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Advantage Litigation News & Updates

From time to time we will post news articles and announcements relating to the firm and to various legal issues that may be of interest to you.

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Recent blog posts

When a solicitor begins the process of preparing a civil litigation claim for professional negligence, one of the most common questions their Client will ask is ‘how much compensation should I expect’? Whilst the short answer could be ‘how long is a piece of string’ (which is not very helpful, of course!), once the nature of the claim and the amount of financial loss suffered as a result of the negligence has been established, it should be fairly straightforward to establish the amount that can be claimed for.

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Following a recent High Court appeal judgement, infrastructure support services provider Amey are set to receive £4m in compensation from West Sussex County Council due to a disputed highways contract procurement process.

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The contemporary UK litigation sector now allows for a variety of alternative options when it comes to resolving commercial, business and personal legal disputes. Known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’), it is worth being aware of the options available and which may be best suited for your individual circumstances.

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As well as dominating the recent UK news agenda, it would seem that the new life that the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk are planning is already facing a potential legal battle over the ownership of their ‘Sussex Royal’ trademark.

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Before the Event Insurance – commonly shortened to “BTE”- is an insurance policy that is purchased by a business or individual that is designed to cover legal costs in the event of them needing to make a claim or should a claim be made against them. Whilst you can purchase BTE insurance as a ‘standalone’ policy, it is more commonly included with a range of business or personal insurance products. As with most types of insurance, the cover that a BTE policy provides can vary and is vital that the policy cover, and its limitations, are fully understood before buying a policy.

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In news that has pleased the stock market in London, litigation funding providers Burford Capital have recently announced that the class action claim made by its investors has been abandoned. The class action claim had originally been made via by New York based investor claims specialists Rosen Law, with the legal action alleging that Burford, one of the world’s largest litigation funders, had made false and/or misleading statements on its financial returns.

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One of the UK’s largest class action claims has recently settled after three years of legal argument and rancour. The parties in the Bates v Post Office group litigation announced in early December that the claim has been settled, with the Post Office admitting “we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters”.

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An apparently mundane car part, the gearbox, is at the centre of a legal dispute involving a very rare - and very expensive – Ferrari

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Providers of professional indemnity insurance in the UK have revealed the massive increases in premiums over the past two years for Architects, Builders and Surveyors following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017.

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September’s annual report from litigation funding business LCM has highlighted the overall lack of choice and competition in the UK’s litigation funding market. The report from the Australian based funder also highlights that the market for claimants seeking to fund litigation as a pro-active choice, rather than through financial necessity, is “almost entirely unaddressed”.

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Pink Floyd legend and multi-instrumentalist David Gilmour has become embroiled in a contract dispute with the composer of a well-known and popular jingle that can be heard at train stations throughout France.

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A recent costs hearing at the High Court in London has revealed the extent of the legal costs already accumulated in the high-profile Bates v Post Office litigation action. The class action claim, backed by litigation funders Therium Capital, involves over 500 former subpostmasters and mistresses who are claiming that the Post Office, following the implementation of a new IT system called ‘Horizon’, incorrectly blamed them for apparent shortfalls in branch accounts.

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Multiple European champions and current Premier League frontrunners Liverpool FC have emerged victorious in a recent contract dispute and are now free to use global sportswear giant Nike as their new supplier of official team kit.

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It’s an unfortunate fact of business life that at some point, you may need to take formal legal action to recover monies owed to you or your business. There are two main approaches to collecting such debts; direct legal action through the courts, or appointing an external debt collection agency.

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The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has fined two directors £17,500 each based on their role in a failed apartment development scheme.

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Despite facing criticism from the legal profession since they were updated in the Damages-Based Agreements Regulations in 2013, forthcoming updates to Damages Based Agreements (‘DBA’) are set to make this model of funding for civil litigation claims far more attractive.

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Reigning European Cup champions and current runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool FC have failed in their bid to register the word ‘Liverpool’ as part of their wider marketing activities.

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Three senior managers from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operators of the Fukushima power plant involved in 2011’s nuclear disaster, have been acquitted of professional negligence charges following a high-profile trial in Japan.

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US based IT services and consultancy business DXC technology is facing another class action claim following allegations that the company, which employs over 130,000 people in multiple global locations, has used its strategic redundancy programme to simply boost profits whilst leaving them unable to properly service their clients.

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Recently published figures from a litigation funder LCM has highlighted the increasing trend in the use of external litigation funding to support commercial legal actions both in the UK and in other international jurisdictions.

Australian-based LCM’s annual report (to 6/19) shows a 17% year on year increase in revenues revenue17% to A$35m (£19m), with a 23% increase in gross profit to A$20m. LCM’s shares, launched on London’s AIM at 52p last December had reached a high of 116p in April 2019.

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Latest News

  • 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

  • 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: • East Pallant House, Chichester – for civil litigation and family cases• Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage – for civil cases• Cloth Hall Court, Leeds – civil trial work and Business and Property cases• Middlesbrough Town Hall – initially civil hearings, later to... Read More