September 2014 Archive

Recovery of success fees and insurance premiums no longer possible after April 2015

Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) success fees and After The Event (ATE) insurance premiums will no longer be recoverable in proceedings brought by liquidators, administrators, trustees in bankruptcy, or companies in liquidation or administration. This means that defendants will no longer be liable for success fees and ATE premiums in claims

Solicitor’s negligence – has loss been caused by the breach? Can solicitors limit their liability?

The Court has recently given judgment in Hirtenstein v Hill Dickinson, a case which considered whether a solicitor had been negligent when acting on the purchase of a super yacht. The case provides another example of the need for bad advice to have actually caused loss.

Bankruptcy: who pays Trustee’s costs on annulment?

A case that came before the High Court in 2013 has highlighted the discretion of the court to decide whether, and if so by whom, the Trustee’s costs, arising from a bankruptcy order which was subsequently annulled, should be paid. Dr and Mrs Oraki were declared bankrupt after a refusal to pay the legal fees of their solicitor who, they alleged, was guilty of misconduct. On appeal, their bankruptcy orders were annulled. However, the matter was not over: the couple then appealed against the order to pay the costs (which were considerable) accrued by the Trustee in Bankruptcy and then to reclaim the sum from their solicitor’s firm.

Solicitors’ professional negligence: damages in loss of chance claims against solicitors

Solicitors acting for a structured credit salesman who had been working for JP Morgan failed to lodge a court document in time. This prevented their client from appealing an employment tribunal decision that had gone against him. The solicitors admitted negligence and the court therefore needed to assess the value of what the client had lost as a result. This July 2014 decision summarises how the courts go about that.

Professional negligence: no liability for architect’s negligent certificates issued after purchase

In a decision welcomed by architects, the Court of Appeal has overturned the decision in Hunt v Optima (Cambridge) Ltd. It has rejected claims for negligence in respect of an architect's certificates, since the purchasers were unable to show reliance on the certificates, given they were issued after purchase.
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