Jake is a Senior Associate in RPC's Commercial Litigation Group, specialising in banking and financial litigation with an emphasis on capital markets and portfolio/fund management disputes.
Examples of Relevant work
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.
In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal set down a significant marker that so-called 'contractual estoppel' has no special status and is to be treated as just another form of exclusion of liability. In particular, it was ruled for the first time that any reliance on a contractual estoppel to seek to defend a claim for pre-contractual misrepresentation is an attempt to exclude liability which falls to be assessed for reasonableness under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
A recent application made by the insolvency practitioner of Agrokor, a major Croatian conglomerate, resulted in recognition in England of a stay of civil proceedings against the group. The purpose of the application was to halt any proceedings in relation to Agrokor's securities and debt obligations containing English law and jurisdiction provisions, pending the restructuring in the Croatian insolvency proceedings of the group's affairs.
The Supreme Court recently handed down a short but important judgment on jurisdiction under the EU Brussels Regulation. The court held in no uncertain terms that jurisdiction for the economic tort of inducing a breach of contract between a claimant and a third party lies with the home courts of the place where the harm was directly suffered as a result of the tortious acts.
In Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in Administration) v Exxonmobil Financial Services BV the High Court considered important issues concerning the validity and timing of contractual notices, banking business hours in London and an important point on the English court's approach to determining what counterfactual hypothetical valuations would have been reached by financial markets participants under a contractual discretion to value securities.
The Court of Appeal recently considered a short but important point of law in relation to the calculation of damages in English law. The context in which it arose was an appeal from the decision of an arbitrator in a shipping charterparty dispute, but it is of significance much more widely in relation to English law contractual damages claims.
The High Court recently considered what penalties it should impose on claimants which, after obtaining judgment against one set of defendants at trial, then sought to bring a second set of proceedings which arose from the same facts and issues, but against different defendants. The decision considered the Aldi requirement to consult with the court in such situations.
The recent judgment in Plaza BV v The Law Debenture Trust Corporation illustrates and extends a line of authorities in which the English courts have sought to narrow the scope of mandatory application of Article 2 of the EU Brussels Regulation. These cases are a reaction to the broad interpretation of the applicability and effect of Article 2 set out in the European Court of Justice decision in Owusu v Jackson.
The recent Supreme Court decision in FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC concerned the enforcement rights which are available in the English courts to the principals of fiduciary agents where those agents have made unauthorised profits from secret commissions or bribes. The nature of the rights which arise in this situation is a subject with a considerable history of debate.
In proceedings with multiple defendants in which the claimant had obtained default judgment against Defendant A, Defendant B (which had statutory joint liability for A's actions) was not bound by an issue estoppel raised by the default judgment against A. Further, B was entitled (notwithstanding substantial delay on its part) to set aside the default judgment which had been obtained against A.
The Court of Appeal recently considered the application of the EU Rome II Regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations. In particular, it examined the extent to which Rome II imports foreign law and procedure into the English courts in cases where that regulation applies, and the scope and meaning of 'law' in that context.
The Supreme Court has delivered an important decision on the application of Articles 27 and 28 of EU Regulation 44/2001 in the English courts. The decision has once again emphasised the importance that the English courts in particular attribute to contractual jurisdiction clauses and their willingness to give them wide effect.
The Supreme Court recently considered the requirements for service of English proceedings abroad, particularly on prospective defendants based in a state that is not a member of one of the international conventions governing service of proceedings. The court set down a clear marker that the procedural rules governing service of English proceedings in those circumstances are to be given a purposive interpretation.
A recent decision sets limits on the permissible use of collective action clauses and the related concept of the exit consent procedure. It still allows issuers to construct exit consent procedures that give meaningful inducements to facilitate the orderly restructuring of debt obligations, but protects against egregious abuse.
Most English civil lawyers are aware that service of English proceedings in Russia under the Hague Convention is a painfully slow process. A recent decision demonstrates the pragmatic approach that the English courts are prepared to take to the issue of proper service of proceedings, especially when dealing with urgent injunctive proceedings whose purpose would otherwise be thwarted.
The proceedings between JSC BTA Bank and its former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, together with various of his associates and associated companies, have been one of the most dramatic court battles in recent years. In considering the tools available to it in the face of what it found to be wilful contempt of its authority, the court has expanded the armoury of those seeking to enforce the terms of interlocutory orders.
A recent High Court judgment demonstrates the difficult art of determining issues on which all the direct witnesses have been demonstrated to be unreliable. It also contains a significant reminder to claimants and their solicitors to monitor the continuing belief in the statements set out in a letter before action and to issue corrections when the need to do so becomes apparent.
The High Court increasingly has to grapple with complex litigation involving recalcitrant foreign parties, often operating in jurisdictions which are not amenable to enforcing English court orders. Solicitors for such defendants will face a delicate task in explaining how far they can resist disclosing contact information to hostile parties where the courts view disclosure as necessary to give effect to their orders.
A recent decision is a sharp reminder that the courts' public service function is not necessarily subservient to the mutual wishes of the parties in commercial litigation. It underlines the imperative for parties to assess their position in the wake of the trial, while judgment is being drafted, where a judgment may present a significant enough reputational risk to justify settlement.
Disputes between Russian oligarchs continue to keep the London courts and legal profession busy. A recent case arising out of dispute over control of the Norilsk Nickel mining group suggests, among other things, that applications for Norwich Pharmacal orders against solicitors will be treated similarly to applications against banks for disclosure of details of their customers' affairs.
The Court of Appeal recently reviewed one of the most potentially draconian procedural provisions available in English civil litigation: judgment in default. Default judgment is a risk which can and should be avoided; if it is not, applications to set aside must be made rapidly. Delay will not necessarily be excused by the existence of a good arguable defence to the claim if this has not been advanced within the relevant deadlines.
A wave of financial crisis litigation has brought many jurisdictional battles before the High Court. Under the Brussels Regulation, a contracting state court cannot decline jurisdiction if the party being sued is domiciled in its jurisdiction, even if the court believes that the dispute would be better heard in the courts of a non-contracting state. However, what is the approach to other parties to the dispute that are not domiciled in England?
A recent case serves as a warning to defendants in civil litigation that a claimant's after-the-event insurance is sometimes no substitute for security for costs. Moreover, it is when a defendant is most deserving of having its costs paid - because a claimant has knowingly pursued a fraudulent claim - that after-the-event insurance is likely to evaporate.