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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Claims that the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme does little to actually check the quality of the work solicitors do have been rejected by Chancery Lane. It was reported recently that since the scheme was launched in 2010, assessors have visited only 12 of the 3,000-plus members of the scheme.