September 2020

Civil procedure

first_imgCivil evidence – Family law – Maintenance Child Support Agency v Forrest: DC (Lord Justice Elias, Mr Justice Keith): 14 May 2010 The appellant Department for Work and Pensions appealed by way of case stated against a decision of a magistrates’ court to acquit the respondent (F) following his failure to comply with a request for information under section 14 of the Child Support Act 1991. The department had requested information from F pursuant to section 14(a) of the act. F did not provide it. He believed that its disclosure would lead to consequences for his children and his wife (W) in relation to her benefit claims which could result in criminal prosecution. The magistrates concluded that the concept of ‘reasonable excuse’ contemplated by the legislation was capable of embracing the rule against self-incrimination and protecting others from criminal charges. The question for the court was whether those defences were, in principle, reasonable excuses. Held: (1) Following rules of ordinary construction, it was clear that the defence against self-incrimination was expressly contemplated by section 15(7) of the act. In those circumstances, it could be inferred that parliament had not intended the defence to be available under section 14. (2) As a matter of authority, the magistrates were wrong. Where the fairness of a criminal trial was concerned, adducing potentially incriminating answers to requests for evidence might be justified, although it was not justified in respect of extra-judicial requests if they invited an admission of wrongdoing, R v Hertfordshire CC Ex p Green Environmental Industries Ltd (2000) 2 AC 412 HL applied. (3) However, powerful public policy arguments were also engaged. It was in the public interest to ensure fathers paid appropriate maintenance to their spouses or partners in respect of their children. Appeal allowed. center_img Q Hunt (instructed by the Department for Work and Pensions) for the appellant; H Southey QC (instructed by Hodge Jones & Allen) for the respondent.last_img read more

Why the timidity around billing?

first_imgIn the current economic environment, law firms, like other businesses, are keeping a close eye on cashflow. This is always a particular concern for professional firms, who are rarely paid up front for their services.Yet, billing is a matter where few firms are as good as they would like to be, or need to be. Many partners are reticent about first billing, and then about chasing payment. Typical reasons given include variants on the following: Visit the Gazette’s blogs page for more In Business blogs The belief that they will get a better recovery if they wait; The client is going through a difficult period – we need to support them; A previous bill has not yet been paid; The client will use a different firm in the future if chased; and The project is not yet finished. Partners who say each of the above don’t believe they are making excuses – they believe each reason. But some managing partners and finance directors who have looked closely at these obstacles to payment insist that many of them do not stand up to close scrutiny. Of course, discovering which are wrong has to begin with direct conversations with clients. But the following findings have a ring of credibility to them: center_img Clients are less likely to query, and more likely to pay, a bill they receive soon after completing a transaction – after all, they are on a high from a transaction or winning a case; Receiving this bill may prompt them to pay the previous one; Regular billing may actually be better for their cashflow than one large bill; and Calling to check a client is happy with the bill is a chance to ask them what other matters they have coming up.Particular exceptions, where the time-to-payment genuinely cannot be reduced tend to include matters such as divorce cases, where the client can pay only when assets or income to which they are entitled are bound up in the case. Outside of these exceptions, the reason to tackle this issue is obvious. As one managing partner recalls telling a partner, ‘I can’t pay staff using work-in-progress’. last_img read more

Solicitor who ‘shamed profession’ jailed

first_imgA solicitor who ‘brought shame on the profession’ has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years at Croydon Crown Court for his part in an immigration scam. Adeyinka Adeniran, 39, a principal at London firm Julius Ceasar, supplied clients and documents to a bogus college located at a property in south London’s New Cross Road. The ‘college’ was used as ‘an epicentre for the manufacture of fraudulent documents’ which were produced to support visa applications. An elderly couple who ran the ‘college’ were each sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. They specialised in helping Nigerian immigrants to fraudulently obtain leave to remain in the UK, and furnished them with worthless qualifications – mostly in the healthcare industry. Judge Heather Baucher said vulnerable individuals had been treated by people employed on the basis of the fraudulent documents supplied by the college. Adeniran, who was admitted to the solicitors’ roll despite having been imprisoned for 15 months for conspiracy to obtain UK passports 20 years ago, boasted to police that he had made £500,000 from criminal legal aid work. ‘You were the central player. You referred clients… for documentation,’ Judge Baucher told him. ‘There was no end to the documents you were prepared to use. You were a man prepared to stop at nothing. You had total disregard for your office of solicitor.’ She added: ‘You are a disgrace to your profession and have brought shame on the profession as a whole.’ The father-of-two claimed to run his law firm alone, but employed illegal immigrant staff, who paid no tax or national insurance contributions during the four-year scam. ‘You masterminded this whole operation and you were not satisfied with the half a million you made from criminal work,’ added Judge Baucher. A spokesman for the Solicitors Regulation Authority said: ‘Solicitors who facilitate illegal immigration seriously harm public trust in the profession. We will ask the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to deal with Mr Adeniran at the earliest opportunity.’last_img read more

Tap on the shoulder

first_img Kerry Underwood, Underwoods and Law Abroad, Andrew Twambley, Amelans and injurylawyers4u We note with interest the article on judicial appointments, including the list of forthcoming vacancies and the statement by the chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission that his job is to make the process of selecting judges transparent and fair, so that the very best person is appointed to the job. He says: ‘The days of the “tap on the shoulder” are over; appointments are made on merit, not on who you know.’ I am sure everyone supports this change. We wonder why such an admirable and open process was not followed in relation to the appointment of the working party established to implement the Jackson reforms of civil litigation costs, which seems to rely on the ‘tap on the shoulder’ and who you know system, as indeed did the whole Jackson consultation process. Bearing in mind that Jackson will affect us all, I am sure we would all like to know how this working party was chosen and by whom.last_img read more

Hansom at MIPIM

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Recognition at last

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

The importance of clause 66

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Ten traps

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Hansom

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Could do (a lot) better

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more