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Cases bulletin: July 2014 - relief from sanctions appeals

On Friday, 5 July 2014, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the cases of DentonDecadent Vapours and Utilise. It also provided further guidance on the operation of CPR 3.9 and the correct approach to relief from sanctions applications. The Law Society's Civil Justice Section current bulletin discusses the implications of these three important appeal hearings.


CCMCC Salford user meeting

Today is the meeting of the CCMCC, Salford Business Centre, Usergroup. Please let me know if you have any issues that you would like me to raise.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

My slides from Civil Justice Section conference

As promised to delegates at the Law Society's Civil Justice Section, here is a link to the slides from my presentation:

New court forms - April 2014

The recent changes to the CPR have caused a number of the court forms to require amendment. To see a list of the updated forms or download a zip file of all of the forms CLICK HERE

Sanctions: Can I Avoid the Bloodbath?

This is one of many great topics to be discussed at a conference at The Law Society on 30th April 2014 at 3.30pm - 6pm.

There are some excellent speakers including a leader on civil litigation updates, Gordon Exall (the sanctions session will be led by him), as well as leading speakers on costs budgeting and from HMCTS.

The conference is free to Civil Justice Section members.

For more details CLICK HERE

70th, 71st and 72nd updates to CPR published

Three updates to the CPR have recently been made (72nd probably the most important to look at)

70th Update: Introduces changes to implement s.64 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which requires all enforcement agents to be certificated unless exempt under s.63.

71st Update: Introduces changes to establish a Planning Court specialist list, overseen by a judge nominated by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division. Planning cases of particular significance will be listed and heard in line with timescales set down in the attached Practice Direction.

Please note that there is an error in Statutory Instrument SI 2014 No.610 (Planning Court). The words “considers appropriate” as shown in red in the extract from the Statutory Instrument shown below have been omitted from the published Statutory Instrument. This is omission is being rectified by a correction slip.
54.21.—(1) This Section applies to Planning Court claims.
(2) In this Section, “Planning Court claim” means a judicial review or statutory challenge which —
(a) involves any of the following matters —
(i) planning permission, other development consents, the enforcement of planning control and the enforcement of other statutory schemes;
(ii) applications under the Transport and Works Act 1992;
(iii) wayleaves;
(iv) highways and other rights of way;
(v) compulsory purchase orders;
(vi) village greens;
(vii) European Union environmental legislation and domestic transpositions, including assessments for development consents, habitats, waste and pollution control;
(viii) national, regional or other planning policy documents, statutory or otherwise; or
(ix) any other matter the judge appointed under rule 54.22(2) considers appropriate; and
(b) has been issued or transferred to the Planning Court.
(Part 30 (Transfer) applies to transfers to and from the Planning Court.)”

Full details and links to the Statutory Instruments and PD Making Documents for the 70th and 71st Updates are on the CPR website at: 

72nd Update:

(1) Sets out amendments to provide clarification of the rules introduced in 2013 which extended the courts’ management powers in respect of costs. Cases to which cost management will apply and costs budgets are to be filed is more clearly defined and limited to Part 7 Multi-track claims except where the claim is valued at £10m or more. In other types of case the court will have the discretion to implement costs management and parties will be able to apply for costs management if it is deemed appropriate by the circumstances of the individual case.

(2) Makes amendments to provide that certain permission applications in relation to committal for interference with the due administration of justice or in relation to committal for making a false statement of truth or disclosure statement can be made to any single judge of the High Court rather than only to a single judge of the Queen’s Bench Division.

(3) Makes amendments consequential on changes to the CPR in relation to enforcement and the implementation of the single County Court on the coming into force of provisions in Section 17 of, and Schedule 9 to, the Crime and Courts Act.

The Statutory Instrument for 72nd Update can be seen at The PD Making Document has not as yet been finalised but will be published in due course.

Law Society Council elections 2014: shape the future of the profession

We are looking for energetic and enthusiastic solicitors from all types of practice to stand as candidates for the Law Society Council. Put yourself forward now and shape the future of your own profession.
Fifteen elections are taking place for geographical constituencies as a number of current Council members' terms come to an end at this year's annual general meeting (AGM).
The deadline for nominations is 17:00 on Friday 25 April 2014.
Those candidates successfully elected will take office for a term of four years at the end of the AGM on 10 July 2014.


First details of HMCTS secure data transfer with firms

Secure Data Transfer is a modern and secure system to enable customers issuing in bulk to upload and transfer data files directly from their proprietorial systems to HMCTS systems. 

This new system will be launched in July 2014 and will significantly enhance the current service provided to bulk users.

It will enable:

speedy submission of digital claims in bulk

digital payment via direct debit with monthly or weekly invoicing 

the ability to track the progress of a case on-line in real time 

users to retrieve and review defences on line.  

Bulk customers will be able to view the following actions online:

Claim issue

Entry of judgment (or rejection of application)

Warrant of execution (or rejection of application)

Date and location of transfers out of the county court bulk centre

The receipt of a the response entered by the defendant; 

Payment or withdrawal of the claim 

Applications to set aside and to vary the judgements.

The new system provides issues with significant benefits:

Court fees to issue claims through the new system are significantly cheaper than issuing via paper – 18% less.Payment by direct debit avoids the cost of preparing and presenting cheques 

Real time access to case progress will reduce the need to telephone the County Court Money Claims call centre 

Claims are received prior to midnight will always be issued on the next working day

Manual form completion and posting is avoided.

All claims packs produced by the system are bulk printed which saving significant costs.

All claim packs will have a unique ID which will allow the defendant to file their responses on line and enable the case to continue on line.

For further information and queries from customers please contact the project at  


Law Society Chief Executive to retire

Desmond Hudson to retire from the Law Society

Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, has today announced that he will retire from his role. He will leave the Society after this year’s AGM.

Mr Hudson joined the Society as chief executive in September 2006.  Under his leadership, the Society has developed to become an internationally renowned organisation that supports and represents its members around the world.

Mr Hudson has strengthened the Society by streamlining its management structure, introducing new technology and communication platforms, reforming pay and pension arrangements and boosting revenues generated from commercial activity to invest in member services. 

He has led numerous high profile campaigns including the introduction of a range of new initiatives to help to increase the quality of legal services provision in England and Wales and raise public awareness of solicitors’ expertise. These include the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, Risk and Compliance Service and the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme.

He has also promoted UK legal expertise overseas and helped Law Society members to access new markets.

Mr Hudson said: “A year ago I took the decision to retire in 2014.  It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the Law Society during this time of change for the legal profession and I look forward to continuing to do so until I depart.  I would particularly like to thank my colleagues and our volunteer community within the Society for the support and guidance they have given me over the years.  I am indebted to them and proud of what we have achieved together.” 

Nicholas Fluck, president of the Law Society, said: “Des has delivered an outstanding service to the Law Society and has been a powerful advocate for the solicitors profession for eight years. He will be a tough act to follow.  He has transformed the organisation during his tenure and provided a powerful and influential voice for our members.  His contribution will benefit the Society and our profession for many years to come.”


HMCTS correct notice of provisional allocation (N149C)

As many of you know there was an error on the Notice of Provisional Allocation to the Multi-Track (N149C) that was being sent out by HMCTS.

A letter will now accompany the Notice confirming the error and that sub paragraph d) is missing. A copy of the letter can be seen here:     (file name is N149C correction)