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Commercial Litigation Updates

Solicitors Exonerated in Euros 12 Million Negligence Claim

Published on: 05 February 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A businessman whose involvement in an ambitious project to install numerous solar panel parks on the sun-soaked islands of Greece turned into a costly disaster has failed in a Euros 12 million damages claim against solicitors whom he accused of letting him down.

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High Seas Piracy Triggered Contract Dispute

Published on: 02 February 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

High Seas Piracy Triggered Contract Dispute

Pirates who hijacked a freighter off the coast of Africa, stealing its valuable cargo of premium motor oil, could not have imagined that their actions would lead to a novel commercial dispute between charterers and ship owners in a London court.

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Court Analyses ‘Added Matter’ in Brake Caliper Patent Dispute

Published on: 29 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a reminder to businesses that the protection of original products from competition is not easily achieved, the Court of Appeal has given guidance on the correct approach to the principle of ‘added matter’ in intellectual property cases and has restored a company’s valuable patent in respect of a novel brake caliper design.

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Kit Kat Trade Mark Battle Heads to Europe

Published on: 19 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Confectionary giant Nestlé will have to fight its case before the European Court of Justice if it wishes to establish a perpetual monopoly, via trade mark protection, in the distinctive, four-finger, shape of its best-selling ‘Kit Kat’ chocolate bars.

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Steel Manufacturer’s Bid to Oust London Arbitration Fails

Published on: 15 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A Turkish manufacturer which failed to deliver a consignment of high-tensile steel to Hong Kong is facing a multi-million-dollar bill after failing to convince the High Court that it had never agreed to a London arbitration clause being incorporated into the contract.

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Court of Appeal Solves Shipping Contracts Puzzle

Published on: 09 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Court of Appeal Solves Shipping Contracts Puzzle

In clearing up a burning contractual issue that has long puzzled shipping lawyers, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the buyers of a $22 million merchant vessel forfeited their 10 per cent deposit on pulling out of the deal.

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Crane Catastrophe Leaves Building Company with £600,000 Bill

Published on: 03 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Crane Catastrophe Leaves Building Company with £600,000 Bill

A building company is facing up to a damages bill of almost £600,000 after a simple error by one of its employees in failing to extend the hydraulic feet of a mobile crane resulted in an industrial accident that caused extensive damage to equipment and plant and could have triggered an environmental disaster.

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Football Club Liable for £2.62 Million Loan

Published on: 28 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Football Club Liable for £2.62 Million Loan

A football club which accused its former owner of acting against its best interests by committing it to repayment of loans totalling £2.62 million without any authority has failed to convince the High Court that it should be let off the debt.

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No Copyright Protection for Computing ‘Ideas’

Published on: 26 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling of critical importance to the computing industry, the Court of Appeal has tackled the thorny issue of the extent to which program developers can replicate the functionality of existing software whilst remaining on the right side of copyright protection laws.

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Russian Oligarch Must Pay PR Company £500,000

Published on: 24 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A wealthy Russian businessman, who agreed to pay £900,000 a year to a public relations company in order to foster his good reputation with a view to achieving British citizenship, has been ordered to pay almost £500,000 by the High Court after he purported to unilaterally terminate the contract.

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Written Contract Trumps Oral Informality

Published on: 18 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Written Contract Trumps Oral Informality

Where a commercial contract specifically stated that it included all the terms that had been agreed between the parties, arguments that further provisions had been added by implication or in the course of informal oral communications could not succeed, the High Court has ruled.

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Court Rules on Bitter Software Contract Dispute

Published on: 14 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which some might view as a testimony to the wisdom of compromise, the bitterly opposed parties to a contract for the provision and maintenance of specialist software for mobile phones resorted to costly High Court litigation to resolve their differences.

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High Court Declines ‘International Policeman’ Role

Published on: 13 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which tested the limits of the High Court’s power to act as an ‘international policeman’, the Court has declined to make an asset freezing order in respect of a $60 million commercial dispute which had no sufficient connection to England and Wales.

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Non-Disclosure of Evidence Will Be Punished

Published on: 11 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In making clear that litigants who present evidence selectively to support their case will face serious consequences, the High Court has overturned an asset freezing order obtained in a debt recovery claim on the basis that relevant documents were not shown to the judge who granted it.

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Court Rules on Nursing Home Development Squabble

Published on: 07 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Court Rules on Nursing Home Development Squabble

In resolving a building dispute, the High Court has emphasised that Parliament has laid down a ‘relatively summary process’ for resolving contractual issues in such cases and that, in deciding the ambit of an adjudicator’s jurisdiction, the parties ‘should not have to engage in contorted mental gymnastics’.

