Sunday, 31 October 2010

Staying in Bath

The obvious choice for people coming to Bath is the Royal Crescent Hotel and also the Bath Spa .They are very expensive.
.If you want somewhere more relaxed with the most amazing food and a stunning wine list then go to the Wheatsheaf at Combe Hay,a ten minute taxi ride out in deep countryside.It is so lovely that the man who created Ashes to Ashes bought the house nearby when he made his millions.
 The Bartons are the wondrous people who run it with a passion.Highly recommended.Ian Barton has forgotten more about wine than i will ever know.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Free costs seminar,Manchester.

On Tuesday November 30th Kings Chambers ,Manchester,in conjunction with Frenkel Topping,are holding a teatime seminar.
Mark Friston,whom i regard as by far the best costs junior in the country,will analyse the consequences of Gibbon,the most important decision of 2010.
I will look at the future of litigation and give an update on the latest Whitehall thinking on the Young/Jackson reforms in which i am now formally involved. Then drinks.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Allegedly dishonest claimants

The fun starts on the day after my birthday which is December 12th.The High Court in London is to consider the accuracy of the evidence given by the claimant in Owens v Noble and i understand another contempt case is being heard against a claimant whom the defendants say signed off a false statement of truth.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Case and costs management

Obviously,when i was a litigator i was without equal.Who else could attend on a Consent Order and lose? Exactly.
Well it happened again yesterday when i had the best legal fun sitting on the High Court bench with His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC in Birmingham as part of my new job monitoring case/costs management for Sir Rupert Jackson.
At the end of trial the parties agreed to ask for a stay for a year,pending the outcome of other proceedings.Simon Brown was having none of it.He chucked the parties out to agree the minimum quantum the winner was bound to get.20 minutes later he had made an award of £20,000 and resolved costs too in a sensible manner.In all seriousness i think that Judges ought to spend half a day watching how it is done.It calls for a simple knowledge of Part 1 of the CPR and commonsense.This man is exemplary.
I will spend a full day next month sitting and will then write my initial report.
I was on my best behaviour apart from a delirious moment when i wondered if i could pass the death sentence whilst on the bench .She had a lucky escape.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Prime Minister on Lord Young on Sir Rupert Jackson!

No one can now doubt that Jackson is going to be implemented.
The Prime Minister in his introduction to the report published today admits that he asked Lord Young to consider costs and compensation when in opposition.He proceeds to embrace the Young proposals.In turn,"I fully endorse the recommendations that he has made" says Young of the Jackson report.Unanimity.
Earlier this week i was asked by Sir Rupert and the Master of the Rolls to oversee the Mercantile costs management pilot and today Sir Rupert gave me the job of doing the same in the Construction Court.It is (unsurprisingly ) clear they mean business.
The legend that is Ken Slade of Weightmans has produced a perfect summary of Young.Please e mail me if you would like a copy;

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Challenging Jackson

I had a long talk with the founding partners of Gadsby Wicks,the highly regarded clinical negligence firm,this week.They are concerned that the proposal to end the recoverability of liabilities will kill their work.
One argument they raised against this was based upon section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 ,part of which was enacted yesterday.Section 1 does indeed seek to impose upon public authorities a duty to have regard to the reduction of socio-economic inequalities.
Sadly ,i do not think this will stand up.The section is not in force and i have it on high authority that the new government will never implement it,a measure created by the previous government.Section 2 is noteworthy for empowering the government to carve out exclusions from section 1 at will.I know a little bit about employment law and fear that this argument will never get off the ground.
Now Article 6 may be a better bet.I think ,professionally and personally,the next 3 months are going to be amazing.We shall see.

Electronic disclosure.

The new Rules and Direction came into force yesterday.
There is a mistake in question 8 on the new questionaire! It should say (A) attachments to e-mails not attachments to (A) e-mails etc.
It will still be an issue as to proportionality when determining if the e-disclosure path should be taken.I thought this was all new but i recently met an older lady who was involved in litigation long ago where e-disclosure took place.It is certainly fashionable now.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Lord Young

His key ideas are being announced next week (there are 40 as i mentioned last month).
Those doing clinical negligence work can expect to be squeezed by Young and Jackson.Civil servants are briefing the media now that the cost to the NHS is £770,000,000,up by a third in 3 years.

Sean Jones-employment barrister of the year!