Dispute Resolution | 04 July 2011

It is often in the interests of businesses to resolve disputes at an early stage in a commercial way, without involving lawyers. This can help to reduce legal costs, avoid disruption to the businesses involved and help to preserve commercial relationships. However, parties involved in the early stages of a dispute should be aware that it will not always be possible to reach a satisfactory commercial settlement. It is essential, therefore, that parties do not do anything that will prejudice their position should the dispute escalate into full-blown litigation. Errors made at the outset of a case can have a serious, and sometimes fatal, effect on a party’s case at a later stage. [Continue Reading]

Dispute Resolution | 04 June 2011

On 29 March 2011, following a three-month consultation period, the government announced its intention to implement most of the ‘primary’ recommendations set out in Lord Justice Jackson’s report into the costs of civil litigation in England and Wales. Many of the proposals are aimed at solving perceived problems arising in the context of personal injury litigation. However, the changes will affect all types of dispute. [Continue Reading]

Dispute Resolution | 04 May 2011

Since the House of Lords decision in Salomon v Salomon & Co [1897], it has been a fundamental principal of company law that a company has a separate legal personality. This means that shareholders are not normally liable for the acts or omissions of a company. However, the court will ‘pierce the corporate veil’ where the corporate structure has been used for the purposes of a fraud or as a device to avoid an existing contractual or legal obligation. [Continue Reading]

Corporate and commercial | 01 April 2011

In the recent Lomas & Ors v JFB Firth Rixson Inc & ors [2010], the joint administrators (the administrators) of Lehman Brothers
International (Europe) (LBIE) applied for directions as to the true meaning and effect of certain terms under interest rate swap agreements (the swaps), governed by the International Swaps & Derivatives Association (ISDA) Master Agreement (the Agreement). [Continue Reading]

Dispute resolution | 01 February 2011

The legal concept of privilege underpins much of the daily interaction between lawyers and clients because it allows a client uninhibited access to a lawyer’s professional advice, free from concern that confidential communications will be disclosed in any subsequent litigation. This article focuses on three recent cases that have provided clarification on the scope of both legal professional privilege and the smaller sub-set of joint privilege. This article concludes with observations on practical issues arising from the cases and suggests ways in which businesses should structure their communications to ensure that they maximise their ability to claim privilege. [Continue Reading]

Dispute resolution | 01 December 2010

Investors who have suffered loss through declining asset values are likely to investigate whether their contractual counterparty (such as a bank or other financial institution) owed a duty of care to advise them as to the suitability of investments, and/or made actionable misrepresentations or misstatements. Given the extent of recent investor losses, it is likely that this will be a fertile area of litigation for some time to come.

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