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A recent decision by the Court of Appeal now means that car making giants Volkswagen will not be able to appeal the decision that it did circumvent EU clean air regulations. The decision is a key preliminary issue in the current class action the German manufacturer is facing.

New data recently published by the The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) has revealed that complaints made against law firms in the UK have seen a 9% increase based on the previous year.

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Business at all levels is underpinned by contracts. These can range from simple verbal agreements for low value transactions through to complex and detailed written agreements between corporations and governments. To save on the risk of future avoidable legal actions, writing a contract that is suitable for the transaction or agreement is key. A contract is a pledge, between two or more parties (be they individuals or organisations), that is legally binding. It is designed to the fulfilment of commitment in exchange for something of value. Whilst some contracts may be made verbally, there are some that must be in writing, such as for a property transaction.

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As part of the UK government’s attempts to speed up the processing of claims that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has recently announced the location of the first ten temporary courts.
Dubbed ‘Nightingale Courts’ after the emergency intensive care hospitals that were set up in record time during the pandemic’s peak, the new, temporary will hopefully be finished and in use by the end of August. The first such court, at East Pallant House in Chichester, Sussex, is due to open by the start of next week. The new locations opening soon are:

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Despite the recent revelations highlighting the extent of the delays and backlog of cases in UK courts, the latest set of financial results by specialist litigation funder Manolette suggests that demand is still increasing and that the litigation funding sector is in rude health, with new enquiry volumes doubling compared to the previous year.

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If you or your business is owed money by another business or individual, you can make an application to a court to claim the money that you are owed. This is known as making a court claim, and depending on your individual circumstances, there are two main types of court that you can register a claim with – the Small Claims Court and the County or High Court.

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Two major dispute resolution organisations are behind this new, low-cost solution: The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). With many courts anticipating a big increase in demand for COVID-19 related commercial litigation, the two organisations have established a value-focussed, fixed cost service for disputes over monetary amounts between £5,000 and £250,000. The online resource offers facilitated negotiation, low-cost arbitration and mediation, and companies can proceed with or without a lawyer. The online resource offers facilitated negotiation, low-cost arbitration and mediation, and companies can proceed with or without a lawyer.

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A recent announcement in the House of Commons may lead to venues such as sports halls and hotel conference rooms being used as temporary court rooms should there be a backlog of claims and cases following the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown. In England and Wales there are already over 1,400 cases waiting for dates at both the Crown court and magistrates court, a number that increases to grow week by week.

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In a claim filed at a court in New York City, USA last month, software giant Microsoft is facing legal action over alleged unauthorised use of professional photographers’ images. The images in question were taken by American photographer Matilde Gattoni and appeared in an article titled 'These are the women leading China’s wine revolution’.

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A recent independent report by London-based litigation analytics specialists Solomonic has highlighted a fall in the number of litigation actions taking place in the UK’s commercial courts, following steady growth in the preceding five previous years.

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Global tech giant Apple is likely to face a group-action claim over multiple problems and failures of the displays on its popular MacBook Pro range. Apple, one of the ‘big 5’ global technology companies and the first US company to be valued at over $1 trillion, is the defendant in a complaint filed in a California district court that alleges a number of breaches of state and federal consumer protection laws, in addition to fraudulent concealment.

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The ongoing coronavirus Covid-19 crisis continues to impact on UK civil litigation hearings with a recent High Court decision meaning that the largest ever class action claim can proceed remotely. Whilst such remote hearings may be seen as a means to an end during the current lockdown conditions, once such hearings become the ‘new normal’, the impact on how civil litigation claims are conducted is likely to be huge.

In addition to the dreadful effects on global human health and wellbeing, the ongoing coronavirus Covid-19 crisis is also having a seismic economic impact on businesses and organisations operating in all sectors and in all countries. As a by-product of this economic upheaval, commercial and civil lawyers are predicting an tsunami of legal actions in all jurisdictions as businesses’ and individuals turn to the courts for compensation resulting from Covid-19 related illness, death and economic disruption.

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The Covid-19 coronavirus crisis has gripped the UK for the past couple of months, impacting greatly on all areas of life from frontline healthcare through to closed businesses and furloughed staff. The effect on economic activity has been, and will continue to be, seismic; but as living in the Covid-19 world starts to become ‘the new normal’, what are the an individual’s or a businesses’ legal rights when it comes to goods and services that have not been received or that have been cancelled due to the pandemic?

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A recent study conducted by Wolverhampton University has shed light on the growing level of claims and commercial activity around insolvency litigation in the UK. The report shows that there has been a 50% increase in the value of insolvency claims in the past five years. This large increase can mainly be attributed to 2012’s Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders ACT (also referred to as the LASPO act), after which lawyers success fees under a conditional fee arrangement and any after the event (ATE) insurance premiums were no longer recoverable from the defendant.

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An important decision has recently been in the UK’s Volkswagen group litigation claim that is good news for the 91,000 claimants who are seeking compensation from the German motor manufacturer.

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Comments made by a High Court judge recently have highlighted some of the complexities involved when using litigation funding to back large commercial claims. The comments, by Mr Justice Nugee, were made during the latest stage of the Ingenious Litigation, in which a large number of investors are attempting to recover losses incurred following investments in so called ‘film-schemes’ – schemes that were initially promoted and sold as a highly tax-efficient form of investment, but more recently have been deemed as inappropriate by HMRC. The investor claims have been made against a number of Ingenious entities and against financial advisors who originally recommended the schemes, with litigation funding being provided to support the claim by Therium.

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In a move that underlines much of the UK government’s strategy with regard to legal and standards conformation post-Brexit, Downing Street has recently confirmed that it would not become a member of the EU’s forthcoming Unified Patent Court (UPC) and its associated unitary patent.

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A British couple who ended up losing their appeal following a claim against an architect (and former friend) over the free landscaping advice she provided are facing a huge legal bill for costs.

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A survey conducted by the Nesta Challenges, as part of its Legal Access Challenge, has highlighted concerns amongst many UK businesses that the ability to take effective legal action for commercial & business disputes is far too focussed on big business or those with significant financial resources.

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Latest News

  • A recent decision by the Court of Appeal now means that car making giants Volkswagen will not be able to appeal the decision that it did circumvent EU clean air regulations. The decision is a key preliminary issue in the current class action the German manufacturer is facing. Read More

  • New data recently published by the The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) has revealed that complaints made against law firms in the UK have seen a 9% increase based on the previous year. The new data, based on the most recently available figures for 2019, show that there were just under 30,900 ‘first tier’ complaints received, compared to just under 28,300 in 2018. Legal sector analysts have suggested that new changes in transparency laws, introduced at the end of 2018, may have contributed to the higher numbers with law firms now being compelled to publish details of how and when their clients lodge complaints. Overall, Law firms managed to resolve 80% of all complaints themselves, slightly less than 2018 but a big improvement on 2012 data where 71% of complaints were resolved without recourse to the regulator or formal legal proceedings. Delays, advice... Read More

  • Business at all levels is underpinned by contracts. These can range from simple verbal agreements for low value transactions through to complex and detailed written agreements between corporations and governments. To save on the risk of future avoidable legal actions, writing a contract that is suitable for the transaction or agreement is key. A contract is a pledge, between two or more parties (be they individuals or organisations), that is legally binding. It is designed to the fulfilment of commitment in exchange for something of value. Whilst some contracts may be made verbally, there are some that must be in writing, such as for a property transaction. Contracts – why are they important? A contracts is designed to make sure that ensure that your position and interests are protected by law and that both parties understand that there is a clear and... Read More