LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

October 2009

London Solicitors Litigation Association

Welcome to this months edition of the LSLA newsletter in which 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 News

Supreme Court Event
You should soon be receiving an invitation to our 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) will be looking at the role of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The event will take place at the Supreme Court and will be followed by a mini-tour of the Court and drinks.

Numbers are limited to 50 places.


Autumn Lecture Series
The Lecture series began earlier this month.  That given by Lord Woolf on 14 October 2009 and entitled The Reforms Ten Years on has attracted press in the Gazette (see below). 

In his talk Lord Woolf was critical of lawyers, the judiciary and government for failing to make the most of the reforms.  He said some lawyers had made an industry out of reforms designed to reduce costs and members of the judiciary were not managing cases properly and needed to enforce the rules more strictly whilst the government had failed to deliver the promised best IT.  Lord Woolfs talk focussed on access to justice and the need for lawyers and the judiciary to consider carefully the costs consequences of litigation.  This point has now been seized by Lord Justice Jackson and which was built upon by Prof Michael Zander in his talk a week later on 20 October 2009.

The remaining lectures are:

• 3 November 2009 Controlling the Beast How to Manage the Media Around the World Paul Chesterton and Clare Rodway

• 11 November 2009 E-Disclosure Master Stephen Whitaker

Tickets are still available for these dates.  Contact Angela Schofield at Lovells.


LSLA Annual Dinner 17 November 2009
Tickets are selling fast for the Annual Dinner to be held at the Law Society on Tuesday 17 November 2009.

Lord Grabiner QC and Joanna Kennedy, Chief Executive of The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust shall be our guests this year.

Chambers & Partners 2009 describes Lord Grabiner QC as "Top-drawer".  He "holds a courtroom's attention with his presence."  Such is the esteem that he is held in, he "wins everybody's respect, not least the senior business people he comes into contact with."    Chambers & Partners 2009. 

Joanna Kennedy is Chief Executive of The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust the mission of which is 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.

Tickets cost £95 per head. 

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 anna.pertoldi@herbertsmith.com.


Legal News

ECJ Decision on Choice of Representation funded by Legal Expenses Insurance
Last month the ECJ held in Erhard Eschig v- UNIQA Sachversicherung AG [Case C 119-08]  that Article 4(1)(a) of the Council Directive 87/344/EEC of 22 June 1987 on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to legal expenses insurance must be interpreted as not permitting the legal expenses insurer to reserve the right, where a large number of insured persons suffer loss as a result of the same event, itself to select the legal representative of all the insured persons concerned..  This will obviously have an impact of multiparty actions which are funded by legal expenses insurance.

Consultation Papers

Defamation and the Internet
The Ministry of Justice has issued a consultation paper into Defamation and the internet: the multiple publication rule which seeks views on the multiple publication rule under which each publication of defamatory material can for the basis of a new defamation claim and its effects in relation to on-line archives. The papers considers the arguments for and against the rule and alternatives of a singe publication rule

To obtain a copy of the consultation paper, visit http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/defamation-internet-consultation-paper.htm.

We shall be preparing a response and contributions would be welcome from members.  Please contact Richard Langley at richardlangley@bdb-law.co.uk

Debt Management
The Ministry of Justice has also published another consultation paper entitled Debt Management Schemes delivering effective and balanced solutions for debtors and creditors.  A copy of the consultation paper is available from http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/docs/debt-management-schemes.pdf.

The consultation paper arises from the current economic down turn and seeks to explore options for delivering effective support for debtors and fair returns for creditors.  The current range of measure available to debtors is set out in the Insolvency Services guide In Debt? dealing with your creditors published on 2 July 2009.  Amongst the options considered by the consultation paper are to:

• continue with measures underway to raise awareness about current schemes and enforce existing rules with operators;

• Improve current schemes by the introduction of best practice codes or other non-statutory regulation;

• Commence the powers in Chapter 4 of Part 5 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 to introduce statutory debt repayment plans.

The consultation will end on 18 December and we shall be preparing a response.  If you would like to contribute, please contact Georgina at georgina.squire@roslingking.co.uk.

Lord Justice Jacksons 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.


Recent Press

As members might have seen, on 22 October 2009, The Law Society Gazette featured an article entitled Woolf Lambasts Failures in CPR and a more light-hearted piece in its Obiter section reporting on Lord Woolfs talk to on 14 October.

Copies of these articles can be found at http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/lord-woolf-slams-solicitors-cpr-failings and http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/obiter/woolf-door.