LSLA

London Solicitors Litigation Association

September 2009

London Solicitors Litigation Association

After the Summer break, welcome to a bumper edition of our latest newsletter which contains details of some of our most recent and future activities and issues which might affect you. For more details please visit our website by clicking here.

LSLA News

Renewal of Membership
Renewal forms should have been sent to you to renew your membership. The LSLA has an active membership and ever growing voice on issues concerning civil and commercial litigation. 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.

Autumn Lecture Series
The Lecture series begins next month and covers a number of relevant and interesting topics. The schedule is as follows:

  • 14 October 2009 “The Reforms Ten Years on” by Lord Woolf of Barnes
  • 20 October 2009 “Is Jackson on the Right Track?” Professor Michael Zander QC
  • 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

Please click here to download a summary of these lectures and a booking form.

LSLA Annual Dinner – 17 November 2009
The Annual Dinner will be held at the Law Society on Tuesday 17 November 2009.

Our guests this year are Lord Grabiner QC and Joanna Kennedy, Chief Executive of The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust.

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. A booking form is attached to this newsletter.

Legal News

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 Mercantile and Technology and Construction Court in Birmingham have begun a trial of Lord Justice Jackson’s concept of “costs management” which emphasises the need to produce detailed costs estimates and to manage costs as a part of usual case management.

Commercial Court Long Trials Working Party
Members will remember that some two years ago the Working Part was established to consider the management of complex and substantial litigation in the Commercial Court. As a result of the Working Party’s findings, the Commercial Court Guide has been revised and the amended Admiralty and Commercial Courts Guide was published in May 2009.

The recommendations of the Working Party underwent a trial in the Commercial Court, so many practitioners might well not notice any change in practice following amendment of the rules. However your attention is drawn to the amendments.

Practitioners might also not be aware of the Electronic Working Party Scheme which started on 1 April 2009 and runs initially until 31 March 2010, by which in the circumstances set out in the Practice Direction parties may use the arrangements to commence and take certain steps in proceedings in the Commercial Court (and some other Courts) electronically.

CPR – 50th Update
The 50th Update introduces changes to a large number of areas, which, subject to a couple of exceptions, come into force on 1 October 2009.

The amendments include:

  • Part 35 and PD35 – Experts and Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil claims

    The changes are made to inter alia, clarify the definition of an expert, revise the experts’ statement of truth and ensure the questions posed of experts are proportionate and appropriate;
  • Part 44 and PD43-48 – Regarding After the Event Insurance (“ATE”)

    The amendments introduce a requirement of parties to notify the other parties of the existence of and information about an ATE premium; penalties can be imposed where the existence of such premium is not disclosed; and there is now provision for a specific period after notification of an ATE premium when a Defendant who admits liability and offers to settle will not incur liability for the Claimants ATE policy if the matter settles without proceedings being issued.
  • PD51 – Pilot schemes operating in all Courts for one year, including the Electronic working pilot (see above) and pilot costs budgeting schemes being run in the RCJ and High Court at Manchester in relation to defamation, libel and malicious falsehood cases.

Consultation Papers
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.

Chair of SRA Board Announced
The Law Society has announced that it has appointed Charles Plant as the Chair of the SRA Board. Charles Plant, who is the former head of commercial litigation at Herbert Smith and now a consultant with that firm, will take up his duties from 1 January 2010.

The Rolls Building – update
Construction of the Rolls building continues apace. Details of the progress were recently circulated and a copy of the update is attached to this newsletter.

Recent Press

Committee Members of the LSLA and the LSLA itself have written several recent articles including:

  • 8 September 2009, Solicitors Journal “Mediation – Best Behaviour” by John Bramhall and Mercedes Castillo
  • 22 September 2009, Solicitors Journal “Friendly Fire” by Seamus Smyth (click here to see article)