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Commercial Litigation Updates

Council Embroiled in £14.4 Million Football Stadium Saga

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

Council Embroiled in £14.4 Million Football Stadium Saga

In a case which raises novel issues on the extent of local authority powers to involve themselves in commercial matters outside the scope of traditional public services, the owners of Coventry City Football Club are seeking a judicial review of the City Council’s decision to bail out the operators of the town’s Ricoh Arena with a £14.4 million loan.

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Court Rules on £1 Billion Slot Machines VAT Row

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

With more than £1 billion at stake for the tax authorities, the Court of Appeal dealt a blow to the gambling industry when it ruled that computerised slot machines, which rely on random numbers generated by external devices, are nevertheless ‘gaming machines’ and their takings not exempt from VAT.

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Court Gives Important Guidance to Arbitrators

Published on: 30 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Court Gives Important Guidance to Arbitrators

The High Court has ruled that, in assessing compensation payable following repudiation of contracts, it is necessary for arbitrators to consider hypothetically whether innocent parties would in fact have been able to meet their obligations had the breach not occurred.

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Credit Crunch-Hit Pension Fund Wins Damages

Published on: 23 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A pension fund that lost more than $30 million as its investments in sophisticated financial products unravelled at the height of the credit crunch has been awarded damages against a bank that acted as its agent and negligently failed to keep it informed of the potential for huge losses as the crisis developed.

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Damages Awarded for Customer Database Misuse

Published on: 21 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a rare breach of confidentiality case, a company whose business was severely hit when its customer database was leaked by a disaffected former employee to a trade rival – which used the information in well-targeted mailshots to woo new clients – has been awarded a six-figure sum in compensation by the High Court.

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The Irony of the Sub-Prime Lenders

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

In one of life’s little ironies, two businessmen whose sub-prime lending companies charged some of their borrowers rates of interest exceeding 400% - but who are now themselves labouring under enormous debts – are seeking High Court relief against what they regard as ‘penal’ and ‘oppressive’ repayment terms.

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$95 Million Securities Row Must be Heard in England

Published on: 15 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

$95 Million Securities Row Must be Heard in England

In a case which illustrates the fearsome jurisdictional difficulties that so often arise in disputes involving companies with a global presence; the High Court has asserted its exclusive right to resolve a contractual disagreement between a French bank and a hedge fund that has its principal place of business in New York.

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Liquidators Cleared of £14 Million Conversion Claim

Published on: 10 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a powerful example of the type of bitter controversy in which administrators and liquidators can find themselves reluctantly entangled, two accountants engaged in winding up the affairs of an insolvent television studio have fought off claims that they unlawfully converted chattels worth £14 million.

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Russian State Company Must Bow to Commercial Court’s Jurisdiction

Published on: 08 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A Russian state corporation that oversees the country’s military industrial and manufacturing assets has failed to oust the English Court’s jurisdiction to treat it as a party to a $20 million loan recovery claim.

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Cadbury’s Purple Trade Mark Invalid

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

Cadbury’s Purple Trade Mark Invalid

First extracted by the Phoenicians and redolent of royalty and empire for centuries, the colour purple is now widely associated in the public mind with confectionary giants, Cadbury UK Limited. However, that was not enough to allow the company to succeed in its marathon fight to protect its familiar shade as a trade mark.

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Court Approves Investment Banks Cross-Border Merger

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

In a good illustration of the numerous hurdles that must be jumped before the courts will approve a cross-border corporate merger within the European Economic Area (EEA), a judge has consented to a UK-registered investment bank becoming one with its German sister company.

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Multi-National Faces $4 Million Currency Options Claim

Published on: 30 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Multi-National Faces $4 Million Currency Options Claim

In a stark reminderof the hazards of playing the option markets, even for the most sophisticated investor, a multi-national company which was struck by a blizzard of margin calls after engaging in a series of ill-fated currency option transactions has been found liable to cover multi-million-pound losses.

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Court Guidance on Cross-Border Corporate Merger

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

Court Guidance on Cross-Border Corporate Merger

In a case which vividly revealed the Byzantine legal complexities that can afflict cross-border corporate mergers and de-mergers, the Companies Court has come to the aid of a leading motorcycle manufacturer intent on a major reorganisation of its business in Europe.

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Retail Giant, ASOS, Triumphs in Trade Mark Dispute

Published on: 23 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Retail Giant, ASOS, Triumphs in Trade Mark Dispute

In a ruling which makes plain that not every similarity in trading names will be viewed by the courts as posing a threat of public confusion, phenomenally successful online fashion retailer ASOS plc has fought off a bid to make it change its name by top-end cycling clothes manufacturer Assos of Switzerland S.A.

