LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

March 2010

London Solicitors Litigation Association

Welcome to the latest edition of the LSLA newsletter in which we report on the Association’s activities and some issues which might affect you.

LSLA News

LSLA AGM and Dinner 16 March 2010
Our AGM took place on 16 March 2010.

Seamus Smyth was elected as our new President with Patrick Wheeler as the Honorary Chairman and Gavin Foggo as the Honorary Secretary. Seamus thanked David Greene for his past leadership as President and looks forward to taking the Association forward.

There is a vacancy on the committee for a further member. Anyone interested should contact Lucy McKinley at lucymckinley041@btinternet.com.

The AGM was followed by dinner and a speech by Jonathan Sumption QC. Chatham House rules apply so we cannot report on his speech which was very well received.

Spring Lecture Series
Our Spring Lecture series has now been announced. Click here for copy of the application form and details of the lectures. The lectures planned are as follows:

  • 12 April 2010 “Recent Developments in Judicial Review” by Khawar Qureshi QC;
  • 10 May 2010 “The Illegality Defence: Use and Abuse” by Craig Orr QC;
  • 20 May 2010 “Forum Battles” by Stephen Phillips QC; and
  • 25 May 2010 “Funding Litigation in the post-Jackson Era” by Jeremy Morgan QC.

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.

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 Julian Copeman at julian.copeman@herbertsmith.com.

Legal News

Conditional Fee Agreements (Amendments Order) 2010 Consultation on Controlling Costs in Defamation Proceedings
The Ministry of Justice has moved as surprising pace to begin the process to implement proposals to reduce CFA success fees in defamation proceedings from 100% to 10%.

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” (see http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/costs-defamation-proceedings-con...).

The paper proposed 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 was expressed as being of urgency and therefore the deadline for responses was 16 February 2010. The LSLA prepared a response, which dealt with amongst other matters the brevity of the consultation period. A copy of the response can be seen by clicking here.

On 3 March 2010, Jack Straw announced to the House that he was publishing the Ministry's response to the consultation and that the proposal to reduce the success fees would be adopted with an affirmation order being laid before Parliament that day to achieve this. A copy of the draft statutory instrument is available at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2010/draft/pdf/ukdsi_9780111494912_en.pdf.

ILEX Professional Standards Ltd ("IPS") - Proposal to seek Rights to Conduct Litigation for ILEX Members and Rights of Audience for Independent Litigator Practitioners
Legal Executives have for a few years been permitted to practice as conveyancers of Solicitors’ firms. ILEX/IPS is making an application under the Legal Services Act 2007, in effect, to allow its members to practise independently as litigators, subject to the safeguards set out about experience, qualification and training, client accounts, annual accounts reports, insurance, complaints procedures etc.

A consultation paper has been published by IPS and is available at http://www.ilex.org.uk/about_ilex/consultation/consultation_0610.aspx. The consultation closes on 3 April 2010.

EDisclosure
You might remember that in our November edition we reported on Master Whitaker's lecture to the LSLA on his views on edisclosure and the proposed new Practice Direction and Questionnaire which he is drafting. The Master was keen to encourage co-operation between the parties, particularly with regard to search terms for edisclosure and noted that such co-operation was beginning to happen.

At the beginning of the month Master Whitaker handed down his decision in Goodale & Ors v Ministry of Justice & Ors [2009] EWHC B41 (QB) (see http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2009/B41.html&query=goodale&method=boolean).

The comments on edisclosure are very interesting, and it also attaches a copy of the current version of the ESI questionnaire as a schedule.

Recent Press

The LSLA has attracted some press over the past month including:

  • 16 March 2010, Solicitors Journal, "Group Therapy" by Anthony Maton (click here to view a pdf copy); and
  • 25 March 2010, The Times, "Something for Nothing"