London Solicitors Litigation Association
Seasons greetings from the LSLA to all our members.
This has been an eventful month for the LSLA and in this edition of our newsletter we let you know about some of our most recent and future activities and legal issues which might affect you. For more details please visit our website by clicking here.
LSLA Annual Dinner
The Annual Dinner at the Law Society was a huge success.
The guests this year included speakers Lord Grabiner QC and Joanna Kennedy, Chief Executive of The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust.
Joanna Kennedy explained the mission of the Trust and how it works “to fight the causes of poverty and to help thousands in extreme poverty in the UK to access the justice system when they face claims by statutory authorities and Court proceedings”. To find out more about the Trust see www.z2k.org.
Known as the “Brains of Britain” Lord Grabiner QC amused those present with tales of his experiences at the bar and the effect of the Woolf reforms.
The night comprised of interesting talks, good food and an excellent opportunity to meet other London based Solicitors and to discuss their practices.
Supreme Court Event
On 26 November the LSLA held its Autumn event entitled “Is it just a move over the road?”
Louise Di Mambro (Registrar of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and Acting Registrar of the Privy Council) spoke informatively about the role of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. This was followed by a short tour of the Court.
The event was well attended and enjoyed by all.
Autumn Lecture Series
Two lectures took place during November.
On 3 November Paul Chesterton and Clare Rodway spoke on “Controlling the Beast - How to Manage the Media around a Case”. Paul is the Court correspondent for the Evening Standard and Clare is the Managing Director of Kysen PR. Covering an area increasingly of interest to solicitors, they gave an interesting talk on media strategy and how to obtain information appropriately.
On 11 November Master Whitaker, Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division, presented his views on e-disclosure and the proposed new Practice Direction and Questionnaire. The use of electronic media cannot be ignored and was one of the areas covered by Lord Justice Jackson in his report earlier this year. Master Whitaker who is drafting the new Practice Direction and proposed Questionnaire, was keen to encourage co-operation between the parties, particularly with regard to search terms for e-disclosure and noted that such co-operation was beginning to happen.
The Lecture series has now finished and we are putting together our spring series. All lectures are CPD accredited and attendance is not limited to LSLA members. We hope to be able to provide copies of any handouts from future lecture on our website.
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 and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lies in Court
Speaking in the Court of Appeal whilst handing down judgment in a claim brought by a Claimant who had exaggerated her personal injury claim, Lord Justice Ward referred to lies being told in litigation every day which “quite rightly do not lead to a penalty being imposed in respect of them”. However, he drew a distinction between “a concocted claim” and “an exaggerated claim”, the latter of which he said should be viewed with caution when imposing a penalty. See Widlake –v- BAA  EWCA Civ 1256 for further details.
Supreme Court Finds For the Banks on Overdraft charges
The OFT’s challenge on the grounds of unfairness to banks’ current account terms and conditions, including unauthorised overdraft charges, has not been successful. In a decision which has been long awaited by consumers across the country, on 25 November 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Banks’ interpretation of the Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. The judgment can be seen at Abbey National & Ors –v- The OFT  UKSC 6.
Lord Justice Jackson’s Costs Review
As our members will know, on 8 May 2009 Lord Justice Jackson published his preliminary report into the costs of civil proceedings aimed at promoting “access to justice at proportionate cost”. A full copy of the substantial report can be found at www.judiciary.gov.uk/about_judiciary/cost-review/preliminary-report.htm.
The consultation period closed on 31 July 2009. We, like other professional organisations prepared a detailed response, a copy of which is on our website.
The LSLA and it committee member have appeared several times in the legal press recently including:
- Solicitors Journal, 27 October 2009, ”No More Hired Guns” by Georgina Squire addressing the latest changes to the CPR in relation to expert evidence
- Legal Business, November 2009, “Digging for Gold” by Mark McAteer contained quotes from David Green relating to choice of jurisdiction see report
- Solicitors Journal, 24 November 2009, “No Trivial Pursuit” by Nick Gray and Jonathan Cotton regarding the SFO and companies accused of corruption see report