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Pessimistic Legal Advice May Still Be Right

Published on: 19 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Although legal advice may sometimes appear overly pessimistic to clients, that does not mean it is wrong or negligent, as the High Court has emphasised in dismissing a company’s £1.45 million professional negligence claim against a law firm.

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Court Defines ‘Occupational Pension Scheme’

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

In giving authoritative guidance on the legal ingredients of an ‘occupational pension scheme’, the High Court has ruled that a number of schemes that had been attacked as ‘shams’ by the Pensions Regulator nevertheless met the formal requirements of section 1 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993.

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‘Death by Sub-Contracting’ Led To Catastrophic Flood

Published on: 31 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

‘Death by Sub-Contracting’ Led To Catastrophic Flood

A catastrophic flood that caused £4.75 million of damage to a newly completed block of flats has led to the exposure of a ‘comically inept’ muddle between various firms engaged in a construction project which was described by a judge as ‘death by sub-contracting’.

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Court Rules on Rock Band Trade Mark Dispute

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

Court Rules on Rock Band Trade Mark Dispute

The peace and love of the 1960s gave way to bitter acrimony over 40 years later as two former frontmen of legendary rock band, Wishbone Ash, fought it out in court over the right to use the iconic name.

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Court Takes Dishonest Director to Task

Published on: 22 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a stern reminder of the strict duties of good faith and fidelity owed by directors to the companies they work for, a businessman who leached business opportunities and key staff from his employers has been taken to task by the High Court.

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Bollywood Song Triggered Copyright Clash

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

In a reminder that, where apparently conflicting intellectual property rights exist, it is the first in time that usually prevails, the Performing Rights Society (PRS) has had its exclusive rights in respect of a popular Bollywood song upheld by the Court of Appeal.

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Madoff Securities Directors Vindicated by High Court

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

Five long-suffering directors of Bernard Madoff’s London operation have been cleared of groundless accusations levelled at them by the company’s liquidators after the High Court found that they were as much victims of the Machiavellian Ponzi scheme fraudster as private investors who lost billions.

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Financial Services Company Claims $160 Million Fraud

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

A financial services company that claims to have fallen victim to a $160 million fraud has defeated arguments that the Commercial Court should not entertain its claims for damages and restitution against the alleged perpetrators on the basis that it had itself engaged in illegal activities.

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Cash-Strapped Sub-Contractor ‘Robbed Peter to Pay Paul’

Published on: 08 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Cash-Strapped Sub-Contractor ‘Robbed Peter to Pay Paul’

In the context of a construction dispute, the High Court has taken the rare step of staying execution of an adjudicator’s award on the basis that the parlous financial position of the successful party made it unlikely that it would be able to repay the money if the adjudicator’s decision were subsequently proved mistaken.

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Scrabble Tile Trade Mark Invalid

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

In a decision of wide significance, the Court of Appeal has ruled invalid a trade mark that the makers of ‘Scrabble’ hoped would protect the household name board game from online rivals.

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Fraud Case Liquidators Face Enormous Task

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

The enormity of the task facing liquidators in seeking to unravel the complex affairs of a nationwide business that once turned over £120 million-a-year has been revealed in the context of a hotly disputed £50 million damages claim against two of its former directors.

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Can Sovereign States Be Forced to Arbitrate?

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

Can Sovereign States Be Forced to Arbitrate?

In the context of an environmental disaster in which massive oil pollution was caused by a ship breaking up off the Spanish coast, important and novel issues have been raised as to whether a foreign sovereign state can be required to submit to arbitration proceedings in London.

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$780,000 Shipping Claim Almost Sinks on Time Limit Reef

Published on: 29 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

$780,000 Shipping Claim Almost Sinks on Time Limit Reef

In a case which underlined that court deadlines are no trivial matter and a failure to meet them can have devastating consequences, ship owners came within a whisker of losing their right to pursue a $780,000 compensation claim following a maritime collision in the South China Sea.

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Borrower Can Pursue LIBOR Manipulation Damages Claim

Published on: 23 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling of crucial significance to the banking industry, a commercial borrower has been granted permission to pursue a damages claim in respect of transactions worth more than $160 million on the basis that they were infected by manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

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Court Backs Ex-Partner in Debt-Laden Law Firm

Published on: 19 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In an unusual departure from the ordinary rule that proceedings should not be brought against a company in liquidation, the High Court has permitted a former partner in a debt-laden law firm to seek a declaration against liquidators that a £125,000 claim against him is without foundation.

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Plastic Pipes Patent Row Must Go To Trial

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

In a case which revealed that attempts to short-circuit litigation can sometimes prove both abortive and costly, the High Court has refused to call a halt to a bitter patent infringement dispute concerning a means of manufacturing plastic corrugated pipes.

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