LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

March 2013

Welcome to this month’s newsletter which contains details of the forthcoming Jackson Reforms, some of our recent events, those to look forward to in 2013 and offers to members.  We are also circulating the new membership form for 2013 for you to complete.

Recent Events

AGM and Dinner

Our AGM and dinner took place on 19 March 2013.  At the AGM, the new committee was elected and our President gave thanks to those members (Andrew Parker, James Maton and Marc Thorley) who are standing down this year for all their hard work.  We look forward to another fruitful year.

At the dinner, Senior Costs Judge Hurst spoke about how the Jackson Reforms will be managed by the judiciary and took questions from the floor on issues of concern.  With those reforms only days away his views were received with great interest and as the Chatham House Rule applies to the evening discussion flowed openly.

JLSLA Spring Seminar – “Disclosure and Privilege – Horror Stories and How to Avoid Them” - 26 February 2013

The seminar sold out quickly following circulation of the flyer and was another resounding success for the JLSLA.  It was an informal and practical guide to issues which might arise on disclosure (including those encountered when dealing with questions of privilege) and common pitfalls to avoid.

Future Events

JLSLA/COMBAR Wine Tasting Evening – 9 May 2013

The JLSLA is arranging an evening of wine tasting with junior members of COMBAR.  The evening should be another enjoyable opportunity for junior members to meet and get to know each other.

Costs Budgeting Event – 15 May 2013

The introduction of Court approved costs budgeting is a major change to be made by the Jackson Reforms.  We are planning an event dealing with this topic for members and non-members of the LSLA as well as bar groups.  Full details are yet to be finalised.  In the meantime, please make a note of the date in your diaries.

Solicitors Journal Conference featuring speakers from the LSLA – 22 May 2013

Committee members of the LSLA will be speaking at the Litigation Section of the Solicitors Journal conference. Again please make a note in your diaries of the date and we shall circulate details when they are available.

Event with the Law Society Civil Justice Section - 20 June 2013

Another date for your diaries is 20 June 2013 when we propose to hold an event to consider the impact of the Jackson Reforms once we have experience of how these are being put into practice.  We shall let you know details in due course.

Spring Lecture Series/JLSLA Spring Lecture - 6 June 2013

The Spring Lecture Series are now being finalised.  We shall send you details as soon as these are available.

Summer Party

Following the success of last year’s 60th Anniversary party, we have decided to hold another summer event for members. Dates and venues are being considered and we shall provide you with details as soon as we can.

Offers to Members

20% discount on “Cook on Costs 2013 Jackson Review Supplement” and “Litigation Funding”

To be published in June 2013, the one-off “Cook on Costs 2013 Jackson Review Supplement” will discuss the costs reforms, including those concerning: the irrecoverableness of success fees and ATE insurance premiums, the introduction of DBAs, what might be considered unreasonable refusal of a Part 36 offer, the 10% increase in personal injury damages, qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS), compulsory costs budgeting, case and costs management of litigation and proportionality of costs.

The price of the book is £70, but is offered to members for £56 (20% off the published price).

“Litigation Funding” aims to help civil litigators develop a better understanding of litigation funding and what it means for them and their practice.  This brand new title to be published in August 2013 will provide an introduction and summary of the means of funding litigation, including by CFAs, DBAs, ATE insurance, disbursement lending and third party funding, and a summary of the new costs rules.

The published price of the book is £90, but it is offered to members for £72 (a 20% discount).

To reserve a copy of either book visit www.lexisnexis.co.uk/lslaoffer or call 0845 370 1234 and quote 16611EA when placing your order to receive the 20% discount.

“Shareholder Claims” by David Greene

One of our former Presidents and current Committee Member, David Greene, has written a book entitled “Shareholder Claims”.  Click on http://www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/shareholderclaimsleaflet to see a copy of the leaflet explaining the matters covered in it.

Jordan Publishing is offering LSLA members a 10% discount on the book.  To claim this discount, you must enter the promotion code 'S502X' at the checkout stage of an online order. Alternatively you can order the book by telephone by calling 0117 918 1492. Jordan has also said that it would be happy to discuss a further discount on bulk orders. If you would like more information on this, please call their sales team on 0117 918 1555.

