Thursday, 30 June 2011

CHEAP WINE

This hot weather makes me thirsty.Morrisons are selling 6 bottles at 25% off until sunday.The best buy is their own label champagne which knocks Moet over.

REFERRAL FEES DAY 4

The Times today,page 17, suggests the Government is changing its mind and looking to ban them.Rupert Jackson ,yet again, is seeming to secure exactly what he recommended 18 months ago.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

LAWYERS IN EMPLOYMENT CASES

The Supreme Court has today decided ,by a 4-1 majority,that an employee is not entitled to bring an external lawyer to a disciplinary hearing .The majority had the vapours at the thought of ghastly lawyers running around in the workplace . Shame.the decision is on the superb BAILLI website but not that of the Supreme Court.

TRAFIGURA

The senior costs Judge is to deliver a supplementary judgment dealing with interest on costs in this very expensive piece of litigation.

Part 36

The Court of Appeal has delivered an important decision today on Part 36-MARCUS V MEDWAY PCT.Lord Justice Jackson,who is wrongly perceived as anti-claimant,delivered a dissenting judgment saying that a costs order should have been upheld for the benefit of a claimant who only recovered 0.25% of the damages sought.The majority penalised the claimant on costs.

REFERRAL FEES

Three days in a row !
The Panorama programme is to be broadcast on July 18th -thank you Tony Learmonth,the oracle,for that.
Axa ,according to page I of the Times today,has decided to abandon referral fees.
The portal ,demanded by insurers ,is a year old.Why aren't premiums now falling?

LIMITATION IN INJURY CASES

On July 28 the Supreme Court is to hear submissions on whether to grant the nuclear test claimants leave to appeal.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

REFERRAL FEES AGAIN

The OFT,Which magazine and ,most deadly of all,the Daily Mail is on the warpath.Never underestimate the impact of that newspaper.

Monday, 27 June 2011

REFERRAL FEES TO BE BANNED

It could happen. The leader in the Times today says they are evil, something Sir Rupert Jackson said on 14th January 2010.The recent paper from the Legal Services Board saying they were alright was a turgid,clumsy document.
Panorama has recorded a programme about how much insurance companies are making from them and Jack Straw is now campaigning to ban them,something he could have done when he was Lord Chancellor .
The outcry over rising car insurance premiums could have one horrific impact upon claimants.The whiplash industry would be eradicated were the small claims limit to rise to £3,000 or even £5,000.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Australian lawyers

They are just so advanced, we have much to learn from the likes of Geoffrey Lambert (e-disclosure ) and Liz Harris (case and costs management ).And they know so much about good wine too.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION COMMITMENT

The Government has now released the detailed commitment to ADR, something i revealed was coming many months ago.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

THE RTA PORTAL

What may well be the first appeal  on the workings of it comes before HHJ Gore QC on july 7th at Liverpool.The case is LAMB V GREGORY and the issue is wherther there is a mechanism for adducing witness evidence from the claimant as part of the stage 2 process.
My thanks to Andrew C. Lawson of St Johns Buildings for the tip.

PENNINGTON LEGAL

My thanks to Hanif Isa and his compatriots for organising a talk and dinner at Old Trafford last night.It was free but the company nobly asked that the 200 attendees make a donation to a charity of my choice .The attention to detail was staggering .I have never had 4 bodyguards before.They looked fearsome ,perhaps because their dresses were very tight.
I also had the benefit of a long chat with Matt Gibbons of Dean s Court Chambers, an astute and charming man.
I also bumped into Paul Carroll on the way to the event, a loyal follower of many years.Top man.

DEFENDANT INSURERS PANELS

I am helping 2 insurers to decide which firms ought to be retained .Cost apart,it is pleasing that they are both very keen on training and legal knowledge. If you do not know your Cv D from your AB V CD you will not be welcome.

THE JACKSON BILL

The profound changes are there ;clauses 41,42 and 43.
Where though is one -way costs shifting,the 10% damages uplift and the demise of Lownds? The ever -vigilant Angela Hanmore spotted the gaps at once.
Damages could be increased by judicial diktat but i cannot how the other reforms can happen without clear legislation.I shall make enquiries.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

LEGAL WRITING

It is murder.I have just signed off a big update for Lexis and also my bit in Tolleys employment law handbook.The reward is an invite to the Lexis authors party at the Savoy on july 12th.
 Writing for the NLJ is a pleasure for the editor is brilliant and supportive.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Alternative business structures

I do not believe for a moment that the legal world will be transformed. Why ever would anyone buy into an industry where the fundamentals are about bto change and few know what the new numbers will be? At what level will costs be fixed in fast-track? What will be the fast track ceiling next year? How many new portals are coming?
 I spluttered when i read that the Co-op are looking to enter the market.On the basis of my last dealings with them i would trust them no more than i could throw them.
 Also ,some solicitors are going to set up stands in W H Smith.Their shops are dreadful and overpriced.How can Waitrose sell crisps for 60 p when they charge 90p for the same product? Who would associate them and those on their premises with value??

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Exeter wine education

I was lucky enough to have a personal tutor in tasting a ferocity wine blister of a bottle,2001 Mersault .It was very nice ,said the expert and she was right.Sean Jones,the kindest man on earth ,and i will be writing a new wine column  for Counsel Magazine this month.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

WASTE AND THE MOJ

A Crown Court Judge ,Beatrice Bolton,was convicted last december of failing to control her dog.She chewed gum during the hearing and called her conviction "a fucking travesty".Nice girl.
She has been suspended on full pay since, pending an inquiry into what happened.Why on earth should it take 6 months and continuing?  Any competent employer would have dealt with this in a fortnight.She will have trousered over £50,000 to date.A disgrace.

SHOPPING AT BICESTER

Those heading south for the big society events this month and next may well want to drop into the best shopping outlet in Europe, now enlarged with a big new Prada shop .Be warned that even mid -week it is packed so grab any parking space you see.

SIR RUPERT JACKSON

I heard from the man this week.He is in cracking form despite sitting all week and saturday morning too.
The Jackson Bill will be published this month.The Government are determined to remove legal aid from all clinical negligence claims , as controversial a reform as could be.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

LAWYERS IN TROUBLE

My story last week about Costs Judges dissenting from Jackson made the front page of the Gazette this week.So, expect to see in the Gazette next week
1.A firm of claimant injury solicitors 10 miles from Manchester is being watched by the SRA.Word has reached it that they are not paying bills.They owe their costs draftsman over £100,000.If proceedings are issued i understand the SRA will wander north.
2.One of the biggest sets of Chambers in London has a modest problem with the bank.Well, i regard a £3,000,000 overdraft as modest.Each member has been made to cough up a sum not unadjacent to £40,000 to pacify those rapacious bastards (aka bankers).

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

In -house availability

I am free to present in-house on Part 36,Jackson and the latest CPR news during the latter part of July .My trip to work in New York has been postponed to August.

Part 36 once more

The sensible decision of the Court of Appeal in C v D means that thousands of offers are legally valid after all.I had the benefit of an audience with Ken Slade yesterday,the great PSL at Weightmans who also knows pop music inside out.He points out that many firms dreading negligence claims must now have exhaled a sigh of relief.