The Supreme Court has ruled, by a majority, that expert witnesses can be sued if their negligence has caused harm to the party who instructed them. Until now (with some minor exceptions), experts have had immunity from suit in respect of both the contents of their expert reports and their performance in the witness box. Advocates had long enjoyed a similar immunity. However, in 2001, the House of Lords abolished their immunity on the ground that it could no longer be justified. Since then, some have questioned the need for experts continuing to do so.
Government announces important civil litigation reforms The government yesterday announced its intention to go ahead with key proposals made by Lord Justice Jackson for the reform of civil litigation costs and funding, including: · significant changes to the rules governing Part 36 offers to settle; · removing the restrictions on contingency fees or "damages-based agreements" (DBAs) for civil litigation; and · abolishing the recoverability of conditional fee agreement (CFA) success fees and after the event (ATE) insurance premiums. The Government Response to its co
A recent court decision in the United Kingdom relating to the collapse of the Stanford business empire may have relevance to New Zealand due to the similarity between UK law and the New Zealand Insolvency (Cross-border) Act. http://www.chapmantripp.com/pages/Publication.aspx?ItemID=660#page=1
The Financial Reporting Council has published new guidance for directors of UK companies to assist them in making their assessment of going concern. The new guidance is relevant to directors of all companies, including subsidiary companies, and includes guidance for use at the half year reporting stage. http://www.frc.org.uk/publications/pub2140.html