Solicitors’ new Code of Conduct – the new Code came into force on 1 July 2007. For full details, see the Solicitors Regulatory Authority website.

Derivative claims consultation – the Companies Act 2006 changes the law concerning derivative claims, increasing the range of circumstances in which a derivative action may be brought by a shareholder. CPR 19.9 requires consequential amendments in the light of the Act, the relevant parts of which come into force in October 2007. A short consultation on proposed amendments to the CPR, available on the Ministry of Justice website, ends on 5 July 2007.

Adjudication consultation - the DTI is consulting on ways of improving access to the adjudication procedures established under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. Proposals under consideration include extending the legislation to oral and partly oral contracts and steps to ensure that costs are fairly allocated. Further details of the consultation (which closes on 17 September 2007) are available on the Government News Network website.

Financial Ombudsman Service - the Financial Ombudsman Service cannot impose an award higher than the current monetary cap of £100,000 set by the Financial Services Authority - Bunney v Burns Anderson Plc [2007] EWHC 1240 (Ch).

Arbitration appeals - only the first instance judge has the power to grant permission to appeal from a first instance judgment made under s67 of the Arbitration Act 1996. S67 complies with Art 6 of the ECHR - Republic of Kazakhstan v Istil Group Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 471.

Repudiation of arbitration agreement – the mere commencement of parallel court proceedings in breach of an arbitration agreement is not repudiatory behaviour. There must be clear and unequivocal conduct demonstrating that a party no longer intends to be bound by an agreement to arbitrate - BEA Hotels NV v Bellway LLC [2007] EWCH 1363 (Comm).

Draft judgments – solicitors involved with a case should not circulate the draft judgment to other members of their firm. Circulation of a judgment to the Home Office and HM Court Service in addition to the CPS was in breach of the confidentiality provisions found in PD 40E – DPP v P [2007] EWHC 1144.

Claimants’ Part 36 offers – where a claimant is funded by a CFA with a 100% uplift and is not therefore himself out of pocket, it is not appropriate to award enhanced interest on costs under CPR 36.14 – Jones v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2007] EWHC 1489.