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Archive for the: Litigation category

The Online Court

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

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...

Important Changes to Section 21 Notices

Posted by on September 21st 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation, Property

Residential Landlord and Tenant

The Deregulation Act 2015 (“DA”)  received its Royal Assent on 27th March and has changed the law regarding how landlords can use a section 21 notice.

The main changes come in on 1st October 2015.

One of the aims of the DA was to prevent landlords using Section 21 notices to evict tenants in retaliation for complaining about the condition of the property.

The new laws now state that from 1st October, if the landlord serves a section 21 notice on a tenant in response to complaining about the condition of the property, the tenant can report the matter...

Relief from Sanctions

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

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’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...

Residential Property Leaflet: Volume 2

Posted by on April 24th 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

New Legislation concerning Tenancy Deposits in 2015:

Whether received before or after April 2007 ALL tenancy deposits must be secured and they must be done so before 23rd June 2015.

The creation of deposit schemes following the Housing Act 2004, made Landlords believe that a deposit need not be protected if received before 6th April 2007 when the Act came into force, unless a new tenancy agreement was granted.

Charalambous –v- Ng (2014);

This case shaped the way for security of tenancy deposits.

In this case the Landlord failed to protect the deposit, which was received in 2002, before the Act came into...

Residential Property Leaflet: Volume 1

Posted by on April 22nd 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Two cases of interest from 2013, still having an impact in 2015:

Section 21 Notices;

Taylor –v- Spencer (2013) 

This case provides important clarification on the dates specified within a Section 21 Notice.

The Landlord entered two dates for the expiry of the notice which conflicted with each other and relied upon the words “at the end of your period of tenancy which will end after the expiration of two months from the service upon you of this notice”.

The Court of Appeal held that despite this the three conditions of Section 21 were satisfied; the fixed term had come to an end,...

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...

Beware Tree Root Damage

Posted by on September 16th 2013 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Allowing trees to encroach onto a neighbouring owner’s land constitutes a nuisance.

Tree roots can cause considerable damage to a property. The damage is often caused by the roots taking water from the surrounding ground, particularly where the roots extend below any foundations.

Tree owners need to remain alive to the risk of a claim being brought against them for nuisance and ultimately the damage caused by tree roots.

To be able to claim for damages, one has to prove that the damage was caused by the encroachment of tree roots and that the owner of the tree breached the duty of care...

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