That Withers/PLC news story

Squeaky bum time for the entirety of city law?

Presumably a lot of people now asking for a discount from Thompson Reuters on the basis that it would be negligent to actually use their product. 

By city law I basically just mean “commercial legal practice”, and to law person, yes, of course they do. All the time. 

Well they shouldn't.

I should know, I'm law person 

Seriously,  I thought the judge comparing plc unfavourably to a textbook was a bit unfair. I mean, a textbook can easily get out of date whereas plc is meant to be really current.

A leading textbook is written by eminent legal minds. PLC is written by failed lawyers that want to be focus on sewing patches on their clothes and making soups. 

certain practice areas on there are risible, and the "specialists" engaged to create the standard forms have never actually done the work in practice. That said, i *heart* my sub, if only for the ability to clock when a law firm has simply regurgitated the PLC form (especially if they don't work out that the emphasis will difffer depending on which party they're acting for. Bloody colouring in lawyers)

Surely not doing the search was more significant than looking at the plc note?

"Withers isn’t city law"

It's a highly respected law firm in the City of London. So, um... talk us through your logic there. 

How do you turn a duck into a blues legend?

Stick it in the microwave until it's Bill Withers

I tried that once Wang but just ended up with drake


I'm here until 5...

Utility searches are always a bit of a grey area as a lot of developers will have already done them themselves but clearly should be considered.

Don't know how you can advise on whether or not cables can be moved without looking at the relevant legislation which permits them to be on the property.  Bit like advising on whether a substation can be moved without reading the lease of the substation.

It’s not respected, it’s a joke shop

it is not city law, but it’s like arguing about whether Ilford is in London or Essex; very apt comparison actually

PLC is fine to orient you to a topic, but I'd never rely on it.  

it's not a joke shop for private client.  though i have no idea what else they do.

PLC is a useful starting point and they have loads of really clever people, but the place took a real nose-dive when Thompson Reuters took over and started squeezing money and cost-savings out of everything.

I think the same lady solicitor might have been mentioned in both Withers cases - the latest and one they just about won very recently about a posh car garage below offices and a property client trying unfairly to put words into their mouth

Ironically PLC will probably be pleased with the outcome.  They absolutely shit themselves at the thought that they will be sued if someone relies on incorrect material on their site

Withers' valiant argument that because the firm never charged for the associate's flawed cable advice, it was not liable for it

Heh. Valiant?  Sir Humphrey would have described that line of argument as "courageous"

Same Rupert surveyor involved in both cases as well Lydia.

Same Judge in both cases and also the exact same legal team for the claimants in both cases too.


100 years ago, pre Woolf reforms and the CPR, I was making an application for summary judgment under Order 14. Before being called into the Registrar (now District Judges) the solicitor on the other side came to talk to me. I asked him where his affidavit in support of his opposition to the O14 application was, as it was required to be filed and served 2 clear days before the hearing. He insisted no such affidavit was required. 
We got called in and even before I’d made the introduction (it being my application) the DJ asked whether the application was opposed, and if so, he didn’t have the affidavit before him. My oppo said “Sir, no affidavit is required.” The DJ asked for an authority at which point, with a flourish, my oppo whisked out a heavily post-it covered, ‘Nutshell Guide to Civil Litigation’. He cited the sentence which said affidavits should be filed and served highlighting the “should”.
The DJ icily retorted “well in my court, we follow the Rules of the Supreme Court. My client was awarded summary judgment. Ah, the good old days!  

"Presumably a lot of people now asking for a discount from Thompson Reuters on the basis that it would be negligent to actually use their product."

Erm, presumably not tbh

Tbf this is not what the case was about.  The advice was negligent and when asked what legal research they'd done the witness said they might have looked at a plc practice note.  There was no finding about whether this actually happened, or whether there was a practice note, or if so whether it was right or wrong.  So obiter at most, probably not even that. 

Interesting that it was same legal teams and surveyor. It was the earlier judgment I read and it seemed to me Withers did nothing wrong and the surveyor kept trying to say you advised me X and thought if he said it again and again he would be right.

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