The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal in Clift v Slough Borough Council, a privacy case which involved a public authority that was required to act in a way that was compatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The decision serves as a warning to local authorities to consider their obligations under the Human Rights Act before distributing material that may be defamatory.
The use of conditional fee agreements and accompanying after-the-event insurance policies has led to defendants in unsuccessful cases paying not only the claimant's base costs, but also the claimant's lawyer's success fee and an insurance premium. This update examines the obligations on a party operating under funding arrangements to keep its opponent informed, and considers the consequences of failing to do so.
There are not many cases in which a solicitor wants to stop acting for a client, but such a situation may arise if fees are not paid or instructions cannot be obtained. In such circumstances, a procedure must be followed in order to come off the record and recover fees. A recent Court of Appeal decision provides guidance on deciding the issue of good reason to terminate a retainer.
In a recent case the claimants attempted to sue the defendant in England in libel for remarks published in a South African magazine. The defendant successfully applied for summary judgment on the grounds that the claims had no realistic prospect of success, as there was a lack of substantial publication in the jurisdiction. The case shows the importance of obtaining good-quality evidence of internet publication.
The latest update to the Civil Procedure Rules implements several significant changes. The introduction of the Electronic Working Scheme in several courts provides for the electronic filing of most court documents. Other changes affect costs proceedings, instructed representatives and time limits for filing documents and serving applications.
The Court of Appeal has handed down a decision protecting the identity of a famous sportsman who had obtained an injunction to prevent publication of details of his private life. As the press had previously published allegations that the claimant had had a sexual liaison outside his relationship, naming him would have allowed the media to deduce or surmise the nature of the information protected by the injunction.