Legal advice privilege and preparatory documents

A recent High Court case held that legal advice privilege protects confidential communications passing between a lawyer and his client and does not protect “preparatory” materials even if created for the purpose of enabling lawyers to advise: National Westminster Plc v Rabobank Nederland [2006] EWHC 2332(Comm). These documents are not privileged unless they are subject … Read more

House of Lords rules in favour of banks served with injunctions

The House of Lords has today held in HM Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank plc [2006] UKHL 28 that a bank, when served with a freezing injunction affecting an account held by one of the bank’s customers, does not owe a duty to the party which obtained the order to take reasonable … Read more

House of Lords rules on limitation: contingent liability not actual damage

In its second judgment on limitation in just over two months, in Law Society v Sephton & Co (a firm) [2006] UKHL 22, the House of Lords has ruled on when the basic six-year limitation period will start to run against a claimant in a negligence action. Where the defendant’s negligence has caused the claimant … Read more

Court of Appeal lays down new guidelines on seeking permission to enforce worldwide freezing orders overseas: the Dadourian guidelines

The Court of Appeal has laid down new guidelines on how the court should exercise its discretion when considering whether to permit a party to enforce a worldwide freezing order (“WFO”) (formerly called a worldwide mareva order), or seek an order of a similar nature, in a foreign jurisdiction. The Dadourian guidelines (taking their name … Read more

Damages for “loss of a chance”: Court can use hindsight

A recent Court of Appeal judgment confirms that, in assessing damages for loss of a chance in litigation, the court should normally have regard to evidence that becomes available after the date the underlying claim would have come to trial. In Philip Dudarec v Paul Andrews & Ors [2006] EWCA Civ 256, it was held … Read more

Extending the limitation period: House of Lords reins in claimants

A recent House of Lords judgment, Haward v Fawcetts (a firm) [2006] UKHL 9, has set out the basic principles for extending the limitation period in negligence actions where the claimant lacked knowledge of the relevant facts at the time the cause of action accrued (under section 14A of the Limitation Act 1980). The five … Read more

Limitation: a game of chance?

A recent Court of Appeal judgment means bad news for defendants and their professional indemnity insurers seeking to defeat a “loss of chance” claim on limitation grounds. Josselyne Cohen v Kingsley Napley [2006] EWCA Civ 66 concerned a claim against solicitors for failing to pursue an underlying action which was subsequently struck out as an … Read more