Latest updates

Is a 'good arguable case' good enough? Court of Appeal considers test for establishing jurisdiction
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 19 February 2019

A recent Court of Appeal decision has confirmed that the test for deciding whether a claimant has a good arguable case is relative. Where a court lacks the evidence to decide which party has the better argument, a more flexible approach should be adopted. In circumstances where the evidence is thin, it is not all relative and claimants are required only to demonstrate a plausible evidential basis that the gateway exists.

Something fishy about request for judicial assistance
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 12 February 2019

A recent judgment concerning a rather bold request for judicial assistance by the Chapter 11 trustee of a company within the China Fisheries Group provides a useful reminder of the common law criteria to be applied for recognition of foreign office holders. However, a more interesting point, perhaps, is that the Hong Kong courts will not be afraid to defend the integrity of their orders if and when attempts are made to circumvent them.

Time waits for know-ledge: but what does that mean for limitation?
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 February 2019

Section 14A of the Limitation Act sets out the position on latent damage in negligence claims. Litigation around the application of Section 14A has predominantly centred on when the claimant has the requisite knowledge to bring a claim and if a claim could, and should, have been brought earlier. This has been brought into sharp focus in a recent case relating to a claim brought against the Bank of Scotland.

Drafting a contract? Beware the well-intentioned but unenforceable agreement to agree
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 05 February 2019

A recent Court of Appeal decision examined a dispute concerning entitlements under an earn-out provision in a share purchase agreement. The claimant argued that, under the agreement, he was entitled to provide consultancy services for a further period to be agreed by the parties. However, the court found that there is no obligation on parties to negotiate in good faith about matters which remain to be agreed and that the defendant was free to negotiate in accordance with its own commercial interests.

Football club loses return fixture as entire agreement clause lets in misrepresentation claim
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 January 2019

The High Court recently confirmed on appeal from a master's decision that although an entire agreement clause concerning the sale of Nottingham Forest Football Club purported to extinguish all previous representations, it did not in fact exclude liability for misrepresentation. That there were contractual indemnities covering effectively the same subject matter did not, without clear language, mean that liability had been excluded.

Update on reciprocal enforcement of mainland and Hong Kong civil judgments
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 29 January 2019

The Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was recently signed by the Supreme People's Court and the HKSAR government. This is the sixth arrangement with the mainland on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters and the third arrangement providing for recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

Can expert evidence be used to determine dishonesty?
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 January 2019

A recent High Court of Justice case reinforced the courts' desire to remain the guardians of honest behaviour in relation to financial market practices; the objective standards of dishonesty are to be set by the courts rather than the market. Parties must therefore rely on contemporaneous documents when trying to prove claims for dishonest assistance, as the court will not permit them to adduce expert evidence of wider market practice.

An excessive demand is still a demand – Barclays Bank plc v Price
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 January 2019

The recent decision in Barclays Bank plc v Price extends the established test that a demand made under a guarantee for an excessive amount may nevertheless be effective as a demand for what is due in circumstances where the amount that has been demanded exceeds an express liability cap. This judgment will surely be a welcome extension of the authorities relating to the operation of guarantees (and the demands made thereunder) for the creditors that benefit from such arrangements.

Email scams and related recovery litigation
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 15 January 2019

In a series of recent judgments, the first-instance courts in Hong Kong have demonstrated an increasing flexibility in assisting victims of internet and email fraud, including granting declaratory relief without trial. The courts' increasing willingness to grant declaratory relief without trial in these circumstances is a significant step in the right direction, as it has simplified the civil action to be taken by those affected by email fraud and similar scams.

Watch out! Internal settlement negotiations may not always remain internal – West Ham v E20
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 08 January 2019

The Court of Appeal recently found that communications discussing a commercial proposal to settle an existing dispute are not privileged and are therefore subject to scrutiny by the court. Those engaged in litigation should take care not to commit to writing their commercial discussions on settlement and to frame their settlement discussions in terms of the legal advice that they have received on the litigation risks.

