LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

November 2014

Welcome to this month’s newsletter which contains details of some of our past and future events.

We also include details of the recent guidance given by the Commercial Court and Chancery Division on Court practice. 


PAST EVENTS

JLSLA Workshop – 18 September 2014

The workshop entitled “Clients are from Mars and Solicitors are from Venus.  How to work effectively with difficult clients” was another popular event for the JLSLA.  The interactive workshop led by Maktuno Suit (a psychodynamic psychotherapist) looked at how to work effectively with challenging clients.  It also explored issues relating to solicitor/client relationships and offered practical tools for managing client’s behaviour and solicitors’ responses.

LSLA/Combar Dinner – 14 October 2014

Committee members of the LSLA and Combar held another interesting meeting and dinner to discuss how we can work together to maximise the efficiency of the Courts and share experiences.  In particular, the discussion on the judicial role in costs budgeting provoked debate and identified an ongoing desire for training and enthusiasm from some members of the bench.  

JLSLA Autumn Bash – 22 October 2014

The event organised exclusive by Gingerline for the JLSLA was a huge success.   The location of the Bash was kept secret until the night before and members were treated to an immersive dining experience at a transformed warehouse very close to a station on the jubilee line.  Guests, who are asked to keep information about the event confidential, enjoyed free-flowing cocktails and entertainment throughout the evening.   It gets a big thumbs up from the JLSLA. 

The event marked the end of the JLSLA’s calendar and a year of successful and well-received events targeted towards junior members.  


FUTURE EVENTS

Annual Dinner – 26 November 2014

Our Annual Dinner will be held on 26 November 2014 at the Law Society.  Our speaker this year will be Lord Justice Jackson and Ali Malek QC.  To make the evening go with a swing, Ali Sephton, singer songwriter will entertain us after dinner on piano and vocals. 

There are still a few tickets left for the evening.  We have held the ticket price for a further year to £95 per head which includes a champagne reception and wine during the three course dinner.  There will also be a bar available for other drinks before and after the dinner.

To apply for tickets please go on-line to www.lsla.co.uk/events/programme or complete the form attached and return it as soon as possible as this event sells out quickly. Please specify any dietary requirements and list all attendees when returning the form.

Autumn/Winter Lecture Series

The series has just kicked off with the first lecture from Clive Freedman QC on the topic of “Cross-Examination: A Collaborative Approach”.  Clive debunked the myth that cross-examination is the barrister’s domain and, in an informative talk proposed that the best results are achieved by a collaboration of barrister, solicitor and client. The combination can be a case changer.

Future lectures are:

  • Monday 1 December 2014 at Herbert Smith Freehills - “When to keep a secret and when to tell the world” from Ben Strong QC of One Essex Court Chambers. Subtitled, market abuse, insider dealing and reflections on financial crime, Ben’s lecture will consider the FCA’s enforcement powers in light of the recent decision in Hannam v FCA, and also the more general ethical dilemmas in relation to confidential information and differences between market practice and a regulator’s expectations.
  • Tuesday 13 January 2015 at Herbert Smith Freehills - “Termination of Contracts: Pitfalls and Traps to Avoid” by Michael Fealy QC of One Essex Court Chambers discussing contractual termination.
  • Thursday 5 February 2015 at Hogan Lovells - “Injunctions and Recent Developments in Interim Relief” from Steven Gee QC of Stone Chambers Steven Gee QC is author of leading text “Commercial Injunctions” and will discuss injunctions and recent developments in interim relief.

Attendance is not limited to LSLA members. Anyone can apply for tickets via the website – http://www.lsla.co.uk/events – or via the attached form and the lectures count for CPD purposes (the reference code will appear on the admission tickets for the lectures). The cost is £20 per event or £70 for all four (non-members £25 or £90). Our lectures are usually sold out, so please apply early for tickets.

The lecture by Steven Gee QC on 5 February 2015 will be held at the Auditorium at Hogan Lovells, Atlantic House, 50 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG.

The lectures by Ben Strong QC on 1 December 2014 and Michael Fealy QC on 13 January 2015, respectively, will be held at the Auditorium at Herbert Smith Freehills, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2HS.

The lectures will start at 6.00pm and will last approximately one hour, to include a period for questions at the end, and will be followed by drinks.

