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Author Archive: Katy Sandel

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

Posted by on January 24th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

FirstGroup Plc v Paulley [2017]

Almost five years since he was first prevented from boarding a bus, because the wheelchair space was occupied by a non wheelchair user, Mr Paulley has successfully, only to a limited extent, won his appeal at the UK Supreme Court. Mr Paulley’s original claim was based on his opinion that FirstGroup had failed to make reasonable adjustments to its policies and they were in fact contrary to the Equality Act 2010. The policy in place required the driver to request that a non-wheelchair user gives up the space for a wheelchair user but,...

The Online Court

Posted by on December 19th 2016 in Blog Posts, Litigation

The Online Court

As part of Lord Justice Briggs’ sweeping reforms for the civil justice system is the launch of an online court.  This follows his initial recommendation for vast aspects of the civil courts structure to be digitised and the need for substantial investment in IT infrastructure generally. 

But what is the Online Court and how will it work?

The Online Court will operate exclusively to adjudicate straightforward money claims worth up to £25,000 and is expected to come into effect by 2020.  It is intended to be an entirely new and separate Court with its own bespoke rules and procedure.

It is expected...

Relief from Sanctions

Posted by on August 6th 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Relief from Sanctions

The Court of Appeal has overturned a Judgment criticised for imposing draconian sanctions on a law firm for missing four cost deadlines.  The decision by Lord Justice Richards in the case of Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Sinclair & others [2015] EWCA Civ 774 (23 July 2015) has confirmed the position in Denton, and effectively ‘reversed’ the earlier decision of Mitchell.  

In Denton v TH White Ltd & another [2014] EWCA Civ 906 the Court set new guidance for assessing whether relief from sanction should be granted for non-compliance with Court orders. Emphasis was placed on requiring the Court to...

Reform of Court Structure

Posted by on August 3rd 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Alongside the intended wholesale overhaul of the Justice system recently announced by Michael Gove, the Ministry of Justice is also pressing ahead with existing plans to reform the Courts and Tribunals.

The programme of reform was announced by the Ministry of Justice in March 2014, and is expected to yield savings of £100 million per year by 2019.  The reform was intended to focus on the following areas:

  1. Modernisation of technology and IT systems to enable electronic case management;
  2. Introduction of an online self-service system for Court users;
  3. Video links, wifi and digital presentation of documents in Court;
  4. Modernisation of Court buildings and facilities; and
  5. Upgraded...

Michael Gove to Overhaul 'dysfunctional' Legal System

Posted by on July 20th 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Michael Gove to Overhaul 'dysfunctional' Legal System

Michael Gove’s appointment as Justice Secretary has put the Court system in the spotlight once again.  In his first speech as Lord Chancellor, he set out his plans to bring redress to what he regards as a ‘failing’ justice system which benefits the wealthy who can afford to bring their disputes in London with their gold standard of British justice, whilst the majority are left at the mercy of the waste and ineffeciency of a ‘creaking, outdated system’.  His vision is a ‘One Nation’ justice policy.

One element of ‘inefficiency’ earmarked for major overhaul is the Court estate.  Michael Gove has...

The New Part 36

Posted by on June 4th 2015 in Blog Posts

In civil litigation, by the time a claim progresses, the Court’s decision on the issue of the parties’ legal costs is often more important than the decision of the underlying dispute itself.  Parties to civil litigation should always be on the lookout for strengthening their case on costs – and that is where Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules fits in.

Introduction

Since the Woolf Reforms of 1999, Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules has become a much valued tool in the litigator’s tool box.  The recent changes, which came into effect on 6 April 2015, seek to fine tune...

The Consumer Rights Bill

Posted by on January 20th 2015 in Blog Posts

The Consumer Rights Bill

The Consumer Rights Bill is considered to be the centrepiece of the UK's consumer law reform.  It is intended to reform and consolidate much of consumer law in the UK, and is the most extensive consumer law reform in the UK in decades. It is expected to come into force in October 2015.

It is expected to amend the law relating to the rights of consumers and protection of their interests, to make provision about investigatory powers for enforcing the regulation of traders, to make provision about private actions in competition law, as well as providing enhanced remedies for consumers.

The House...

New Guidance for Experts

Posted by on October 6th 2014 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Experts Under the Spotlight

Introduction

Autumn 2014 will see the introduction of the new Guidance for the Instruction of Experts in Civil Claims issued by the Civil Justice Council.  It echoes the changes heralded by the 2013 Jackson Reforms, and is intended to replace the guidance which is currently attached to Practice Direction 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Recap

The provisions which govern the instruction of Experts are contained within Rule 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the accompanying Practice Direction.
 Rule 35.2 (1) denotes an ‘expert’ as a person who has been instructed to give or prepare expert evidence for the...

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