LSLA Membership

We will be writing to members in April requesting payment of subscriptions for 2013.  The form for any new members who wish to join is attached (and can also be used by any existing member for payment of 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.  Your firm can register an unlimited number of its solicitors working for it during the year for £500 pa.  A letter will be sent to firms with more detail about corporate membership shortly.  In the meantime, please contact Julian Copeman on julian.copeman@hsf.com if you would like to take out corporate membership.

Volunteers wanted to assist on the LSLA Subcommittees

There are several newly established subcommittees of the LSLA including:

  • Events (social/dinners and education/lectures);
  • Communications (social media, website, newsletter, publications and PR consultants);
  • Law & Consultations; and
  • Bar Liaison, Court User Groups and other groups. 

Each subcommittee shall ideally be comprised of members of the LSLA Committee and other members of the LSLA.  In previous months’ newsletters we have sought volunteers to assist on these subcommittees.  The responses are being considered, but it is not too late for you to help. If you are interested in becoming involved with one of our subcommittees, please contact Alex Luke on lsla@aklsearch.co.uk identifying in which subcommittee you are interested.

List of Supervising Solicitors

As you might know 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.  Please send your details to Alex Luke at lsla@aklsearch.co.uk.

LSLA on Twitter

Our user name is LSLA1.   Do follow us, as we are tweeting information about the LSLA's events and lectures, submissions to consultations, and news of interest to litigators.  Please also encourage colleagues, friends and firms to do the same.

LSLA on LinkedIn

Both the LSLA and JLSLA have profiles on LinkedIn.  We have kept these as members’ only groups so there might be a slight delay in your being able to use the site initially.  The site will be used to:

  1. provide a members only discussion forum;
  2. encourage feedback and participation in consultations/debates;
  3. disseminate details of forthcoming events (including lectures, dinners etc.);
  4. circulate LSLA and JLSLA news;
  5. provide links to articles written by our members; and
  6. update members on any legal issues of interest.

Please do join our group at the following link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/London-Solicitors-Litigation-Association-4545696/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro and encourage other members to do so. 

The profile for the JLSLA is at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Junior-London-Solicitors-Litigation-Association-4438638/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro

The Junior LSLA

About the JLSLA

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. 

Membership

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, Nikki Edwards, at nikkiedwards@quinnemanuel.com.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NEWS - THE NEW STANDARD BAR CONTRACT

From 31 January 2013 the Bar’s Code of Conduct changed to give effect to a decision by the Legal Services Board of 27 July 2012, whereby the cab rank rule now obliges a barrister to undertake work either on the basis of the Standard Contractual Terms in Annex T1 to the Code (see http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/161048/the__new__standard_contractual_terms_for_the_supply_of_legal_services_by_barristers_to_authorised_persons_2012.pdf) or on the basis of standard terms of work published by the barrister.

The Law Society has responded by issuing guidance to solicitors (see http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/Advice/Practice-notes/Instructing-a-barrister/) to the effect that these new terms have been written by the Bar Standards Board unilaterally, and that the balance of obligations is weighted strongly in favour of barristers.  The Law Society raises a number of issues of concern for solicitors who enter into a contract with a barrister on the Bar’s standard terms, and suggests a number of alternative clauses.

However, the changes to the Bar’s Code do not prevent barristers from agreeing different contractual terms.  In an attempt to avoid the need for individual law firms and barristers to negotiate balanced terms from scratch each time a barrister is instructed, the Commercial Bar Association (Combar) and the City of London Law Society (CLLS) have negotiated a new set of standard terms on which solicitors may instruct barristers. The Combar/CLLS standard terms (see http://www.citysolicitors.org.uk/FileServer.aspx?oID=1322&lID=0), together with the accompanying guidance (see http://www.citysolicitors.org.uk/FileServer.aspx?oID=1321&lID=0), are available without charge to all solicitors and barristers.

These terms are expected to become widely used in commercial cases, but it is important to note that they are not binding on any solicitors or barristers, unless they are specifically agreed between an instructing law firm and a particular barrister.  It remains the responsibility of all instructing solicitors to ensure that any terms agreed with a barrister (whether the Combar / CLLS terms or any other terms) are appropriate for that particular case, and no liability is accepted by Combar or CLLS for using their terms.

LSLA - Recent Press

Since our last newsletter Committee Members of the LSLA have appeared in and written articles for several publications including: