REUTERS | Denis Balibouse

“Cutting out the middle man” is a well-known fact of life (making the expression gender neutral is more difficult). Whether it is selling your house privately to cut out the estate agent or disposing of your car through a private “ad” rather than via the local garage, opportunities abound to save costs by dealing direct with the other party. Even a luxury holiday can come into the frame: book that chalet in Verbier with the owner and you can save yourself the agency charges that would apply should it instead be reserved through a tour operator. So the upshot of the story is that the middle man loses out and the consequences are there to see: estate agents close down and household names go bust. Continue reading

REUTERS | Vincent Kessler

The issue of funding is often one which causes satellite litigation. Indeed, it may have been one of the driving factors behind the civil justice reforms. When the ideas of Jackson LJ were enshrined into legislation in the form of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), it was envisaged that this would see the end of lengthy disputes in relation to conditional fee agreements (CFAs) and funding. Continue reading



In TST Millbank LLC and another v Resolution Real Estate Ltd (8 February 2018) (unreported), the legal and beneficial owners of the head-lease of commercial property (C) brought a claim against their tenant (D) for unpaid service, to which D counterclaimed. D failed to provide security for costs and so, in autumn 2017, judgment was entered for C on the counterclaim. Over the next few months D made a number of hopeless applications, including one to adjourn trial, due to start in early February. On 31 January 2018, two clear days before the start of the trial window, D served a copy of a notice of intention to appoint an administrator (NOI), the effect of which was to impose an interim moratorium pursuant to paragraph 44 of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 (Schedule B1). D waited until 5 February 2018, the first day of the window, to serve the NOI on the qualifying floating charge holder (a connected BVI company), thereby precluding an appointment within the trial window at all. On 5 February 2018, C filed an application for permission, pursuant to paragraphs 44((5) and 43(6)(b) of Schedule B1, to proceed with the trial notwithstanding the moratorium. The application came before Nugee J on 7 February 2018, who granted D’s request for a 24 hour adjournment, simultaneously arranging for trial to be listed to start on 12 February 2018. On the adjourned hearing, the application was granted. Continue reading

REUTERS | Antonio Bronic

In Solanki v Intercity Telecom Ltd and others, the defendant applied for an adjournment on health grounds. This was refused. The trial went ahead in his absence. The defence was struck out. The claimant was awarded damages of over £290,000 and the defendant was ordered to pay the claimant’s costs of just over £83,500. The defendant applied for the judgment to be set aside which was also refused. Continue reading