LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

December 2013

Season’s greetings!

2013 has been busy year for us and a year which saw great change with the Jackson Reforms. Our newsletter this month reports on some of our recent events and those which are happening in the future.

It also contains details of the CJC’s survey to provide evidence upon which the Master of Rolls will review the guideline hourly rates and the other consultations to which we have responded as well as an offer to members.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

New Law Journal Survey

The results of the survey we, along with the New Law Journal, conducted on members’ views of the Jackson Reforms received wide publicity in other journals. We are planning another survey in early 2014. We hope that you will respond to it to add your voice to the growing calls for further reforms to ensure the measures introduced by Lord Justice Jackson achieve their stated objectives of reducing the costs of litigation and improving access to justice to potential claimants and defendants alike.

AGM Dinner – March 2014

Our AGM and dinner will take place in March next year. We shall let you know the date and further details once these have been finalised.

 

RECENT EVENTS

Annual Dinner – 27 November 2013

Our black tie Annual Dinner took place at the Law Society and was a resounding success. This year’s speakers - Mr Justice Cooke (Judge in charge of the Commercial Court) and John Finnemore (the comedy writer and actor) – were particularly well received. Guests enjoyed a three course meal with wine as singer songwriter Ali Sephton accompanied them on the piano.

Autumn Lecture Series

Since our last newsletter the following lectures have taken place:

  • 6 November 2013 “Freezing Orders and Company Assets” Jeffrey Chapman QC – Fountain Court
  • 11 November 2013 “Human Rights in Commercial Litigation – Do They Matter?” Jonathan Crow QC – 4 Stone Buildings
  • 19 November 2013 "Documentary Evidence – An Update” Charles Hollander QC – Brick Court
  • 11 December 2013 “Relief From Forfeiture – A New Lease of Life?” - Kenneth MacLean QC - One Essex Court

We shall announce details of our Spring Series in the new year.

 

CONSULTATION PAPERS

Open Consultation

MOJ – Court Fees: Proposals for Reform

The MOJ has announced a consultation into its proposals for reform of Court fees. Proposed changes include: daily hearing fees in some claims, some increased fees, in some instances, a sliding scale of fees depending on the value of claims, and options to cap fees in larger claims. For full details see https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/court-fees-proposals-for-reform.

We are preparing a response to be submitted before the deadline on 21 January 2014.

Closed Consultations

CJC – Review of Guideline Hourly Rates (“GHR”)

In order to make recommendations to the Master of the Rolls early next year, the CJC is conducting an evidence-based review of the GHR and how they need to be updated.

Members of the LSLA committee have had a couple of meetings with members of the CJC costs sub-committee to discuss the rates. Past-President of the LSLA, David Greene, has also joined the sub-committee.

The sub-committee has launched an online survey of firms to gather evidence to present to the Master of the Rolls. An extension to the deadline for responses was announced until 12 December 2013.

For further details see http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/advisory-bodies/cjc/GuidelineHourlyRatesSurvey2013.

Chancery Modernisation Review

We reported in earlier newsletters on the consultation which has been announced following the publication of Lord Justice Briggs’ provisional report on modernisation of the Chancery Division.

To see a full copy of the report go to http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications-and-reports/CMR. The LSLA has submitted a response a copy of which is attached.

MOJ – Judicial Review: Proposals for Further Reform

Following our earlier reports on the Proposals for Reform of Judicial Review we attach a copy of our response. For further information about the consultation see https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/judicial-review-reform.

MOJ – Costs Protection in Defamation and Privacy Claims

The consultation which was described in our earlier newsletters has now closed. A copy of our response is attached. If you would like to see further details of the consultation visit

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/costs-protection-in-defamation-and-privacy-claims.


