LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

February 2010

London Solicitors Litigation Association

Welcome to the latest edition of the LSLA newsletter.

The big news is that Lord Justice Jackson has produced his report into the Costs of Civil Proceedings and we feature in this newsletter our initial comments on that report together with details of some of our most recent and future activities as well as legal issues which might affect you. For more details please visit our website by clicking here.

LSLA News

Diary Date – LSLA AGM 16 March 2010
Our AGM will take place at 6:30pm on 16 March 2010 at Lovell LLP, Atlantic House, 50 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG. All are welcome to the meeting itself and dinner afterwards which begins with drinks at 7pm followed by dinner at 7:30pm.

Jonathan Sumption QC will be our speaker on the evening.

The AGM notice and form for tickets will be circulated shortly.

Spring Lecture Series – Details to be announced
We are currently putting together our Spring Lecture series. All lectures are CPD accredited and attendance is not limited to LSLA members; anyone can apply for tickets. The cost is £20 per event or £70 for all four (non-members £25 or £90). All lectures will be held at The Auditorium at Lovells LLP, Atlantic House, 50 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG and start at 6 p.m. We shall provide you with details as soon as we can.

Solicitors Journal and New Law Journal - Discounted Offers
Although the administrative details are still to be finalised, we are in the process of agreeing a discount of 20% to LSLA members for their subscriptions to the Solicitors Journal and New Law Journal. We shall let you know when this has been agreed so that you can take advantage of the discount.

Renewal of Membership
Renewal forms should have been sent to you to renew your membership. If you have not received your renewal form or if any members of your firm would like to join the LSLA for the first time please contact Anna Pertoldi at anna.pertoldi@herbertsmith.com.

Legal News

Lord Justice Jackson’s Final Report due on 14 January 2010
The LSLA welcomes the Lord Justice Jackson’s report on the costs of civil litigation. This is a seminal work which will stand as the reference point for all costs issues for many years to come whether or not all recommendations are carried through. Costs has remained a contentious issue since the Woolf reforms and whilst many may debate his recommendations there is general agreement that we must address the problems that litigants face on the costs of litigation particularly for the lower value claims.

The adversarial process is by its very nature expensive and if the costs of litigation are to be reduced, it should not be done simply with determinations on proportionality after the event. The process of litigation itself needs to be addressed and simplified. We need to address, for instance, e-disclosure, the role of witness statements, the role of pleadings and preparation for the trial itself.

In London solicitors provide a cost effective and efficient service to their clients within an adversarial system. If one looks at costs in comparison to other common law jurisdictions then the costs within London compare very favourably.

We look forward to working with Lord Justice Jackson on his project and we wish it every success.

A copy of the report can be found at http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about_judiciary/cost-review/jan2010/final-report-140110.pdf.

Consultation Paper: Controlling Costs in Defamation Proceedings
Following swiftly upon the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson, Jack Straw announced on 19 January 2010 that he had published a consultation paper entitled “Controlling Costs in Defamation Proceedings – Reducing Conditional Fee Agreement Success Fees”.

The paper proposes the Government’s interim measures to limit the success fee which lawyers can apply to a CFA in defamation and other publication proceedings from 100% to 10% whilst the Government considers the Jackson report. The consultation has been expressed as being of urgency and therefore the deadline for responses was 16 February 2010.

A copy of the Consultation Paper and Questions for Response can be found at http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/costs-defamation-proceedings-consultation.htm. The LSLA is preparing a response. If you would like your views to be considered and included within the report please contact Richard Langley at richardlangley@bdb-law.co.uk.

Consultation Paper: The Legal Services Consumer Panel Investigation into Referral Arrangements
The Consumer panel is investigating referral fees to lawyers (including those from claims management companies and insurance companies) with a view to defining referral arrangements and reporting on the risks and benefits of such fees to consumers.

A copy of the terms of reference can be found at http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/about_us/lsb_consumer_panel/pdf/referral_arrangements.pdf

The Consumer Panel has requested responses by email to contact@legalservicesconsumerpanel.org.uk before the deadline of 5pm on 26 February 2010.

Recent Press

The Jackson report elicited some press for the association including the press seeking comment from David Greene, our president and other committee members. See for example:

Articles written by LSLA committee members also appeared in various publications including: