Indemnity insurance

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

Firms turning to cyber insurance as scammer attacks continue to rise, Law Society survey finds

Concept of internet security

The proportion of law firms targeted by scammers has risen sharply over the last year, especially among larger firms, as has the number of practices taking out cyber-insurance, according to new research from the Law Society. The survey on indemnity insurance also showed that a significant minority of brokers continue not to disclose their commission.

July 24th, 2017

SRA to remove insurance obstacle to switching regulators

Legal Futures Conference Nov16: Innovation

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is to change its indemnity insurance rules to make it easier for law firms to switch regulator, it announced yesterday. In a bid to encourage competition, the SRA will ditch the requirement that firms switching to another approved regulator have to buy run-off cover.

July 14th, 2017

High Court strikes out negligence claim against private client firm

Jersey

The High Court has struck out a negligence claim against London private client specialists Harcus Sinclair on the grounds that it was statute-barred. The judge said it could not be argued that a partner had deliberately concealed his conduct when it was “done in plain sight” of his client and other parties’ lawyers.

May 31st, 2017

What’s in a name? Appeal judges reject pleas of claimant who sued wrong firm

RCJ portrait

Appeal judges have rejected the pleas of a claimant who, faced by two law firms with similar names set up by the same solicitor, sued the wrong one. The court heard how Godfrey Morgan Solicitors and Godfrey Morgan Solicitors Limited were run “in parallel, as distinct businesses”.

May 16th, 2017

Non-lawyer managers setting bar high for equity partners, survey finds

Karen Hain

Fee income per partner at larger firms soared last year from an average of £777,000 to almost £1.4m, a survey has found. Accountants MHA, who produce an annual benchmarking report, said the main reason was a fall in the number of equity partners at these firms, helped by an increase in profitable work.

May 10th, 2017