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Casting away another year: Dispute Resolution’s top ten tips of 2015

Practical Law’s newest Dispute Resolution team member, Jack Meek, ends the year by reflecting on notable legal developments from the past 12 months.

Top ten tips

I like a good list. I’m the guy who documents every item in his film collection, and I have been preparing my Desert Island Discs choices since I first uncovered the BBC’s archive some years ago. Of course, my interview with Kirsty Young or her eventual successor is still a few years away. In the meantime it’s probably best to plan for something a little more immediate.

In order to assist you, as the New Year approaches, Practical Law Dispute Resolution has extracted some practice point nuggets from key cases in 2015. Entitled “Top ten tips from 2015”, our article sets out… well, our top ten tips from 2015.

What’s involved?

There have been many developments throughout the past year. As we look ahead to the continued modernisation of the court structure in England and Wales, our courts have been tasked with making decisions in a vast array of areas. Our tips for this year are reflective of this fact, and you should find something of interest regardless of your area of practice.

Our team has analysed decisions handed down by the High Court and Court of Appeal, and guidance provided by the Supreme Court. After all, there’s nothing like curling up around the fire, raising a glass to your good fortune, kissing your loved one under the mistletoe, and reading your kids that happy family favourite, “Legal advice privilege extends to communication of information between lawyer and client”.

What’s covered?

The devil has been known to take pleasing shapes. Each December, in my household, this normally comes in the form of well-known triangular or miniature chocolate citrus segments (other sugar-based cocoa snacks are available). As an alternative, we offer our own smorgasbord of legal nourishment: we highlight the dangers of assigning pre-April 2013 CFAs and consider the law on rescission and damages. We examine legal advice privilege and the importance of providing sufficient information about costs to clients. We also draw out key practice points from cases looking at the £10 million exception in relation to costs management, the impact on costs of failure to mediate, and the costs consequences of Part 36 offers.

Also covered is the Court of Appeal’s clarification of the circumstances in which contractual choice of jurisdiction should be overridden, how the Supreme Court’s decision on the penalty rule impacts on drafting liquidated damages provisions, and its guidance on borrowing and the scope of freezing injunctions.

If you could only save one…

It has been a busy year, and no doubt 2016 will be just as eventful. As always, our team will be here to comment on developments. In the meantime, I would encourage you all to read our top ten tips in full. While you do that, I shall be mulling over whether to save the Rat Pack’s “We Open in Venice”, or Gerswhin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.

Practical Law Dispute Resolution Jack Meek

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