Any lawyer - particularly any lawyer regulated by the SRA - who has ever negotiated a settlement involving a confidentiality provision needs to read the first 44-pages of this SDT judgment. solicitorstribunal.org.uk/sites/default/…
I’ve never read a case where one party (here the Respondent, represented by the estimable Timothy Dutton CBE QC) was so obviously correct, and the other (the SRA) so obviously wrong. It concerns a negotiated NDA (with both sides legally represented by proper lawyers).
There is a relatively boilerplate Confidential Information clause, with express carve outs for compelled disclosure in legal proceedings & safeguards when disclosing to medics (e.g. must be a certified medic). No specific carve out for reporting to the police.
Nobody suggests that the NDA did (legally) prevent a report to the police or seeking medical help: any clause would be unenforceable (illegal/contrary to public policy). So the case was that it might nonetheless ‘deter’ those steps (even though complainants had legal advice).
The solicitor for the person seeking confidentiality apparently did or should have appreciated (on the SRAs construction that such conduct was purported to be prohibited) that there was a risk the counterparties might be deterred, and so to facilitate the NDA was a breach of duty
It simply cannot be right that a lawyer is ever under a duty to expressly articulate in an NDA any disclosure that can be made as a matter of law, and that an NDA would be unenforceable if (on some construction) if it tried to prohibit. I’m not even sure that is arguable.
Anyway, maybe to avoid the attention of the SRA, all future NDAs should include in express contractual language the right to make disclosure in the confessional, in correspondence to Members of Parliament, the right to include allegations on spoiled ballots at elections...

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More from @Greg_Callus

14 Jan
Grouping patients into huge centres (rather than many more small centres, like polling stations) increases cross-infection risk. That can be most easily mitigated by spreading vaccinations over 24 hours, not 12. Also helps on wastage, given Pfizer’s 120-hour defrosted shelf life.
*But* things appear to be improving in the UK Gve vaccination effort. Now vaccinating over 200,000 per day with first dose. coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/health… Also, reforming the strategy:
In fact, England alone almost reached quarter of a million doses yesterday. Big question is whether Gvt will keep target of 300,000 doses per day (2m doses per week, but some of those will be 2nd doses) or whether it finally starts to aim higher (1m-2m per week) to end lockdown
Read 5 tweets
1 Jan
Is there anywhere a tracker which shows, by vaccine type (mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vs adenovirus Oxford/AstraZenica): (a) doses delivered to UK; (b) doses ordered by not yet delivered (& due date); (c) doses manufactured & bottled but not yet cleared; (d) UK-manufactured WIP volumes?
Also, would be great to be able to track by vaccine type (mRNA w/ refrigeration reqs vs adenovirus needing regular fridges): (a) number of centres distributing; (b) number of clinical staff trained to vaccinate per centre; (c) number of patients processed per centre per day?
Struggling at the moment to work out the bottlenecks. Seems to be manufacturing (special glass vials) & batch clearance, but hard to be sure. Also, if glass vials are the problem, I’ve seen nothing on process for the return & recycling of them from centres back to manufacturers.
Read 42 tweets
1 Nov 20
Very sad news. Also leaves the Supreme Court without a justice who specialises in Family law (having had 3 a year ago - both Lady Hale & Lord Wilson retired this year as well). Dame Julia Macur or Dame Eleanor King (both Ladies Justices of Appeal) will be favourites if they apply
As UK Supreme Court faces drop from 3 female Justices to none (or one, depending on who is appointed to replace Lady Black), how could it possibly in the next 10 years get into the uncharted territory of being half (or even 1/3) female? Some observations:
First, of the 3 women to be appointed to sit on the UKSC, 2 (Baroness Hale & Lady Arden) were appointed as judges before 31 March 1995, meaning they could serve until the age of 75, rather than the reduced mandatory retirement age of 70. Lady Arden wasn’t *appointed* until 71.
Read 22 tweets
21 Mar 20
I strongly suspect there isn't actually much panic buying or hoarding in the way we imagine. Supermarkets in the UK took £193.4bn in revenue in 2019, which is £3.7bn/week. £1bn extra has been added over 3 weeks: approx 10% rise per week for 3 weeks. That's small, give that...
Huge swathes of the population who were eating 1 (or even 2 or 3) meals out (cafe breakfast, Pret lunch, work dinner) are now home-working so eating at home & many kids aren't getting school meals. Inexperienced cooks, new to it, invariably buy too much (quantity & variety).
Then remember people are being encouraged to social distance, so they want to minimise shopping trips, so will get durables just in case (batteries, candles and - yes - toilet rolls). So the increase in purchasing is very modest, explicable, even justified. So why empty shelves?
Read 11 tweets
8 Apr 18
If you’re reading the story about the Tory MP admitting hacking the Labour MP, it’s important to realise that the date of the offence was on or around 24 April 2008. This is important, because it was before 1 October 2008. But why is that important?
When the Computer Misuse Act 1990 was first passed, section 1 was only a ‘summary’ offence. That means it can only be tried in a Magistrates’ Court. Section 127 of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 also means that the prosecution must be commenced within 6 months.
Except s.127 is subject to any Act saying differently. The Computer Misuse Act 1990 did say differently: it said, in s.11(2), 6 months not from when the crime was committed but rather from when the prosecutor had sufficient evidence to warrant proceedings.
Read 10 tweets

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