REUTERS | Yuriko Nakao

At the risk of adding to crystal-ball gazing about the post-pandemic legal landscape, it is hard to resist speculating that mediation may ultimately join the list of things that have been available for many years but took the nudge of the pandemic to be embraced widely and come into their own.

A perfect storm of circumstances seems to have converged to provide ideal conditions for mediation and other forms of “alternative” dispute resolution to be finally embedded across the full spectrum of the English civil courts, rather than in the current patchy manner.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Maxim Shemetov

In my last Dispute Resolution blog, I looked at the signature requirements for solicitors’ bills, both in relation to between the parties’ costs assessments, and solicitor and own client costs assessments.

In this blog post, I consider the signature requirements relating to:

  • Conditional fee agreements.
  • Damages-based agreements.
  • Contingency fee agreements.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Ralph Orlowski

The recent decision in Maranello Rosso Ltd v Lohomij BV and others affirms the applicability of the normal principles of construction to the interpretation of contractual releases and, crucially, indicates that the lack of express wording referring to claims based on fraud or dishonesty will not prevent the release of such claims. The wide-ranging and comprehensive language in the settlement agreement reflected the intention of the parties to leave no loopholes.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Andres Stapff

The High Court decision in Jones and another v Lydon and others reminds us of the importance of providing a clear indication of when there is to be a shift from without prejudice (WP) communications to open communications, should a party wish to rely upon open communication at a later point. Failure to do so could result in WP protection being applied to communication that is not marked WP, a recipient’s non-response or silence.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Maxim Shemetov

The potential for estoppel to arise based on the conduct of a party in litigation is well established in the law of England and Wales. The courts acknowledge that a party cannot change its position adopted in previous proceedings and then expect the court not to hold that party to its previous conduct.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Jitendra Prakash

In Zavarco plc v Nasir, the £36million question was: does the doctrine of merger apply to a declaratory judgment?

The Court of Appeal’s clear and unequivocal answer (merger “has no application at all to declarations”) would suggest that this was a simple point, however the experienced judges who grappled with the question in the lower courts reached contrasting conclusions. It remains to be seen whether the appellant will pursue the point to the Supreme Court in the hope of a different answer.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Toby Melville

This judgment relates to three discrete applications in ten test cases out of 134 or more cases initiated through Edwards and others v Slater & Gordon UK Ltd; namely the claimants’ application for disclosure and the defendant’s application for security for costs against a non-party, Clear Legal.

The claimants were former clients of the defendant and represented by Clear Legal.

All these cases concern invoices, which had been paid by way of deduction from damages so if successful, the claimant would be entitled to a refund of monies from the defendant.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

In Les Ambassadeurs Club Ltd v Yu, the Court of Appeal had to determine what is meant by “a real risk of dissipation”. It also had to consider whether the Deputy High Court Judge misunderstood the test by applying too high a threshold when refusing to grant a post-judgment freezing injunction.

Continue reading

REUTERS | Jean-Paul Pelissier

Dude, where’s my anchor?

In a 1916 case decided in the House of Lords (John Russell and Company Ltd v. Cayzer Irvine and Company Ltd  (John Russell)), the plaintiff sought damages after its goods were placed in the care of first one and then (without the plaintiff’s consent) another Scottish-domiciled shipping company, resulting in the goods being lost at the bottom of the ocean near Calcutta, when the ship carrying them was sunk by a German cruiser. The plaintiff sued both companies. The first Scottish defendant voluntarily consented to service of the claim on it and agreed to be sued in England, apparently thinking it convenient. The second defendant was less amenable and refused to submit to the English court’s jurisdiction.

Continue reading