Competence

Government to direct leaseholders who want to sue conveyancers for negligence

To let sign UK

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

for sale sign

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

VAT return

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

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