Indemnity insurance

Law firms secure 18-month indemnity deals in ‘soft’ insurance market

A blank file in a filing cabinet

Law firms have taken advantage of a soft insurance market to secure 18-month professional indemnity insurance deals at a “very good” rate, a report has found. More firms were asking about additional cover to protect solicitors against defence costs in disciplinary proceedings, in the wake of the Leigh Day case.

February 13th, 2018

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

Barrister peer to face negligence claim alongside leading firm despite civil restraining order

Lord Thomas of Gresford

The High Court has struck out a negligence claim brought against a barrister peer for breaching an extended civil restraint order – only to then permit the claimant to issue a further claim form. Max Couper is seeking to sue both Lord Thomas of Gresford – the Liberal Democrats’ shadow attorney general – and Irwin Mitchell.

December 14th, 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

Ground rent negligence claims start to surge as report identifies undersettling and discount rate as other major risks

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The surge in claims against solicitors over their advice to home buyers on ground rent clauses has begun, with 400 issued in less than a year, according to new research. It also identified the discount rate, undersettling and conveyancing fraud as the other big negligence risks facing the solicitors’ profession due to the wider economic environment.

September 12th, 2017

Court of Appeal criticises firms that persuade clients to bring PI undersettlement claims

Lord Justice Jackson

The Court of Appeal has criticised law firms which attract clients through adverts which suggest their previous solicitors may have undersettled personal injury claims. It also said there should be “a sensible limit” on what should be expected of a solicitor operating on a fixed fee in a “high volume, low cost commoditised scheme”.

September 5th, 2017

Solicitors first in negligence firing line over escalating ground rent clauses, barrister warns

Joshua Munro

The furore over ground rents that double periodically is likely to lead to a “swell” in negligence claims against conveyancers, who will be “first in the firing line”, a barrister has warned. He said these leases also often have other clauses which may be considered unreasonable and so pose a negligence risk.

September 4th, 2017

Law Society fails in bid to throw out claim by firm over false ‘Find A Solicitor’ entry

Law Society - Front2

The Law Society has failed in its bid to strike out a negligence claim by a law firm that was the victim of a fraud after the details of another firm it had checked on the society’s online ‘Find a Solicitor’ facility turned out to be false.

August 29th, 2017

High Court rejects claim of solicitors’ negligence involving payments from £230m trust fund

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A High Court judge has dismissed a negligence claim against London law firm Farrer & Co in a case involving a client with a $300m (£231m) trust fund. A companion of the man argued that the firm had owed her a duty of care in relation to a £5m gift that the trustees had agreed to pay her but then stopped.

August 10th, 2017