LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

November 2010

London Solicitors Litigation Association

Welcome to the LSLA newsletter.  You will find below details of some of our most recent activities and those we have planned for the future.  We also refer to some legal issues which might affect you.

LSLA News

Annual Dinner – 23 November 2010

This year’s annual dinner took place at the Law Society on 23 November 2010. The guest speakers were His Honour Michael Cook and Edwin Glasgow QC. A thoroughly good time was had by all as Edwin Glasgow related tales of his experiences at the bar and Michael Cook delivered an informative talk on his views of the current position on and possible future changes to costs (see more below about the consultations currently in circulation).
 
AGM and Dinner - 15 March 2011
 
A date has now been set for this, so please mark your diaries accordingly.
 
Autumn Lecture Series

Our forthcoming Autumn lecture series is now well under way and has proved very popular. All our lectures were sold out.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC spoke on the “The Defamation Bill” on 8 November 2010. In an informative talk he explained the principles underlying his Defamation Reform Bill 2010 and what he saw to the future of defamation actions with the aim of reforming libel laws to provide a "fair balance" between freedom of expression and protection of reputation.

On Thursday 25 November 2010 Ali Malek reported on “Recent Developments in the doctrine of forum non conveniens”.

Due to popular demand we had to arrange for a larger venue for the lecture given on Monday 29 November 2010 by Charles Hollander QC concerning “Recent Developments in Disclosure and Privilege”. Mr Hollander examined a number of recent development in disclosure and privilege, including disclosure in the Facebook age; e-disclosure and its shortcomings; disclosure from groups of companies; without prejudice - Oceanbulk Shipping v TMT Asia; the case for a special privilege for mediation; and privilege in the context of in-house lawyers- Akzo Nobel.

The only lecture still to take place will be on Tuesday 7 December 2010 by Richard Lissack QC on “A New Approach to Financial Regulation: Judgment, Focus and Stability”. Tickets are unfortunately now sold out.

In a change from previous years the lecture shall take place at the offices of Carter Lemon Camerons LLP at 10 Aldersgate Street, London EC1A 4HJ.

Second Visit to the Supreme Court
 
On 6 October 2010 members of the LSLA visited the Supreme Court for a tour of the Court and an informative talk by Louise Di Mambro (Registrar of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and Acting Registrar of the Privy Council) about the role of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The event was so well received that we decided have decided to repeat it sometime next year.

Legal News

Consultation Papers

Lord Young's Report
On 15 October 2010 Lord Young published his report “Common Sense, Common Safety” containing recommendations on health and safety legislation and what has been called the growth of compensation culture. In his report he set out his recommendations which include to:
“Introduce a simplified claims procedure for personal injury claims similar to that for road traffic accidents under £10,000 on a fixed costs basis. Explore the possibility of extending the framework of such a scheme to cover low value medical negligence claims.
 
“Examine the option of extending the upper limit for road traffic accident personal injury claims to £25,000.

“Introduce the recommendations in Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs.

"Restrict the operation of referral agencies and personal injury lawyers and control the volume and type of advertising.

"Clarify (through legislation if necessary) that people will not be held liable for any consequences due to well-intentioned voluntary acts on their part.

The call to introduce the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson would see a change in the recoverability of success fees under CFAs. Lord Young’s recommendations have been accepted by the prime minister and cabinet.

 
Jackson Report
On 15 November the Ministry of Justice published its consultation entitled “Proposals for Reform of Civil Litigation Funding and Costs in England and Wales – Implementation of Lord
Justice Jackson’s Recommendations”.

The aim of the recommendations was to reduce costs whilst still enabling access to justice to those who need it. Notable amongst the recommendations are that CFA success fees and after the event insurance should cease to be recoverable from the opposing party in litigation and contingency fees should be permitted for Court litigation.

A copy of the consultation can be found at http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/docs/jackson-consultation-paper.pdf. The LSLA shall be preparing a response in time for the deadline of 14 February 2011.
 
Legal Aid Reform
Also on on 15 November the Ministry of Justice announced its consultation into “Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales”, which seeks views on the wide ranging
programme of reforms proposed. The proposals aim is to target legal aid to those who most need it and include the options to no longer cover (amongst other claims) clinical negligence,
consumer and general contract, employment, housing and immigration.
 
A copy of the consultation can be found at http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/docs/legal-aid-reform-consultation.pdf. The LSLA is preparing a response for the deadline of 14 February 2011. If you would like to contribute please contact Graham Huntley at
grahamhuntley@hoganslovells.com.
 
Referral Fees
The Legal Services Board has announced a consultation on referral fees, referral arrangements and fee sharing.

The consultation looks at the LSB's assessment of gathered evidence and considers whether there should be a ban on referral fees in the conveyancing and personal injury markets, whether fee sharing is reducing quality in criminal advocacy and whether current disclosure arrangements work effectively.

A copy of the consultation paper can be found at http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/what_we_do/pdf/20100929_referral_fees.pdf The consultation closes on 22 December 2010 and the LSLA is preparing a response. If you would like to contribute, please contact David Greene at david.greene@edwincoe.com.

Recent Press

Committee members of the LSLA have had several press articles published over the past month including:

22 October 2010, New Law Journal "Litigations Trends” by Ed Crosse and Dan Hayward
 
19 October 2010, Solicitors Journal “Going round the Houses” considering the effect of the removal of in-house legal privilege on practitioners by Gavin Foggo and Deepak Arora
 
16 November 2010, Solicitors Journal “In with the New” examining the new regime for the Patents County Court by Patrick Wheeler (see attached)