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A (conditional) free for all?

Lucy Judge

Budana v Leeds Hospital is about Conditional Fee Agreements and how they may be transferred. Ms Budana’s original solicitors, Baker Rees, represented her in a personal injury claim under a CFA with a 100% success fee, entered into under the pre-Jackson reform regime. Baker Rees purported to assign its book of personal injury claims, and CFAs, Read More

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No chinks in the chain of causation: liability for continuing loss and third party acts

Samantha Holland

Questions of causation are tricky for lawyers and highly fact dependent. This case is an example of how it can be difficult to change a tribunal’s finding on causation: St Shipping v Space Shipping. A charterer hired a vessel and sub-hired it on to a third party that intended, unlawfully, to export crude oil from Read More

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Retro scooters: a licence to ride?

Adrian Dykes

In Scomadi v RA Engineering, the High Court construed a poorly drafted agreement against a licensor, meaning that the licensee could continue to manufacture the licensor’s retro scooter, even after the original agreement was terminated. Scomadi entered an agreement with Hanwei for the design and manufacture of a retro scooter. The agreement provided that Scomadi Read More

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Breaking the chain: when breach is not the cause of loss

Michaela Widdowson-Kidd

By designing a hotel for twice the budget, Fosters breached the contract. But, this was not the reason the developer could not secure funding for the project and therefore Fosters was not liable for the developer’s lost profits: Riva v Foster + Partners. The developer engaged Fosters to design a hotel for £70 million pounds; Read More

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What’s the ETA?

Katie Sharkey

The High Court has established that an estimated time of arrival can be implied into a shipping contract where the ETAs of unrelated intermediate voyages are provided, even if an ETA for the voyage in question is not stipulated. Previous authority had held that where a charterparty gives an ETA (or a date which can Read More

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Rainer Evers

Jason Rix

Yesterday I learnt that Rainer Evers, one of the team of three behind this blog, died over the weekend. It’s incredibly difficult to know what to say, not least because I can hear him tearing me apart mid-sentence for my grammatical errors and lack of clarity. Here is an example of a typical email exchange. Read More

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Do you have absolute contractual rights or a contractual discretion with Braganza limits?

Samantha Holland

In Shurbanova v Forex Capital Markets the High Court found that a clause permitting a broker discretion how to act in relation to – what the broker considered was – abusive trading strategies by a client were absolute contractual rights and therefore not subject to a Braganza duty to exercise its discretion rationally. Forex Capital Read More

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Discretion: you actually own it and you have to exercise it properly

Jason Rix

In Watson v Watchfinder.co.uk, a refusal to consent to a share option entailed an improper exercise of a contractual discretion. Watchfinder buys and sells luxury pre-owned watches. It granted an option in its shares to Watson and others who were directors of a company that was providing services to Watchfinder. The relevant provision stated “The Read More

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Contra proferentem rule when interpreting commercial contracts

Po-Siann Goh

In Persimmon Homes v Ove Arup, the Court of Appeal declined to apply the contra proferentem rule to an exemption clause in a major construction contract. The contra proferentem rule, set out by the Privy Council in Canada Steamship in the context of excluding liability for negligence, requires any ambiguity to be resolved against the Read More

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Interpretation of a software licence: access a use-ful decision

Alex Woolgar

What do the terms “use” and “access”, common in software licence agreements, actually mean in context? The High Court has recently considered this question in SAP UK v Diageo. SAP had licensed to Diageo a software package providing centralised management of several business functions (operations, HR, etc.). The licence fee payable was calculated by reference Read More

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