LSLA – RECENT PRESS

Since our last newsletter:

OFFERS TO MEMBERS

IBC Legal: 29th Annual Conference: Solicitors’ Costs 29 January 2014, Grange City Hotel, London, 7hrs CPD

LSLA members are being offered a 20% discount on IBC Legal’s 29th Annual Solicitors’ Costs Conference. Until 10 January 2014, the price of the conference will be £699 plus VAT and is therefore being offered to members at £559.20 plus VAT. Thereafter it is £799 plus VAT and £639.20 (plus VAT) for members.

The conference will examine crucial recent developments in costs and will include analyses of recent costs decisions, the latest on the implementation of the Jackson Reforms and changes to the CPR, the impact of the decision in Mitchell v MGN, funding options and more.

Past Presidents of the LSLA, Graham Huntley and David Greene will be speaking as will the Honourable Mr Justice Ramsey, Master Gordon-Saker and Nicolas Bacon QC amongst others.

The conference will be followed by an evening drinks reception to celebrate His Honour Michael Cook's outstanding contribution to this conference over the past 28 years with a presentation by Lord Justice Jackson.

For further details see http://www.ibclegal.com/FKW82444LSLE. To obtain your 20% discount please quote VIP code: FKW82444LSLE when booking online at this address.

OTHER MATTERS

Last week the Chancery Bar Association launched a new scheme to support litigants in person in the Applications Court (CLIPS). The scheme was personally endorsed at the launch by the Chancellor and by Lord Justice Briggs. It aims to make available each day two barristers to assist litigants in person in the Chancery Division and is being run by the RCJ Advice Bureau and Bar Pro Bono Unit. Further details about how the scheme will function in practice are available at http://www.chba.org.uk/about-us/the-association/clips-chancery-bar-litigant-in-person-support-scheme/clips-extract-of-chairmans-speech-from-launch/view). With the recent rise in litigants in person and existing schemes being stretched, CLIPS should offer further valuable assistance to litigants in person.

LSLA MEMBERSHIP

Members should have paid their subscriptions for 2013 by now and we have written separately chasing those who have not. The form for any new members who wish to join is attached (and can also be used by any existing member who has not yet paid their subscription for 2013). If you are 8 years PQE or less you will automatically become a member of the JLSLA if you complete the section of the application form identifying your year of admission.

The LSLA is now offering corporate membership to firms. Essentially, for £500 a firm with corporate membership can register an unlimited number of litigation solicitors working for it in London as members. Please contact Julian Copeman on julian.copeman@hsf.com if you would like to take out corporate membership.

LIST OF SUPERVISING SOLICITORS

The White Book refers to the LSLA maintaining details of individuals who might be able to act as supervising solicitors for the execution of Search Orders. Our list continues to grow and is updated quarterly. We invite those suitably qualified to provide us with their details, including relevant experience, for inclusion on the list.

LSLA WEBSITE

We propose to launch our new website in the near future. In the meantime, please bear with us whilst it is rebuilt.

LSLA on Twitter and LinkedIn

Once our website is up and running we hope to be able to provide feeds to our Twitter and LinkedIn addresses.

The Junior LSLA

The JLSLA provides:

  • seminars designed to offer practical tips on procedural and substantive legal issues commonly faced by junior civil litigators, in an interactive and relaxed atmosphere;
  • networking events for members to meet and form contacts in their peer group; and
  • e-news on recent and future activity and key developments, with the aim of ensuring that the junior perspective is reflected in the LSLA's responses to consultation papers.

The JLSLA is aimed at solicitors of 8 years PQE and less. Members of the LSLA will automatically become members of the JLSLA if they qualify by year of admission and complete the relevant section of the membership form (copy attached). The JSLA also has firm Champions, who act as the point of contact between the JLSLA committee and their firm.

If you are interested in joining the JLSLA or being the JLSLA Champion for your firm, please contact the JLSLA President, Caroline Field, at cfield@foxlawyers.com.

The JLSLA can also be contacted via their LinkedIn profile on The profile for the JLSLA is at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Junior-London-Solicitors-Litigation-Association-4438638/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro