May 13, 2011
Court of Appeal decision on CFA success fees
Sousa v London Borough of Waltham Forest  EWCA Civ 194
The Claimant suffered subsidence damage to his property caused by the roots of a tree which was owned by the Defendant. The Claimant claimed on his house insurance policy for the damage, and his insurer provided him with a full indemnity. The insurer then proceeded to exercise its right of subrogation and instructed a firm of solicitors who were to work under a collective conditional fee agreement.
High Court decision on solicitors’ undertakings
Halliwells LLP v NES Solicitors and Quinn Insurance  EWHC 947
NES was approached by a new, apparently wealthy, client and asked to provide an undertaking to pay Halliwells £1.5 million as part of a share purchase agreement. The client provided a “gold delivery certificate” purported to be worth £10 million. The partners of NES, in reliance on the certificate, but knowing the funds had not cleared, provided the undertaking. The certificate was later found to be worthless.