Sarah Perry Archive

Clark v Focus Asset Management

The Court of Appeal has determined whether an accepted Financial Ombudsman’s award prevents further legal proceedings on the same complaint. The Court of Appeal has decided that the Ombudsman award is a judicial decision for the purposes of the requirements of res judicata.

Interest rate swap misselling

Interest rate swaps were originally devised for trading between financial institutions and big corporations. Difficulties have arisen when similar products have been sold to smaller businesses including property developers, hoteliers and so on. It is currently estimated that 40,000 SME’s were mis-sold interest rate swaps. Certain banks have, as a consequence, agreed they will provide redress to non-sophisticated customers.

Could a claim be brought against a solicitor who fails to bring a claim in time?

An issue which often catches out businesses who are seeking to bring a claim is limitation. Limitation is the legal term for when a claim is out of time. If the applicable time period has elapsed, then a claimant will no longer be entitled to bring a claim, no matter how strong their case or how valuable the claim is. However, if solicitors have been instructed and have failed to bring the claim in time, then a professional negligence claim to recover the losses suffered will usually have strong prospects of success.

The difficulties in assessing the correct limitation period in professional negligence cases

A recent case in the Chancery division of the High Court again highlighted the difficulties in assessing the correct limitation period in professional negligence cases. In this case, Integral had a potential professional negligence claim against Haines Watts, a firm of accountants. The case arose out of tax advice Haines Watts had given in or around 1997/1998 in relation to a discretionary bonus scheme.

Enforcing possession orders when the arrears have been cleared

A recent case that went to the Court of Appeal has helped to clarify the situation relating to the longevity of possession orders particularly when mortgagors fall into arrears more than once. In the past, courts have reacted unfavourably to attempts to enforce an order which has already been suspended, where the arrears have subsequently been cleared by the borrower. It has generally been accepted that, once the arrears are cleared under a suspended order, fresh proceedings are required.
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