Competence


Law firm was instructed “when clients agreed to visit its offices”

9 July 2018

People buying holiday home became clients of a law firm after agreeing to visit its offices to complete their purchases, making it liable for negligence, the Court of Appeal has ruled.


Dreamvar reaction: Conveyancers face insurance premium hikes

16 May 2018

Conveyancers are facing higher professional indemnity insurance costs – and their clients higher fees as a result – due to yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling in Dreamvar, experts have predicted. One said the judgment “will provide greater protection to buyers, but will shake up the conveyancing industry with much greater risk of liability”.


High Court refuses to strike out £1.2m family law negligence claim

16 May 2018

“Very real obstacles” faced by a family law client in bringing a negligence action against a Cheshire law firm did not mean that the claim should be struck out in its entirety, the High Court has ruled. The claimant argued that, but for the firm’s negligence, he would have had to pay a third of the lump sum ordered by a district judge on his divorce.


Dreamvar: CA finds seller’s solicitor liable for imposter fraud – but buyer’s conveyancer still on hook too

15 May 2018

Solicitors acting for the buyer of a property purportedly ‘sold’ by an imposter were liable for the losses suffered by their client, the Court of Appeal has ruled by a majority in the long-awaited decision in Dreamvar However, the court also found that seller’s solicitors liable, meaning that the other solicitors could sue them for a contribution.


Call for “emotional competency” push as Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off

14 May 2018

Training law students in emotional competency, and a change in culture, led from the top, in law firms and chambers are among the shifts needed to combat the growing problem of stress in the legal profession, according to a roundtable held in the run-up to Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins today.


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

16 April 2018

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.


Law Society faces JR over refusal to reaccredit mental health specialist

10 April 2018

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.


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

9 March 2018

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.


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

1 March 2018

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.


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

23 February 2018

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”.


Government to direct leaseholders who want to sue conveyancers for negligence

5 January 2018

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.


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

2 January 2018

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.


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

19 December 2017

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.


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

12 December 2017

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.


Supreme Court to examine proof needed in solicitors’ negligence case

11 December 2017

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.

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6 December 2019

Still running Windows 7? Cyber-criminals are on your trail

When the end-of-life date arrives, it is estimated thone in four PCs will still be running Windows 7. This figure will be higher in industries slower to embrace IT developments – legal is likely to be amongst those.

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