COMMERCIAL COURT GUIDANCE ON TIME ESTIMATES AND EXTENSIONS OF TIME 

Mr Justice Flaux, the Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court, has issued guidance in relation to time estimates and extensions of time:

Time estimates For Trials and Applications: Parties are reminded of the provisions of D17 and F10 of the Commercial Court Guide in relation to the importance of accurate time estimates for all applications and trials. This applies not only to the length of the hearing, but to reading time for the judge. The estimate of the length of the hearing should include time for writing and delivering judgment. Failure to provide an accurate time estimate may lead to the case being stood out of the list or adjourned part heard to be re-fixed.

Extensions of time: Parties are reminded of the terms of CPR 3.8(4), providing that extensions of time for up to 28 days can be agreed between the parties (without the need for an application to the Court) provided that the extension does not put at risk any hearing date. Where any such extension of time is agreed, the Court should be informed in writing. 

Where a longer extension is sought, so that an application to the Court is necessary, then, even if the extension is agreed and the Judge is being invited to make a Consent Order on paper, the application should identify in every case any relevant forthcoming hearing date(s). If the extension sought will or may put any such hearing date at risk, the application must make that clear, as the Judge may wish to give further directions on paper or at a hearing. If the extension sought will not put any such hearing date at risk, the application should contain an express statement to that effect.

Copies of Mr Justice Flaux’s guidance notes are attached.

REMINDER OF NEW CHANCERY PROCEDURE

Chief Master Marsh issued a new Practice Note on 8 September 2014 (copy attached) which identifies important changes to the procedure in the Chancery Division of the High Court.  The key points arising from the note are set out below.

  1. From 1 October 2014, the Chancery Division in London will start using the new CE-file electronic court file for all new matters, and for applications in matters started before 1 October 2014.
  2. Court users will not be able to file documents electronically until the end of 2015.
  3. The Chancery Division will be converting all court files into electronic versions.
  4. Any paper documents lodged with the court will only be retained for six months, after which they will be destroyed.  The only exception is original documents, which must be very clearly marked as such.
  5. From 1 October 2014, a hearing bundle will be required for every hearing, however short.  A strict “no bundle, no hearing” policy will be adopted.  Hearings will be adjourned if a bundle is not filed.
  6. Exhibits to witness statements should only include essential documents where there is a real need for it to be considered by the court and a real likelihood of it being referred to at a hearing.
  7. Correspondence with the court should EITHER be in writing (always where a fee is to be paid) OR by fax OR by email, but not in more than one medium.
  8. Witness statements for trial and expert’s reports should never be filed, unless directed to do so by the court. 
  9. From 1 October 2014 parties will usually be required to provide the court with drafts of orders which can be approved and sealed without amendment.  The approved form of order is attached to the Practice Note. 
  10. Following a hearing the court should direct which party should produce the order.  The applicant or Claimant should do so in default, unless they are a litigant in person.
  11. Parties (rather than the court) will be required to serve orders once they have been sealed, unless directed otherwise.
  12. Draft orders should be submitted in a format which can be amended to correct minor errors (for example, as a Word attachment to an email).
  13. There are specific extra rules for consent orders including Tomlin orders.  Confidential schedules to Tomlin orders should not be lodged, but the order must clearly identify the agreement and where it is held.  

LSLA – RECENT PRESS

Since our last newsletter, committee members of the LSLA and JLSLA have written various articles for national publications including:


LSLA WEBSITE

Our website at http://www.lsla.co.uk/ includes: details of our forthcoming events, copies of the responses we have filed to recent consultations, recent articles and press citing members of the association, and past editions of the newsletter.

You can also join the LSLA via our website as well as sign up for future events on it.

We hope that our website will prove a source of information for members.  Please let us know if you have any comments on it.

Now that the website has been launched we are working on providing feeds to our LinkedIn and Twitter addresses. 


LSLA MEMBERSHIP

The form for any new members who wish to join is attached.  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 also offers corporate membership to firms.  Essentially, for £500 a firm with corporate membership can register an unlimited number of litigation solicitors working for it in London as members.  Please contact Julian Copeman at julian.copeman@hsf.com if you would like to take out corporate membership. 

You can also join the LSLA by visiting our website at http://www.lsla.co.uk/.


LIST OF SUPERVISING SOLICITORS

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. 

The Junior LSLA

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. 

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, Caroline Field, at cfield@foxlawyers.com.

The JLSLA can also be contacted via their LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Junior-London-Solicitors-Litigation-Association-4438638/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro