Latest updates

Largest 'white elephant' in history of group actions
RPC
  • United Kingdom
  • 01 December 2020

BHP has successfully applied to strike out 200,000 claims as an abuse of process. Had the judge not struck out the claims, he would have stayed proceedings on jurisdictional grounds under Article 34 of the EU Recast Brussels Regulation and the doctrine of forum non conveniens. While the significant nature of the proceedings would have raised England's profile as a forum for group litigation, this was ultimately not a case which fell within the parameters under which the court can accept jurisdiction.

Consequential order: functus officio rule stretched for interest of justice
Gan Partnership
  • Malaysia
  • 01 December 2020

The Federal Court recently confirmed that the court is entitled to issue a further order subsequent to its final and perfected judgments or orders only in limited circumstances. However, a change or substitution of one form of remedy with another form of remedy ordered in a subsequent application does not amount to variation subject to the facts of each case. This decision reinforces the inherent jurisdiction of the court to grant consequential orders to ensure that justice is achieved.

Derivative proceedings: leave of court is substantive legal requirement
Gan Partnership
  • Malaysia
  • 24 November 2020

The Court of Appeal recently ruled that Sections 347(1) and (2) of the Companies Act 2016, which require leave of court to be obtained before any action may be initiated on behalf of a company and any such action to be brought in the name of the company, are substantive law and not merely procedural. Following this decision, it is clear that violations of Sections 347(1) and (2) are not mere irregularities, but illegalities.

Can judges control excessive terms in lease agreements?
SMARTLEGAL Schmidt & Partners
  • Hungary
  • 24 November 2020

Can parties stipulate in a commercial lease that a user charge amounting to three times the monthly rent will apply if the lessee fails to vacate the leased premises? Further, can a judge qualify such an excessive fee as a penalty which the court can reduce? This article analyses a recent Supreme Court decision in order to address these questions.

Court continues injunction against unidentified 'doxxers'
RPC
  • Hong Kong
  • 24 November 2020

The High Court recently ordered the continuation of various injunction orders restraining unnamed defendants from engaging in 'doxxing' directed at judges and judicial officers in Hong Kong, together with their spouses and immediate family members. The court's decision follows an increase in such activity in connection with certain verdicts and sentences in cases where persons have been charged with offences arising out of protests or related public order incidents.

Can an appeal court order repayment after it has reversed the relevant order?
RPC
  • United Kingdom
  • 24 November 2020

An appellate court has an inherent power to restore money paid or property transferred under an order which it has reversed, and not all contractual provisions are susceptible to being waived by election. These are the two key takeaways from a recent Privy Council judgment.

More is more when giving notice of claims under SPAs
RPC
  • United Kingdom
  • 17 November 2020

Failure to comply with a contractual requirement to give notice of a claim under a sale and purchase agreement can cause a buyer's claim to fail, even if the seller is already aware of the matters that give rise to the claim. The High Court recently provided a timely reminder that buyers should consider carefully the terms of the notice requirements and follow these rigorously.

Competing claims in curial and arbitral proceedings: recent anti-arbitration injunction developments
Gan Partnership
  • Malaysia
  • 17 November 2020

Are the Malaysian courts adopting a minimalist judicial intervention approach when considering anti-arbitration injunctions? This article discusses a recent Federal Court decision which dealt with the issue of competing claims in curial and arbitral proceedings where not all parties were before both forums, and two recent high court decisions that made reference to the Federal Court decision.

When is an application to court an abuse of process?
RPC
  • United Kingdom
  • 10 November 2020

While hearing the appeal of an application to discharge an interim order, the Court of Appeal clarified its approach to deciding when conduct is permissible and when it may amount to an abuse of process. This decision shows that parties should not assume that they will be immune to a finding of abuse of process purely because they have not done anything unlawful or dishonest. Exploring the context of such actions is key.

Courts return to some normality
RPC
  • Hong Kong
  • 10 November 2020

Some eight months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the courts officially resumed normal business in mid-September 2020. Normal court registry services resumed from about 28 September 2020, together with the cessation of 'ticketing arrangements', the continuation of enhanced social distancing and the introduction of special queuing arrangements for the registries and accounts offices of the High Court, the District Court, the Family Court and the Lands Tribunal.

