September 2014 Archive

Gleeson’s bid to build in Malmesbury succeeds in spite of local opposition

The potential for conflict between the national need for more housing (encapsulated in the National Planning Policy Framework) and the desire to give local communities a voice in development on their doorstep was brought into sharp focus by a dispute arising from an application by Gleeson to build 180 houses on the outskirts of Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Gleeson’s proposed development had entered the planning pipeline before Malmesbury had produced its draft Neighbourhood Plan which, when published, opposed the planned site of the development. This opposition caught the attention of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) - but only after he had already allowed the case to be determined by the Planning Inspector. What then followed was almost worthy of an episode of ‘Yes, Minister’.

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.
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