Monthly Archives: May 2010

Supermarket Law

Which is the odd one out in the list below?

  1. There’s no place like ASDA
  2. You shop, we drop
  3. Your M&S
  4. Law firm goes public
  5. Buy one get one free – (BOGOF)
  6. Every little helps!

Like all good quiz questions, there is a catch. In fact, there is no odd one out.

They are all supermarket strap lines and while you may have thought the reference to the law firm was a clue that this one was the odd one out, it is in fact a nod in the direction of what has become known as Tesco Law and one possible effect of the Legal Services Act 2007 the provisions of which come into force in 2010 and 2011.

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Maxwell’s silver hammer

On 24th May the High Court delivered its judgment in a case which has been described as the biggest pension fraud since Robert Maxwell. The court ordered the return of £32 million stolen from pensions schemes now under the control of Taylor Wessing client, Independent Trustee Services Limited.

As Heidi Wales, Senior Associate in the Commercial Disputes Group said after the hearing:

“With 27 defendants and tens of thousands of documents this has been a substantial team effort, which will continue in order to recover the remaining missing funds”

Millnet was instructed by Taylor Wessing to process electronic documents in relation to the case and we are delighted to have been able to assist in achieving this excellent result.

And now for something completely different

If you are a political junkie, the past few weeks have been exhilarating. Messrs Cleese, Idle, Palin et al could not have made it up!

In a few short days, we have moved from a tired, outdated, enfeebled ragbag of New Labour politicians with nothing but sarcasm and invective to offer to the first peace time coalition containing a Liberal politician for almost 90 years.

Like it or not, the electorate clearly decided that while they wanted to be rid of the Prince of Darkness (aka Lord Rumba of Rio), Brown, Balls and Harperson, they were not prepared to give untrammelled power to Cameron, Hague and Kitten Heels. What is more, they also decided that Cleggy and Cable were not the answer either. All that talk in the debates about the new wonder of British politics resulted in a net loss of 5 seats! A plague on the old parties was rightly rejected by the electorate, not least because the Liberals have been around for considerably longer than the Labour Party!

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Fantasy island

The 1970s was the decade we all like to forget. Amongst many dubious inventions, I have had reason to recall recently the TV series called Fantasy Island. The owner charged wealthy individuals $50,000 each to come to the island and live out their fantasies.

Pretty well all the fantasies were unlikely. I suppose that is what a fantasy is all about, but I thought the 70s were long since behind me until I learned the other day that a law firm had put in a bill for a piece of litigation amounting to £105 million!

Last year, I wrote a piece [King Charles I and the Twitterati, 27th October 2009] about the company involved in this case, Trafigura, although at the time I was more interested in the concept of the super injunction obtained by the company than costs.

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The need to know

Sir Humphrey: Now go in there and inform me of their conversation.
Bernard Woolley:
I’m not sure I can do that, Sir Humphrey. It might be confidential.
Sir Humphrey:
Bernard, the matter at issue is the defence of the realm and the stability of the government.
Bernard Woolley:
But you only need to know things on a need to know basis.
Sir Humphrey: I need to know everything! How else can I judge whether or not I need to know it?
Bernard Woolley:
So that means you need to know things even when you don’t need to know. You need to know them not because you need to know them, but because you need to know whether or not you need to know. And if you don’t need to know you still need to know, so that you know there is no need to know.

So, how do we know what we need to know in the field of e-Discovery? Busy litigation lawyers have not got the luxury afforded to Sir Humphrey of a Bernard to put it all into context. There are numerous sources available but where are they?

Pride of place must go to the CPR and recent judgments although it is as well to be aware of the influence of the individuals and bodies we have chosen to call the ‘movers and shakers’.

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The name and shame blame game

What a few months it has been!

I am not talking about erupting volcanoes and disrupted airline schedules, the General Election (although I see from Twitter that “Doing a Rochdale” is likely to rank highly in the litany of public gaffes alongside President Ford’s “there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe” and Gerald Ratner’s less than flattering description of his jewellery), the Greek economic crisis (now extended to Portugal and Spain, where next?) or the debacle over swine flu, the “pandemic” which never was (the use of the word was unnecessary and silly, designed to cause fear and anxiety).

For once, I mean something more prosaic and mainstream, although as someone with an interest in e-disclosure, I have to admit that I have found it quite exciting!

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Winning the battle and losing the war

According to research carried out by me wholly unscientifically, I discovered that “to win the battle and lose the war” appears in a treatise entitled “The Art of War” written by military strategist Sun-Tzu in the 6th century BC.

Sun-Tzu may not have been a real figure but his existence is given credibility by the fact that others have repeatedly quoted from his treatise from the period of his supposed existence to the 19th and 20th centuries.

He was reputedly a general in the armies of King He Lu, the King of the Wu province of China and there is one legend about Sun Tzu which amused me. You can find the story in Wikipedia but, to whet your appetite, it concerns the king testing Sun-Tzu’s skills as a general by commanding him to train a harem of 180 concubines and turn them into soldiers. I will leave you to read it and enjoy, as they say!

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