Chairman’s Letter: October 2015

08 Oct 2015

Chairman’s Letter

William Flenley QC

Welcome to our fourth digital newsletter.  I would like to thank the editor, Simon Hale, for producing it, as well as all the contributors.

The main article in this edition is the paper delivered by Lord Justice Jackson, our President, at this year’s Peter Taylor Memorial Lecture. It is called “The Professions: Power, Privilege and Legal Liability”.  With his customary ability to master and synthesise a completely novel area of research, the author summarises the last 80 years of scholarship in sociology relating to the professions, and then applies his interpretation of the research to explain various decisions of the courts during that period.

On a much sadder note, as many of you will know, Harvey McGregor QC, who addressed last year’s AGM, died in the summer.  Harvey was not only a brilliant scholar but also a dazzling raconteur, a highly accomplished pianist, and a generous and thoughtful friend.  His achievement of writing McGregor on Damages almost single-handedly over 50 years will surely never be matched.  He gave much to the PNBA, addressing the Lawyers’ Liability Day on two recent occasions as well as speaking at the AGM.  His last act of kindness to the Association was to persuade Lord Hoffmann to chair November’s seminar on causation in medical cases.  The committee members are very glad that we are able to reproduce in this newsletter the eulogy which Michael Pooles QC gave at Harvey’s funeral.

The first case note in this issue is of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Swynson Ltd  v Lowick Rose LLP. As a case considering avoided loss and the measure of recoverable damages in an accountant’s negligence claim, it would have been of interest to Harvey. We also feature a note of Luffeorm Ltd v Kitsons LLP, which took the approach to the burden of proving causation that was adopted in Levicom v Linklaters and applied it in a claim involving a negligent failure to advise, as distinct from positive, negligent advice.
The 19th annual Lawyer’s Liability Seminar takes place this Saturday, 10th October 2015, from 9:30am at Gray’s Inn. The programme of speakers is as strong as ever; details are immediately below. We are very grateful to Jeremy Cousins QC for agreeing at a late stage to speak in place of a speaker who was taken ill over the weekend.  To reserve a place for this always popular, high quality and good value event, please email the Hon. Secretary Victoria Woodbridge, by clicking here:

Details of other forthcoming events are given in the side bar below. I very much hope to see many of you for these evenings.

May I repeat my customary invitation to all members to contribute ideas and suggestions for this newsletter or for talks and events.

Finally, I have been asked to circulate the summaries of the rival points of view in the debate about the future development of the Inner Temple Library and Treasury.  They are included with this newsletter.  Strictly speaking this is now a matter only for Benchers of the Inner Temple, but members who are not Benchers may wish to read these papers in order to express views to a Bencher.  If you are interested in this issue, I would urge you to read both sides of the debate.

William Flenley QC