Misc

Covid, crises and legally what we may be able to learn

Jason Rix

Back in March, Karen Birch and I seemed to spend much of our waking hours fielding urgent and complex Covid-related legal queries. In the wake of that immediate surge, Karen reflected that, at least from a legal perspective, there seemed to be a number of themes to what happens in crisis, and that we ought Read More

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A waste of energy? Assignment, novation and contribution

Claudia Barry

In Energy Works v MW High Tech Projects the court examined the distinction between assignment and novation, and considered whether “damage” was the “same” for the purposes of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978. Energy Works, the purchaser, and MW High Tech, the main contractor, signed an EPC contract relating to a “fluidised bed gasification Read More

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No need to waive goodbye to your rights

Rhona Egerton

A party did not waive its right to rely on a “performance relief” provision by temporarily continuing to perform by alternative means: Delta Petroleum v BVI Electricity Corp. BVI Electricity contracted to buy fuel from Delta. The agreement contained a “performance relief” provision, allowing Delta to claim relief from further performance should the refinery from Read More

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You haven’t bought my silence: confidentiality not a condition of settlement.

Abigail Holmes

In Duchy Farm v Steel the High Court upheld a County Court decision that a confidentiality clause in a settlement agreement was not a condition of the agreement, and a breach of confidentiality by Steel therefore did not absolve Duchy Farm of the obligation to pay settlement monies. Duchy Farm and Steel settled an employment Read More

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On notice – SPA tax claim unenforceable as inadequate notice given

Edward McCullagh

A tax indemnity claim under a share purchase agreement was unenforceable because inadequate notice was given (Dodika v United Luck). The buyers gave notice of their claim by solicitors’ letter. However, that notice was inadequate, as it did not provide reasonable detail of the matter giving rise to the claim. The letter (sent shortly before Read More

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“Ipso facto” clauses will no longer bee the obvious route out

Emma Keeling

Yesterday, the Government’s Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, described by our restructuring team as the most significant insolvency reforms in the UK for a generation, passed through the House of Commons. For a full analysis see their bulletin here. In this post I will focus on so-called “ipso facto” clauses, ie clauses which allow termination Read More

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The principles for a disclosed principal

Godwin Tan

In Filatona v Navigator, the Court of Appeal held that a disclosed principal was entitled to bring a claim under a contract signed on their behalf between their agent and a third party. While the “terms and surrounding circumstances of the contract” may exclude a principal from the contract, the threshold to meet is exceptionally Read More

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Problems with no set-off clauses: prevention is better than cure

Philip Carstairs

In TMF Trustee v Fire Navigation, the court held that a no set-off clause did not stop borrowers from relying on the “prevention principle” namely that the alleged breach was caused by the lenders. Set-off is a common law right that a debtor has to net obligations it owes to a creditor off against obligations Read More

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Pre-contractual negotiations: rarely a gold mine

Tomasz Hara

The Court of Appeal in Merthyr (South Wales) Limited v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council provides a concise restatement of the circumstances in which pre-contractual negotiations may (and may not) assist in construing a contract. The case concerned the interpretation of an escrow agreement under which the mining company had to pay funds into an Read More

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Lawful pressure in contractual negotiation: Duress-t in peace

Senem Cilingiroglu

In Times Travel v Pakistan International Airlines, the Court of Appeal held there was no duress where an airline used lawful pressure to achieve a result to which it genuinely believed itself to be entitled, even when it lacked objectively reasonable grounds for that belief. Times Travel sold tickets to flights operated by the airline. Read More

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