The Practical Lawyer


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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Discontinuance – who pays the costs?

When a claimant discontinues a claim, this may result in relief that the matter is over; however the court must decide who should pay the costs of the litigation. A useful article considers some of the issues arising.
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Service – no duty to point out error

The CA has held that there is no obligation on a firm which is incorrectly served with proceedings to notify the claimant’s lawyers of such an error.
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Most-read articles

Inheritance claims – interim payments
Wednesday, 09 October 2019
When can the court exercise its statutory power to award interim payments to a claimant under the Inheritance Act? This issue rarely comes before the court and the author of this article highlights... Read more...
Refund entitlement – taxable amount not reduced
Wednesday, 09 October 2019
In their monthly VAT update, EY report on a case that will be interesting to lawyers as the facts involved an SDLT avoidance scheme (perhaps unsurprisingly, the four companies involved are in... Read more...
Costs – challenge promptly
Friday, 04 October 2019
Litigation solicitors will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief to note that a costs judge has refused a claimant’s application to challenge a solicitor’s bill that was agreed and approved over four... Read more...
Serving overseas – check the rules
Friday, 04 October 2019
 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... Read more...
Pet rent – permissible
Friday, 04 October 2019
The excellent Pain Smith blog reminds us about the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (which we reported on in our previous editions – March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28)). The Act outlaws letting fees paid by... Read more...
Brexit frustration – update
Friday, 04 October 2019
We reported in our April 2019 edition (p27) on the interesting case where the HC had to consider whether potential departure by the UK from the EU was sufficient to satisfy the legal meaning of... Read more...
Fixtures – what passes on sale of land?
Friday, 04 October 2019
Property lawyers will recall their land law, which states that fixtures can pass on the sale of land but fittings do not. This can be seen as an archaic distinction – but a recent HC case has... Read more...
Parents – gender
Thursday, 03 October 2019
 A definition of the term ‘mother’ has been established for the first time under English common law in a landmark case. At issue was: where a person born female who has undergone gender... Read more...
Drugs and alcohol – managing in the workplace
Thursday, 03 October 2019
An interesting article reminds employers to review their drugs and alcohol policies and breaches of them in the light of recent developments. Businesses are increasingly expected to support employees... Read more...
Terrorism – notice of detention
Thursday, 03 October 2019
A revised notice of detention which examining officers must provide to someone detained under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 has been published by the government. The notice gives information... Read more...


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