Can management corporations stop parcel owners from operating Airbnbs?
Gan Partnership
  • Malaysia
  • 10 November 2020

A recent Federal Court judgment determined whether the management corporation of a stratified development can introduce a new bylaw forbidding parcel owners from using their units to carry out short-term rentals, even if the express condition of the title stipulates that the building is a commercial building. More robust regulations may be implemented in Malaysia to regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnb due to this apex court's decision.

Validity of NCC and NCCA clauses
AKD
  • Netherlands
  • 03 November 2020

Since 2019 it has been possible to bring international, civil and commercial disputes before the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCCA). All litigation is conducted in English, which is a huge plus for foreign parties. The NCC will take on a case if certain conditions are met. A recent NCC ruling has provided more clarity on the condition that parties must expressly agree in writing to litigate in English before the NCC or the NCCA.

High threshold for admission of evidence obtained by private parties in criminal proceedings
Lenz & Staehelin
  • Switzerland
  • 03 November 2020

In principle, Swiss law does not allow audio and video recordings to be made without the consent of the persons concerned. Consequently, such materials are generally of no avail in criminal proceedings. However, in two recent decisions the Federal Supreme Court dealt with certain exceptions to this rule and confirmed a clear-cut distinction as to when such recordings should be admitted.

Settlement 'solutions' looking for problems?
RPC
  • Hong Kong
  • 27 October 2020

The judiciary in Hong Kong recently published a Guidance Note for Case Settlement Conference in Civil Cases in the District Court. The guidance note extends a pilot scheme for facilitating settlement in general civil cases in the District Court. While facilitating the settlement of certain civil disputes is a laudable aim and part of the underlying objectives in the court rules, the guidance note appears to raise more questions than it answers.

To MAE or not to MAE? Court delivers preliminary issues judgment in first COVID-19 MAE case
RPC
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 October 2020

In a recent decision, the head of the Commercial Court provided topical guidance on the construction and application of material adverse effect clauses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The judgment highlights the significance of the precise words used and the importance of ensuring, insofar as possible, that they properly reflect the intended allocation of risk between the parties.

Royal Court demonstrates its ability to assist in administration of foreign trusts
Ogier
  • Jersey
  • 27 October 2020

In a recent decision, the Royal Court considered – for the first time – whether it can exercise a foreign statutory power on the application of a trustee of a foreign trust. The court concluded that it can do so as a matter of principle and went on to exercise an English statutory power so as to permit the trustees of a trust governed by English law to self-deal. The judgment is a welcome one for trustees in two particular respects.

Will COVID-19 skyrocket remote hearings?
Gün + Partners
  • Turkey
  • 27 October 2020

Law 7251 recently entered into force, allowing the courts to conduct remote hearings through video and audio transmission either upon the parties' request or ex officio under certain circumstances. Although remote hearings are not new to Turkish law, allowing more space for such practices is significant given the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this practice is available only in certain courts and more widespread use may create capacity problems for the existing judiciary infrastructure.

Precedential decision: Supreme Court rules on enforcement of foreign judgments
Mazlan & Murad Law Associates
  • Maldives
  • 27 October 2020

The Supreme Court recently ruled that parties seeking to apply foreign law to a matter in the Maldivian courts have the burden of proving the foreign law to the court. Where a party fails to prove the foreign law, the judge may apply Maldivian law. In light of this, foreign court judgments can be submitted to the Maldivian courts as evidence. Further, a local court decision will be required to enforce a foreign judgment in the Maldives.

Snapshot: recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments
Ogier
  • Guernsey
  • 20 October 2020

There are two routes for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Guernsey. The statutory method is available only for judgments from certain jurisdictions which can be registered in Guernsey following a specified statutory process. For all other countries, a judgment creditor must rely on common law principles to have a judgment recognised and thereafter enforced in Guernsey.

Premium interest rate payable to creditors which file claims before Italian courts
ARBLIT Radicati di Brozolo Sabatini Benedettelli Torsello
  • Italy
  • 20 October 2020

Creditors taking legal action before the Italian courts to secure payment against their debtors have long regarded this as a nightmare option due to the length and complexity of Italian civil proceedings. However, recently introduced legislation may render this nightmare a dream, as claimants bringing actions for payment are now entitled to a premium interest rate equal to that available in respect of late payments in commercial transactions under the relevant EU legislation.

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