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Dispute Resolution Update - March 2020

12 March 2020

Welcome to our March 2020 Dispute Resolution Update. We’ve included articles on a range of disputes, including summaries of recent cases and guides on key aspects of dispute resolution. With an increasingly globalised and fast changing environment, disputes are an inevitable part of business. Not only can we help resolve disputes once they arise, we also work with our clients to reduce the risk of litigation. If you have any feedback, comments or queries let us know by contacting Rachel Rooksby.

Recent blogs

Retailer v regulator: Rematch over disclosure request for privileged documents
Refereeing an ongoing dispute between Sports Direct and the Financial Reporting Council, the Court of Appeal has robustly defended the scope of legal professional privilege. 
Read more.
StubHub taken to task over ticketing transgressions
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has warned the secondary ticketing provider StubHub that it could face court action unless it gets its act together.
Read more.

Recent articles  

Counting the cost of the Coronavirus
The economic effects of coronavirus are rippling across the globe. In February the world’s largest mobile phone congress was cancelled in Barcelona after a number of high-profile exhibitors pulled out, citing coronavirus fears. It is interrupting supply lines and businesses are repatriating staff and/or restricting travel. Against this background, contractual obligations are not being met. But can a contracting party avoid performance - citing the virus - without risking a claim? If not, on what basis might a claim be defended?
Read more.
Court of Appeal confirms dominant purpose test for legal advice privilege
The Court of Appeal has recently provided guidance on the scope of legal advice privilege. The guidance is particularly important for in-house lawyers and those with a hybrid legal and commercial role. The Court of Appeal’s key ruling in R. (on the application of Jet2 Ltd) v Civil Aviation Authority [2020] EWCA Civ 35 is that the dominant purpose test (normally only associated with litigation privilege) applies in the context of legal advice privilege. This ruling increases the risk that confidential communications between lawyers and clients may be treated as disclosable.
Read more.
Terminating contracts: breaking up is never easy...
The UK has now left the EU. However, the precise terms of our departure are as yet unclear. In the face of uncertainty, prudent businesses are assessing contracts, their cost base and their exposure to currency fluctuations. As part of such a review, the well-prepared need to develop exit strategies where arrangements have become, or will become, unprofitable.  Exploring these issues, we hosted a seminar on strategies for terminating commercial contracts, how to operate contractual provisions and the risks arising when you get it wrong.  This is a summary of some of the key points discussed.
Read more. 
Court of Appeal refuses to depart from "natural and ordinary" meaning of commercial indemnity clause
The Court of Appeal has considered the construction of an indemnity clause in a trust deed holding that the words used should be given their natural and ordinary meaning. The case highlights the importance of clear and careful drafting as the courts will not readily rescue parties from the effects of the words used even where this means an unexpected advantage for a party.
Read more.

Dispute resolution guides

Legal Professional Privilege Update
This guide is intended to provide a brief overview of legal professional privilege, updated following the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Jet2. It identifies some practical steps which will help to maintain privilege and concludes with a privilege “flowchart” and table of commonly used terms.
Find it on our website!

Have you met

Rebecca Harries

Rebecca is an Associate in our Dispute Resolution Group.
She advises on a broad range of commercial disputes for a diverse client base. Rebecca has particular experience of advising both domestic and international clients in complex cross-border disputes in civil proceedings in the High Court, various arbitration centres and at mediation.
Rebecca represents both claimants and defendants at all stages of the litigation process, including pre-action, at mediation and at appeal.

+44 (0)20 7074 8316

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