The High Court recently confirmed for the first time the availability of the commonly encountered Bankers Trust order to trustee claimants of stolen or misappropriated property, highlighting the flexibility of the court's equitable jurisdiction when presented with new situations. The decision also illustrates the court's willingness to grant Norwich Pharmacal relief to facilitate the recovery of unlawfully dissipated assets and the complimentary interim remedies available for that purpose.
The Technology and Construction Court was recently asked to determine the enforceability of a limitation of liability clause in an IT services agreement. The case provides a useful reminder to practitioners of the importance of clear contractual drafting to ensure that the agreement accurately reflects the parties' intentions as to their respective obligations and liabilities.
In Astor Management AG v Atalaya Mining plc the High Court was once again confronted with the task of interpreting an 'all reasonable endeavours' clause. While the decision confirms that the court will use its best endeavours to give such clauses (and their many infamous variants) legal force, it is a reminder to parties that it is preferable to try to achieve legal certainty by defining the degree of effort required with as much precision as possible.
The High Court recently rejected a €13.5 million claim for breach of contract, for the main reason that the parties had not manifested an intention to create legal relations, but also due to the absence of certainty in relation to other fundamental terms. The decision serves as a useful reminder of first principles in relation to contract formation and highlights the risks of taking a relaxed approach to documenting contractual arrangements.
The High Court recently set aside an order made against the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank on the basis that the court had no jurisdiction to permit service out of the jurisdiction of a claim form in respect of Norwich Pharmacal relief. The court held that none of the jurisdictional gateways under Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction 6B were satisfied and declined to follow previous decisions that permitted Norwich Pharmacal relief against parties outside the jurisdiction.
The Court of Appeal recently upheld a judgment of the Commercial Court that a party had accepted a contract by its conduct, notwithstanding the contract's stipulation that it needed to be signed by both parties in order to be binding. The case highlights the importance of ensuring that any pre-contractual performance does not inadvertently bring into existence a contract on terms that have not yet been finalised.
In British Airways v Spencer the High Court partly allowed an appeal by British Airways (BA) of the decision of a deputy master refusing BA permission to adduce expert evidence in litigation against trustees of its pension fund. The judgment provides useful guidance on the principles to be applied to determining whether expert evidence is admissible under Civil Procedure Rule 35.1.
The High Court struck out a claim for breach of warranty in Ipsos SA v Dentsu Aegis Network Limited on the basis that the claimants failed to comply with the contractual notification provisions set out in the share purchase agreement. The case highlights the importance of strict compliance with warranty claim notification requirements and dealing with such claims promptly to avoid limitation issues.