Former employees gain head start?
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 18 December 2018

The High Court recently considered the general legal principles for the grant of injunctive relief to protect an employer's confidential information alleged to have been taken by one or more former employees for the benefit of their new company. The outcome in the case (to date) illustrates the balance that the courts must often strike between recognising the legitimate interests of an employer and a former employee's entitlement to use their own skills and knowledge without obtaining an unfair advantage.

When will courts grant retrospective permission for disclosed documents to be used outside main litigation?
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 December 2018

The High Court recently considered applications for retrospective permission to make collateral use of documents disclosed under a pre-action disclosure order where there had been a breach of the implied undertaking as to the use of disclosed documents. Although retrospective permission may be given, an application for permission should not be used to circumvent the usual procedure for obtaining consent to collateral use of documents.

Qualifying shareholders' access to company records
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 11 December 2018

The recent decision of the High Court in Ninotre Investment Ltd v L & A International Holdings Ltd is a further example of the court's statutory power to grant a qualifying shareholder access to and inspection of company records. Section 740 of the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622) has become an established mechanism for aggrieved shareholders, with legitimate complaints in their capacity as shareholders, to obtain access to and inspection of company records.

Challenging judgments allegedly obtained by fraud
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 December 2018

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application to strike out a claim for abuse of process on the basis of Summers v Fairclough in circumstances where final judgment had already been handed down. There are already established methods of challenging judgments allegedly obtained by fraud, and these should be utilised instead.

Lead regulator wins landmark civil lawsuit
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 27 November 2018

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has been using Section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap 571) to good effect to secure (among other things) compensation on behalf of counterparty investors to impugned transactions. As a result of a recent landmark judgment of the Court of Final Appeal, the SFC's remit under Section 213 extends not only to (for example) insider dealing involving locally listed securities and regulated trades, but also to contraventions of Section 300.

Some lessons in drafting for privilege claims
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 November 2018

With privilege remaining a hot topic, and with the recent SFO v ENRC decision still fresh in many legal professionals' minds, another judgment on legal advice privilege has been handed down – this time with a lesson for solicitors drafting supporting witness statements. It is of crucial importance to ensure that the utmost care is taken when making a claim to privilege, not least because the opposing party will usually have no choice other than to rely on what it is told.

Letter of contract versus business common sense – latest from Court of Appeal
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 November 2018

In the latest of a long line of higher court authorities debating the boundaries between black letter and more purposive approaches to contractual construction, the Court of Appeal has taken another step away from the high-water marks of the business common sense approach to contractual meaning. The decision confirms that parties are more likely to be able to work contractual machinery according to the black letter terms in which it is set out on the face of the contract.

Lowering bar for inducement test in cases of fraudulent misrepresentation
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 November 2018

The test for inducement in cases of fraudulent misrepresentation is whether 'but for' the misrepresentation, the claimant 'might' have acted differently. The lower hurdle was clarified by the High Court in Nederlandse Industrie Van Eiprodukten v Rembrandt Enterprises and represents a departure from previous authorities, in which the test had been said to be whether but for the misrepresentation the claimant would have entered into the contract anyway.

Charging order over funds in court
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 13 November 2018

The High Court recently considered whether in principle a judgment creditor is entitled to a charging order over funds paid into court by a judgment debtor in a different action involving another party. The case is an interesting review of the respective interests of the parties when funds are paid into court pursuant to a court order. It concerns the application of established principles to what appears to be a different situation, but one that may give other litigants pause for thought.

Five ways civil courts are fighting back against cybercrime
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 November 2018

The proliferation of fraud and blackmail offences carried out online has left victims, and the courts, playing catch-up. However, in a number of recent cases, the civil courts have shown that they are adapting to keep pace with cybercriminals and are addressing the imbalance that exists between victims and criminals who seek to hide behind a veil of anonymity in this digital age.

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