Competence

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

Supreme Court no1

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

SME firms under fraud attack but see business benefits in risk management

Chris Marston 2014

Almost half the staff at SME law firms say their firms have been attacked by fraudsters within the past 12 months, a survey has found. At the same time, the research into how firms are responding to risk management and compliance found evidence more generally that firms are “turning regulation into a business driver”.

October 25th, 2017

Law firm should have warned property investor clients of “Mafia risk”, CA rules

Giambrone pic

A law firm with offices in Italy and England has lost its appeal against a High Court 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.

August 2nd, 2017

Law firm loses £110,000 after e-mail scam as serial conveyancing fraudster faces jail

Oonagh Frances Grant

A law firm has lost more than £100,000 from a property transaction after falling for an e-mail scam, it has been reported. It comes as a conveyancer who had already been convicted of fraud and banned from working in law firms has been convicted again after defrauding three firms where she secured employment after changing her name.

May 30th, 2017

Bird & Bird loses bid to overturn £2m planning negligence ruling

Royal Courts of Justice

A leading City law firm has failed to persuade the Court of Appeal to overturn a ruling that it was negligent in failing to highlight a major development planned to take place near a £26m residential property whose purchase it was handling.

May 10th, 2017

Supreme Court hold law firm not liable for client’s commercial misjudgement

Lord Sumption

The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a law firm which had been negligent in drawing up a loan facility agreement was not legally responsible for their client’s decision to actually make the loan. The decision has been branded as good news for solicitors, who “no longer appear to be expected to underwrite claimants’ risks and business ventures”.

March 23rd, 2017

Just 10% of people with legal problems turn to a solicitor, major research finds

Citizens Advice Bureau

Only 10% of people with legal problems use a solicitor, and often only after approaching other sources of advice first, major government research involving over 10,000 people has revealed. However, when they did use a solicitor or a barrister, almost all said they were satisfied with the advice provided.

March 6th, 2017

Court of Appeal overturns finding that solicitor was fraudulent

rcj 3

The Court of Appeal has emphatically cleared a solicitor of fraud, expressing “some disquiet” at the trial judge’s findings to the contrary in an oil rig drilling case involving a $129m standby letter of credit. “Different legal minds may obviously take different views” on the legal question at the heart of the case, it said.

January 27th, 2017

Firm’s negligent advice to divorcing husband led to “over-generous settlement”

divorce

A judge has ruled that the advice lawyers gave in ancillary relief proceedings was negligent and that if the claimant had been properly advised, he would have settled on better terms. But he dismissed an allegation that the solicitor had fabricated her file notes.

November 18th, 2016