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Law Firm Precluded From Acting in $2 Billion Claim

Published on: 03 February 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which underlined the limitations of Chinese walls and ethical screens, a top international law firm has been ordered to cease advising a client in a $2 billion commercial dispute despite pointing to a battery of precautions that it had taken to ensure that it could fairly represent potentially conflicting clients.

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Airport Operators Accused of Abusing Dominant Market Position

Published on: 30 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Airport Operators Accused of Abusing Dominant Market Position

A company that for over 30 years ran a lucrative coach service from Luton Airport to central London – but which lost its concession to a competitor following a tendering exercise – is mounting a multi-million-pound compensation bid, claiming that the airport’s operators abused their dominant position in the market place.

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Court Rules on Cross-Border Insolvency

Published on: 21 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which raised novel issues relating to cross-border insolvency, an alleged creditor of a troubled Singapore-registered company has convinced the High Court that a stay on court proceedings in London should be lifted to the extent of enabling it to proceed with an attempt to resolve the dispute through arbitration.

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Stubbornly Low Interest Rates Lead to $6.3 Million Loss

Published on: 16 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A pharmaceutical company that got its fingers badly burned when it entered into an interest rate swap in an attempt to hedge itself against fluctuations in interest rates has ended up with a bill for nearly $6.3 million following a High Court ruling.

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Court Rules on Titanic Oil Rights Struggle

Published on: 16 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which illustrated the enormous scale of some of the litigation tackled by the Commercial Court, a dispute over oil rights in Kurdistan gave rise to a hearing spread over six months and closing submissions which exceeded, by about 30,000 words, the length of the King James version of the Old Testament.

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High Court Cracks $5 Billion Bank Fraud

Published on: 04 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Following an extraordinary forensic exercise of Byzantine complexity, the English courts have finally got to the bottom of a $5 billion web of fraud spun by a foreign bank’s former chairman who became a fugitive from justice and had to be tracked down to the South of France.

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‘Cards on the Table’ Approach to Modern Litigation

Published on: 01 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Emphasising the importance of the ‘cards on the table’ approach to modern litigation, the High Court has criticised an American insurance company that launched parallel proceedings in New York after testing the legal water in England and finding it ‘not sufficiently sweet’ for its purposes.

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Achieved an Agreement? Get It In Writing!

Published on: 27 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

The potentially dire consequences of failing to finalise contracts in writing could not be better illustrated than by a case in which project managers failed in a claim for more than $20 million in respect of a prestige development at the Russian equivalent of Oxford Circus.

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Surveyors Sued in Mortgage Investment Test Case

Published on: 25 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a crucial test case for property professionals and the mortgage industry, an investment group which paid over £215 million for mortgage portfolios at the height of the recession is suing surveyors who it claims negligently over-stated property values.

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Robbery Victim Caught Out by Insurance Fine Print

Published on: 20 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Robbery Victim Caught Out by Insurance Fine Print

In a ringing warning to the business community that the greatest care is needed in reading the small print of insurance contracts, insurers refused to indemnify the owners of a jewellery store for losses suffered in a robbery on the basis that an ‘onerous’ policy condition had not been complied with.

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Beer Glass Design Rights Infringed

Published on: 17 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Beer Glass Design Rights Infringed

The manufacturer of a popular, high-waisted, beer glass has convinced the High Court that it has ‘individual character’ and that its design rights were violated by a rival product, notwithstanding that the latter was made of plastic.

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Court Guidance on Price-Fixing Cartels

Published on: 13 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a decision which gives important guidance on the scope of remedies available for losses suffered due to breaches of competition law, the Court of Appeal has ruled out a conspiracy claim by one of the corporate victims of a sophisticated price-fixing cartel involving suppliers of copper plumbing tubes.

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Adjudicator’s Decision Legally Bullet-Proof

Published on: 12 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In upholding an award of more than £280,000 to a brickwork sub-contractor engaged in a major residential development, the High Court has emphasised that it will only very rarely interfere with adjudicators’ decisions – even if it takes the view that they are wrong or based upon an obvious mistake.

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HIV Drug at Centre of EU Competition Row

Published on: 11 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

The High Court has tested the boundaries of European Union competition laws in the context of a heated trade dispute which sprang from a critical shortage of a market-leading antiretroviral drug used for treating HIV patients.

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Court Tackles Fall-Out from Failed Pleasure Gardens Project

Published on: 06 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In tackling the fall-out from a commercially disastrous project to build a world-class pleasure gardens in east London in time for the 2012 Olympics, the High Court has dismissed a building company’s claims that it is entitled to have its unpaid bills covered by the local authority that provided vital funding for the scheme.

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