Friday, 30 November 2012


Mrs Justice Slade has just given judgment in LIGHT ON LINE LTD V ZUMTOBEL. The decision of the 29th November is already on BAILLI. She granted relief from sanctions where the claimant had failed to notify D of the existence of a substantial ATE premium. I was asked about this recently and , for once , my answer coincided with the outcome here.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


I  learnt this evening that i will be sipping something wonderful with someone wonderful at the Connaught soon.Life is hard.
Back on planet earth please do buy Tesco finest non -vintage which is down to £12 a bottle if you buy 6 or more. It is as good as Bollinger and wipes the floor with non -vintage Moet.
If you want Rose then Bollinger is superb and far better than Laurent Perrier.
My co -critic , Sean Jones QC , served vintage Monopole at the christening party on sunday and that was a coup de foudre.


John Kingston is just the best company and so was Francine Read who organised my talk. With the Jackson reforms 131 days away we had plenty to consider . And they bought me a fabulous bottle of wine .Class.


We set another record today, unsurprisingly . Jeremy Morgan QC and His Honour Michael Cook were on great form .Plenty to talk about. The new edition of Cook is out on December 3rd , a day before the Court of Appeal hears HENRY, a case with potentially massive consequences for it will spell out the Judicial take on budgeting and what happens if a successful party exceeds the approved amount in an action.

Monday, 26 November 2012


The company responsible for developing the EL/PL portal extension has just privately admitted to Government that there are no guarantees it will be functioning in April 2013.
Told you so . 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Dame Janet Smith gave a terribly important decision today in JOHNSON V MOD. It was about the vexed question of the date of knowledge to be attributed to a man claiming damages for noise induced deafness.Whilst saying that the decision was close to the line (para.28) she concluded that a reasonable man going deaf at the age of 61 would have wished to determine the cause and so was deemed to have knowledge which meant he was statute -barred. Deafness claims are driving insurers mad on account of the enormous gulf between damages (low ) and costs (high ). Interestingly the claimant only began to consider a claim after a claims management compant rep collared him in a supermarket car park.


This morning the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision delivered by Lord Phillips on the question of vicarious liability for child abuse.
I suggest that all practitioners read the judgment in the Catholic Child Welfare Society (sic ) case. It was held that an unincorporated entity could be treated as an "employer " upon which liability devolved.The law is on the move (para.19) .
There was lavish praise for Macduff J and also Ward LJ. I can only speak for the former who should be in the Court of Appeal . To promote Rix LJ would be astute and make room for Sir Alistair.


The MOJ is about to announce that the continued recoverability of ate premiums will be confined to the cost of expert evidence determining liability and causation only.

Monday, 19 November 2012


I read for many years his well written column in 'The World of Interiors'. He came across an an interesting , decent man.
Having trousered £185,000 tax free from the hapless BBC he is reported as looking for a larger sum from ITV. The crass Schofield stunt represented the depths of the media and why Lord Justice Leveson is going to recommend massive reform in the strongest of terms.


So at last they have gone out to consultation. I still think the figure proposed (£500 ) will be increased . Interesting times.


Whoever is advising the Prime Minister on law reform should be shot.
He announced a clampdown on Judicial Review today. The number of applications has , he said , risen dramatically so his ' cure ' is to charge loads more for making applications.
That is imbecilic. The increase , which he did not mention , is wholly down to immigration challenges. Were the Government to get a grip on that issue the problem would be solved.
How can it be a solution to charge more money and anyway doesnt one need leave to seek JR? That is in itself a highly effective filter. Our Judiciary is second to none and it suggests that they are all duped cretins.
I do not blame the Prime Minister ; he is relying upon people unfit to give decent advice.
What is more , the imminent Leveson report is utter dynamite as you will see. Law reform could be the undoing of a Prime Minister, truly.


It seems so long ago when i did the very first dispute resolution webinar . I have chaired everyone since.  We will break records again with the programme starring His Honour Michael Cook and Jeremy Morgan QC . The numbers already booked with 10 days yet to go is the largest ever. It is a fine tribute to the 2 presenters.
MBL are running a costs conference in London on december 7th and that has over 100 bookings already including , hopefully , jet - setter Nicola Hoskin. See you there i hope. It is such a big event that Janine Mallon , the Queen of MBL , is coming down.
Finally , i hear that Dr Friston has generated 2 further print runs with his recent book on the subject of costs , something unheard of in legal publishing ( well until i write my memoirs , obviously ).


