lexlaw zuberi damages based agreementscovid 19 corona virus courts remote hearing

Damages Based Agreements: High Court confirms DBA enforceability

The High Court judgment in Lexlaw Ltd v Zuberi [2020] EWHC 1855 (Ch) (10 July 2020) provides much needed certainty over payment provisions on early termination in DBAs. The clarity given by HHJ Parfitt in relation to the DBA Regulations will widen access to justice as impecunious litigants will be more able to pursue civil and commercial litigation via damages-based agreements.

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Solicitor-client dispute: Firm’s failure to update cost estimate

In a trial of a preliminary issue, Senior Courts Costs Office Costs Judge, Master Leonard, held that a law firm breached its professional and contractual duties by failing to adequately advise a client on mounting costs and failing to update an initial costs estimate for work on a matter after the estimate was exceeded.

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High Court rule service of Claim Form to be ineffective

Piepenbrock v Associated Newspapers [2020] EWHC 1708 is another case concerning where and when service may occur on the Defendant’s solicitors. The facts are similar to the Court of Appeal case of Woodward v Phoenix Healthcare Distribution (which Lexlaw were instructed on). The Claimant, a litigant in person, purportedly served the Claim Form on the last day of its four month validity period via email on the Defendants’ solicitors, who had not confirmed whether they were authorised to accept service. This amounted to a failure to effect service of the Claim Form. Applications to the Court to validate service were refused and the claim dismissed highlighting the dangers of ‘DIY litigation’ and the importance of instructing a specialist litigation team.

Unexplained wealth order

Unexplained Wealth Orders: High Court challenge National Crime Agency

The former president of Kazakhstan’s family have successfully challenged three unexplained wealth orders (“UWO”) which were brought by the Nation Crime Agency (“NCA”). The UWO’s were placed upon properties of the family together valued in excess of £80million.

litigation; interim remedy; default judgment; CPR; set aside; application; london

Judgment set aside: Unfair to serve on empty offices in COVID-19 and prospects of successful defence

The High Court set aside a default judgment because the Claim Form had been served on “empty offices” during the COVID-19 lockdown. Despite the Claimant’s solicitors attempts to engage in pre-action correspondence and check requirements for service, the Court was satisfied that the Defendant showed real prospects of successfully defending the claim.

business interruption insurance claim solicitors

Update on FCA’s Business Interruption Insurance test case: Insurers file Defences

Given the complexity of business interruption claims and the legal uncertainty surrounding their enforcement (the FCA have issued a test case recently in the High Court), it is is essential that you seek expert legal advice early in order to prepare your Business Interruption Insurance claim.

failure to mediate costs

The Cost of an Unreasonable Refusal to Mediate

All solicitors have a duty to advise their clients about alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation. Along with the ADR requirements in the pre-action protocols, the CPR and court schemes, overall, mediation is an option that must be considered by parties both before and during litigation (and a failure to do so can lead to costs penalties).

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Costs Judge rules divorce solicitors’ bill “requires explanation” in ordering detailed assessment

In Iwuanyawu v Ratcliffes Solicitors, the SCCO granted an application for detailed assessment of fourteen invoices delivered by her former family solicitors, many of which were out of the twelve month time period for assessment on the basis that they did not contain sufficient information to enable the Claimant to know what she was being charged for.

business interruption insurance claim solicitors

FCA Test Case: Are insurers obliged to pay out for Covid-19 business losses?

On 9 June 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) filed its Claim Form and Particulars of Claim in its High Court test case on business interruption (BI) insurance policies. The court action is aimed at providing clarity and certainty for everyone involved in Business Interruption insurance disputes, policyholder and insurer alike.