying large quantities of heroin, the Court of Appeal has decided. Attique Sami argued that “no competent counsel” would have called a witness who gave “highly damaging evidence” against him involving 230kg of heroin with a street value of over £37m.

April 16th, 2018

Law Society faces JR over refusal to reaccredit mental health specialist

Law Society - Front2

A London-based law firm has filed a claim for judicial review against the Law Society’s decision not to reaccredit a solicitor who had been on its mental health panel for nearly a decade. She said the decision meant she has had to stop working in an area about which she is “passionate”, and longstanding clients have had to find new representation.

April 10th, 2018

Law firm that should have warned property investor clients of “Mafia risk” fails in Supreme Court bid

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A law firm with offices in Italy and England has reached the end of the line in challenging a ruling that it was under a duty to warn British and Irish property investors of the risks of investing in a part of Italy associated with organised crime. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision and the Supreme Court has now refused to hear a second appeal.

March 9th, 2018

Borrower’s solicitor not liable for bank’s loss because it should have realised her error

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A bank that relied on inaccurate information supplied by its borrower’s solicitor should not have won a negligence claim against her, because it failed to carry out its own checks, the Supreme Court has ruled. It restored the ruling of the judge at first instance, who held that the bank did not act reasonably.

March 1st, 2018

Law firm was negligent in property purchase but clients would have gone ahead anyway, court rules

Canterbury Law Courts

A Kent law firm was negligent for failing to advise properly on a mortgage and valuation report, but this did not cause a couple in Canterbury to buy a house suffering from subsidence, a circuit judge has ruled. He said it was not the firm’s duty to “advise about structural matters when there was a structural survey available”.

February 23rd, 2018

Government to direct leaseholders who want to sue conveyancers for negligence

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The government is to ensure that leaseholders know how to sue their conveyancer where they may have been negligent over escalating ground rents, it has revealed. It is one of several new measures to cut out unfair and abusive practices within the leasehold system, announced just before Christmas.

January 5th, 2018

Land Registry to publish workload and requisition count of top 500 conveyancing firms

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The Land Registry is to publish how many incomplete applications it receives from the top 500 conveyancing firms as part of its commitment to opening up its data. It sends out 5,000 requisitions every day to conveyancers for further information or action before their applications can be completed.

January 2nd, 2018

Appeal court rejects convicted VAT fraudster’s claim that solicitor forced her to drop appeal

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The Court of Appeal has rejected the arguments of a convicted VAT fraudster that her former solicitors pressured her to drop an appeal that included a claim that they represented her badly and helped land her in jail.

December 19th, 2017

Court of Appeal finds firm negligent for failing to warn over risk of tax avoidance scheme

HM Revenue & Customs HMRC

A firm of solicitors should have warned a client of the significant risk that a tax avoidance scheme would not withstand a challenge from HM Revenue & Customs, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The client ended up having to pay £11.3m to settle with HMRC and issued proceedings against his solicitors the same month.

December 12th, 2017

Supreme Court to examine proof needed in solicitors’ negligence case

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The Supreme Court is to review what needs to be proved when a solicitor is sued for failing to advise a client of a potential claim, in the latest of a raft of cases involving Raleys, the controversial but now defunct Barnsley law firm that acted for thousands on miners.

December 11th, 2017