I have slightly gone off her since last week because in her RAGGETT judgment she was critical of the claimant for possibly not telling all he knew about a small office fire when he was working as a solicitor.
Who among us hasn't started the odd fire or two ? Really.
Paul Scrutton , marketing supremo at Frenkel Topping, recently confessed to setting his beloved 'Guardian ' alight at the Hotel Du Vin which sensibly uses candlelight in the evening.Amateur; i have started 3 fires ( that they know about anyway ) at Du Vin , twice in York and once in Brighton.They were very accomodating and now on arrival i just hand over my matches , parrafin and firelighters which they put in the safe.


There is a massive promotion coming this week with significant discounts across much of the store. Amex cardholders can buy wednesday; it is to be thrown open to all from thursday to sunday.
Best buys because they never go on sale are Diptique candles, Creed aftershave/perfume and Fracas perfume which you would only buy for someone you adored .There is to be 10% off wine but their bottles are expensive and i would not bother.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


The 2 parcels which Sean Jones QC and i recommended here some weeks ago were top tips in the Indy yesterday and the Observer today.So there ; Sean knows his stuff.


Booksellers shift more books in december than the rest of the year combined.If you are looking to buy then consider the following.
'The Works ' is a national chain of discounters which has ghastly window displays but enter within and there are tremendous buys . I bought my 2013 'Whitakers Almanack ' published at £50 and £32 on Amazon for £15 yesterday, shrink wrapped and box fresh.
' The Book People ' sell online a narrow range of titles but at prices that beggar belief.I have just got 10 volumes of the sadly overlooked Somerset Maughan for £10, crisp and new.
Amazon is stunning and do support small publishers giving them a platform that the few big chains denied them.My new 'Whos Who' 2013 came in at a 30% discount.


That says it all really.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


In the latest 'Spectator ' published yesterday he reveals his 3 books of the year to be 'Vauxhall Gardens' , 'The Italian Paintings Before 1400' and 'Castlereagh ' . The last is the biography of the most hated man in England who ended up committing suicide.Mmm.
On no account are you to mention Viz , Shades of Smut or ' Commentaries on the Laws of England ' by Blackstone. The German publisher Taschen has published a book of artistic photographs of the female form with a panic cover so that you can remove the true cover ( Ed Fox ' Glamour From the Ground Up' ) to reveal the more anodyne Blackstone beneath. Look on Amazon . How long before ' The Green Book ' turns blue ? 

Friday, 16 November 2012


The new edition has gone to print and is to be published on December 3rd.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


At the Lexis injury board meeting last night was Stephen Garner who has recently joined Old Square Chambers in London having made his mark in Birmingham. He would be wonderful with claimant clients and spoke much wisdom at our get together .

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


The highly regarded big breast litigator features in 'The Times ' magazine this saturday and quite right too; she is adored by her clients.


Just to confirm that the Court of Appeal has accelerated the hearing in HENRY which is now on early next month.


On the strength of her recent, meticulous decision in RAGGETT on November 9th it is evident that she is destined soon to go to the Appeal Court.I cannot remember such a thoughtful and thorough decision in such detail and just on quantum.


There are a welter coming up .On the 17th it is my co-writer Vicky Regan (and Les ) .Mrs Padmore on the 21st and then December 12 which isTeresa Aitken, Nico and me with the legend that is Ken Slade on the 13th.


Andrew Twambley at Amelans has today announced that the door to Injury Lawyers For You is open to all.His model is clearly what the SRA had in mind when giving an example of a lawful source of claimant work.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


There are 2 big events on in December.
On wednesday 5th an employment law day starring Sean Jones QC is on ; i will probably be making the tea.
On friday 7th we have a major costs conference that already has 100 booked on .The star is Michael Bacon , the budgeting guru, with a number of other experts all chosen by me (so no turkeys ).
Both events are in London and are organised By those nice people at MBL Seminars.


It is satisfying to see Stuart McKechnie singled out for high praise ; a silk in the making , something you could have read here for free 2 years ago.Jacob Levy also gets a decent mention and quite right to.


I am so grateful to ace barrister Simon Butler for sending me a brand new High Court decision , Jolly , published on bonfire night.It is helpful to defendants for the Judge declined to enter judgment upon acceptance by D of an offer so denying C the potential rewards available .

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Waitrose has today started a buy 6 get 25% off promotion which runs until the 6th . Fill your boots with their own label champagne .
Majestic has Vintage sparkling Pelorus on deep,discount and 1994 Rioja . The latter was the best vintage of the last century. At £19 a bottle it is my best buy for Christmas . Awesome .