The Practical Lawyer


Trial bundles – careful preparation required

Rather like buses, one waits for judicial comment on court documents and trial bundles, and then two come along at once. An article discusses a recent case in which the court was unimpressed with the claimant’s approach to the trial bundle, saying that its impact would be felt not just in terms of costs but also in the judgment on the trial. A CA case has also stated that a failure to follow the practice direction on the citation of authorities can lead the parties to expect the cost of preparing a non-compliant bundle of authorities to be disallowed.
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Documents – access by non-parties

The SC has clarified the extent of the court’s discretion to allow non-parties access to documents in a civil claim. Previously, civil claims have relied heavily on oral evidence, arguments and judgment which anyone present in court could hear. However, much more written material is now involved in cases eg statements of case, disclosed documents, skeleton arguments and written submissions which result in a written judgment. Thus, for non-parties, the proceedings may be difficult, if not impossible, to follow without access to these documents. An interesting article discusses an SC case which considered the extent and operation of the principle of open justice in terms of what access non-parties to litigation should be given to the written material and how.
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Costs – proportionality

The HC has considered a case on the approach to be taken by a judge when assessing proportionality using the test as per CPR r44.3(5) which states:
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DPS – eight months on

We reported in our March 2019 edition (p30) about the fact that the Disclosure Pilot Scheme (DPS) came into force on 1 January 2019. It will operate for two years in respect of all new proceedings in the Business and Property Courts in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle.
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Serving overseas – check the rules

 It might sound obvious, but if a firm is instructed to serve proceedings overseas, the firm must ensure that the rules of service in the relevant country are properly observed. The CA recently considered a case applying for permission to extend time for service of a claim outside the jurisdiction. 
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Solicitors witness statements – disregarded?

The HC recently considered a case involving the redevelopment of two properties. The facts of the case are secondary to the interesting comments made by the judge in relation to the practice of solicitors providing witness statements in litigation. The judge said that: 
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Solicitors costs reduced - duplicating counsel's work

The CA has recently massively reduced the amount of costs claimed by a solicitor's firm in a matter where counsel was instructed. To put it in perspective - this was an appeal against a costs order for £23,000 for which counsel's ('reasonable and proportionate') fees were £6,662 - those of the law firm were £71,072! These costs were put forward as 'slightly higher than anticipated' - the court's view was that this was a 'mastery of understatement'.

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Pleadings - third party enquiries

The CA has recently considered the scope of CPR r16.5 which prescribes that:

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MIB – liable for injury on private land

The CA has held that the MIB was liable to pay compensation to someone injured in a car accident on private land. 
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Transfer to CFA – beware!

The HC has considered an interesting case relating to a change in funding arrangements part way though a litigation matter. A firm commenced litigation proceedings relating to delay in a meningitis diagnosis under the legal aid scheme.
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Most-read articles

LPAs – gifts by attorneys
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Giving attorneys the power under an LPA to make gifts to others and themselves can invalidate it, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has ruled in a test case. The law limits the power of... Read more...
VAT and disbursements – Law Society guidance
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The Law Society has issued a detailed new practice note ‘VAT Treatment of Disbursements and Expenses’ (8 October 2019) following two recent cases in which the concept of disbursements has been... Read more...
Socialising with colleagues – a thing of the past?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 It is not the role of The Practical Lawyer to judge. But firms would be well advised to re-visit their attitude to lawyers socialising with each other following a recent high-profile case of the... Read more...
Trial bundles – careful preparation required
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Rather like buses, one waits for judicial comment on court documents and trial bundles, and then two come along at once. An article discusses a recent case in which the court was unimpressed with the... Read more...
Infant approval hearing – top tips
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the... Read more...
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – fully into force
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
We have reported in our March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28) editions on the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force for new tenancies and licences to occupy on 1 June 2019. The Act... Read more...
CVA – use to reduce rent
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 If a limited company is insolvent, it can use a CVA to pay creditors over a fixed period. If creditors agree, the limited company can continue trading. The CVA has been used by companies in the... Read more...
Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The HC has considered whether or not to correct a mistake on a registered title. Under Sch 4 LRA 2002 the court can order rectification but no order may be made without the proprietor’s consent in... Read more...
Paternity – best interests
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
What’s the court’s approach to paternity cases when the issue arises years after the child’s birth, and in circumstances where both child and F always believed F was the biological father, but... Read more...
Religious beliefs – not always protected
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
The ET has heard an interesting case relating to a person’s religious beliefs. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced... Read more...


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