REUTERS | Thomas Peter

If there was a date on which the realities of how COVID-19 was about turn the life of the nation upside down, Friday 13 March 2020 has to be the best candidate. Earlier that week, Leicester City had played Aston Villa on the Monday (Villa lost 4-0), the following day the Cheltenham Festival had begun its four days of horse racing, and by the Friday, thousands of Scottish rugby supporters were heading for Cardiff to witness their country’s first win against the Wales for a decade (or so they hoped). That match was “on” even though the Italy v England game scheduled to be played in Rome had already been called off. Then at about 2.00 pm, the Welsh Rugby Union decided that the match would not be played, the announcement following hot on the heels of the decision of the Football League that there would be no more Premiership football until 4 April. And when Pipe Dream cantered home to win the last race of the day, the 5.30 pm Handicap Hurdles at Cheltenham, that was it. The country’s sport was going into lockdown. Continue reading

REUTERS |

The grim reaches of COVID-19 are affecting all corners of society in a way that few could have imagined even 12 weeks ago. With a vaccine deemed unlikely to be readily available this year, the mantra we will be getting used to over the next few weeks relates to the need to create a “new normal” way of living while this breakthrough is awaited. Continue reading

REUTERS | Kai Pfaffenbach

Judgment in Towergate Financial (Group) Ltd and others v Clark and others was handed down on 24 April 2020 in this interesting case that turned upon the correct construction of a notice clause in a share purchase agreement (SPA).

This was one of the first remote trials in the High Court, taking place over three days in early April 2020. For posts on the practicalities of that experience in this case follow these links, see Andrew’s blog on the solicitor’s perspective, and Matthew’s blog on the barrister’s point of view. Continue reading

REUTERS | Amir Cohen

The UK government has announced that no professional sport, even behind closed doors, will be staged in England until 1 June 2020 at the earliest. The government’s 50 page guidance document details how the country will ease its lockdown measures. Step two of that plan, which will not be allowed to start before 1 June, includes “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”. Continue reading

REUTERS | Darren Whiteside

I confess I was initially sceptical about the possibility of a remote mediation. It had always seemed to me essential to a successful mediation to get all the parties into one place and go through the hard yards of working through the issues, the rounds of negotiation, the impasse and then the breakthrough that characterises most mediations. How could this be achieved remotely? Continue reading

REUTERS | David Gray

In AIG Europe Ltd v McCormick Roofing Ltd and another, the High Court provided valuable guidance on how and when the court has jurisdiction to substitute one named claimant for another after the end of a limitation period. In so doing, it has suggested that CPR 19.5(3)(b) may occupy a more significant position than has hitherto been assumed. Continue reading