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New adjudication procedure for resolving technology disputes launched

Zahir Iqbal
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In response to a marked increase in tech disputes, a ground-breaking contractual adjudication process has been unveiled by the Society for Computers and Law (SCL). The SCL Procedure offers an alternative dispute resolution forum for contractual matters...

High Court rules electronic signature is acceptable in contract case

Nick Porter
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An automatically generated electronic signature, contained within an email footer, has been ruled by the High Court as having an authorising effect for contractual purposes. The Court considered that, despite the footer being created...

The reliability of witness statements in dispute resolution cases

Nick Porter
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Back in February 2019, we covered the story of two former directors of Northampton Town Football Club who were found to be in breach of their fiduciary duties following a claim brought by Northampton Borough Council. The case raises another interesting...

Caution urged over directors declaring dividends following Court of Appeal decision

Nick Porter
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The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision which has practical implications for directors declaring dividends in companies. In BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a dividend payment, which strips money out of a company and...

Pilot Disclosure Scheme set to revolutionise commercial litigation?

Nick Porter
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Disclosure, the process used by parties involved in commercial litigation to identify and disclose documents relevant to their dispute, often requires the exchange of thousands of documents for scrutiny. This often proves to be a complex procedure which can...

Singapore Convention heralds new era for international mediation - or is it a false dawn?

James Maxey
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7 August 2019 will herald a new era in international mediation with the introduction of a new global enforcement scheme for mediated settlements. The signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation,...

Northampton Town FC and 'the missing millions' - Directors personally liable

James Maxey
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A judgment has been obtained by Northampton Borough Council against two directors of Northampton Town Football Club, Anthony and David Cardoza. It is a stark reminder to company directors of their personal liability should they be found in breach of their...

Neighbour disputes - how to stop a boundary wall becoming a battle line

Paul Davis
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As the old saying goes “An Englishman’s home is his castle”. But experience has shown that battles over land are by no means confined to the English, and nor are they an exclusively male phenomenon!   Few things are more universally...

Rejection of lease renewals in favour of third party redevelopment upheld by Courts

Michael Rabbett
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The recent case of Santander UK PLC v LPS Estates Ltd has upheld a landlord’s right to oppose the renewal of a lease by a tenant if the site is intended for redevelopment by a third party. In this instance, Santander, the tenant of a commercial...

Volunteer Directors of not for profit community company held personally liable for VAT losses

James Maxey
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The High Court ruling in Situl Devji Raithatha (as liquidator of Halal Monitoring Committee Limited) and Mira Nazeer Ahmed Baig and others 2017 underlines the duties incumbent upon Directors and their responsibility to grasp an understanding of them,...

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill published

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A new piece of draft legislation promises to establish legal safeguards to protect the human rights of those who lack the capacity to consent to care, treatment and support. On 3 July 2018, the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill 2017-19, designed to amend the...

Service of proceedings by email

Nick Porter
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The digital revolution has changed the legal profession in many fundamental ways. I rarely send a letter by post now when I can email it instead; I can work from a laptop or tablet anywhere in the world; and I can even commence proceedings by uploading them...

Debt collection: How can you protect your business?

James Maxey
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Disputes between businesses and customers are common. If you cannot agree a settlement, your business may be called to the Small Claims Court or a higher court. If the judge rules against you, and your ex-customer is awarded their money back or receives...

What rent can the Court order in a business tenancy renewal?

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When parties are negotiating the terms of a renewal lease, it may be that they call upon the Court for assistance. Under sections 32 to 35 of the LTA 1954, the Court can decide those terms on which the parties cannot agree, including rent. The Court will be...

A little bit of interest might pay dividends

Nick Porter
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With the Bank of England base rate now at an historic low of 0.25% (and with many commentators suggesting it could go lower) it is an “interesting” time to revisit the provisions of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Interest Act 1998 and how...

Examination of the test applicable to declaratory relief where threat is not imminent

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In the case heard this summer of San Juan and others v Allen the Defendants had applied for and been granted planning permission to demolish their home and construct four new properties on the site, despite there being a restrictive covenant which...

The buzz word for litigation lawyers at the moment is "Proportionality"

Nick Porter
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The usual rule in Court proceedings is that the winning party can ask for their costs to be paid by the losing party. Traditionally, the Court would make sure that the winning party could only recover their costs that were "reasonably incurred"....

Assignment from a tenant to its guarantors

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EMI Group Ltd v O&H Ltd is a very recent case decided under the Landlord & Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 ("the Act") by the wonderful (so I think) Lord Neuberger. The basic purpose of the the Act was to ensure that tenants, and their...

Break clause drama

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As a property litigator, I like detail and I like tricky cases; it kind of comes with the territory. So, being a fan of complicated break clauses, I was intrigued by the recent case of Levett-Dunn v NHS Property Services Ltd . The facts of the case are...

How will my business be affected by the new ruling regarding consumer disputes?

Nadine Duncan
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Having highlighted the issue of disputes between companies and consumers in the last column, there has been an important development which businesses should be aware of. Just as recently as 15 February 2016, the European Commission launched its new European...

Doing business abroad? UK bribery legislation claims its first scalp for overseas payments

James Maxey
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A printing company based in Eastbourne has had two employees sentenced to prison terms following an SFO investigation into bribes paid in return for the award of contracts to the company. The chairman and sale director were sentenced to 18 months' and...

Diary of a Troubled Tenant - Quantifying dilapidations liability

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"My lease recently came to an end and my landlord has served on me a terminal schedule of dilapidations which is in the region of half a million pounds. The issue I have is that I know that the landlord is negotiating a new lease with my previous sub...

What you need to know about ADR for businesses that deal with consumers

Nadine Duncan
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If your business deals with consumers, you should be aware of the obligations on you to provide consumers with certain information in the event of a dispute. Earlier this year, two new alternative dispute resolution regimes came into force - the Alternative...

The Diary of a Troubled Tenant - Hostile Notice

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"I am the tenant of business premises which I have occupied for 14 years under a 1954 protected lease. The actual lease expired four years ago. The freehold of the premises was sold last year and the new landlord has served a hostile section 25 notice...

The Diary of a Troubled Landlord - Defaulting Tenants

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"Eight years ago, I granted a 10 year lease with the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 to a small company called 'Spooky Ltd' who manufacture Halloween costumes. Up until November 2014, they were model tenants but due to the...

Daughter Wins 163,000 pounds in Landmark Legal Battle

Alex Burch
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The recent news that an estranged daughter who had had no contact with her mother for 26 years is entitled to a third of her mother's estate, even though her mother had totally disinherited her from her Will, has raised the question of whether it's...