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Commercial Disputes

Blog

Funding for disputes – “one step forward”

Published on 04 January 2019. By David Smyth, Senior Partner, Hong Kong and Michael Maguiness, Of Counsel

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In a significant development in June 2017, the Arbitration and Mediation Legislation (Third Party Funding) (Amendment) Ordinance was enacted. It provides for a legislative regime for third party funding of arbitration and mediation in Hong Kong.

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Blog

An excessive demand is still a demand - Barclays Bank plc v Price

Published on 02 January 2019. By Sarah Shaul, Associate and Andy McGregor, Partner

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A demand made under a guarantee may be effective even when the amount demanded exceeds an express liability cap.

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Blog

Watch out! Internal settlement negotiations may not always remain "internal"

Published on 19 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Suzan Kurdi, Senior Associate

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WH Holding Limited (1) West Ham United Football Club Limited (2) v E20 Stadium LLP [2018] EWCA Civ 2652 finds that internal settlement negotiations are not protected by litigation privilege.

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Blog

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…twelve judges judging

Published on 18 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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It attracted nothing like the controversy of the US Senate's confirmation of US Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. However, the decision of the two selection commissions to recommend, and of the Lord Chancellor to recommend to the Prime Minister, the appointment of Lady Hale to the Presidency of the UK Supreme Court and of Ladies Black and Arden to the Court marked historic firsts in 2018.

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Blog

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…eleven groups a-growing

Published on 17 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Chris Ross, Partner and Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner

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Unlike Scrooge, litigation will not wake transformed on Christmas Day into a gentler, kinder activity. But it is undergoing a slower transformation with the growth of various forms of group litigation in England.

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Blog

On the tenth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…ten claims a-noticed

Published on 14 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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Christmas may come but once a year, but 2018 was book-ended by two cases in the Court of Appeal on claim notices in the context of share sale purchases.

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Blog

On the ninth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…nine losses mounting

Published on 13 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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It's rare for cases on damages to reach the Supreme Court, and there was just one in 2018: Morris-Garner v One Step (Support) Ltd (possibly particularly appropriate for a verse normally taken up with possibly aged leaping lords).

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Blog

On the eighth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…eight duties owing

Published on 12 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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To borrow from a distinctly non-Christmassy text: to owe or not to owe a duty? That is often the difficult question. (It could be worse: o-ho-ho-ho-we, yes, it could.) By way of a round-robin letter on the topic, by and large, 2018 was a good year for.

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Blog

On the seventh day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…seven fraudsters fleeing

Published on 11 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Jonathan Cary, Partner

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A Home Office report in July 2018 found that in 2015/16 there were 3.6m incidents of fraud with an immediate cost of £3.04bn and 2m incidents of cybercrime with an immediate cost of £526m. It seems improbable that the number or value of those incidents has declined since then, and certainly fraud of all types has had a busy 12 months in the English courts.

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Blog

On the sixth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…six exclusion clauses

Published on 10 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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Geese, which normally feature in this verse, can pack a nasty bite. In a gaggle of cases this year, exclusion clauses bit claimants hard – but in two cases the claimants successfully fought back.

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Blog

On the fifth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…five time bars!

Published on 07 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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A defendant who can rely on a limitation defence strikes gold. However, the extreme impact of a time bar in wiping out a claim, however meritorious, combined with the impenetrability of some parts of the Limitation Act 1980, makes limitation a fertile source of dispute, and so it proved in 2018.

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Blog

Are the US courts eroding collective redress? Why England may be becoming a more attractive place for class actions

Published on 07 December 2018. By Jonathan Wood, Head of International Arbitration and Max Rossiter, Trainee Solicitor

The UK may be becoming a more favourable jurisdiction than the US for class actions or collective redress.

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Blog

On the fourth day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…four contracts

Published on 06 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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Questions of contractual interpretation can be hard nuts to crack. We pick out today some nuts that you might find at the bottom of your legal stocking this year.

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Blog

On the third day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…three corporate crimes

Published on 05 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Sam Tate, Partner

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Beware of employees bearing gifts of frankincense, myrrh and especially gold: 2018 saw the first conviction after a contested prosecution for the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery, under s7 of the Bribery Act 2010.

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Blog

On the second day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…two LIBOR reps

Published on 04 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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The long-running and hard-fought saga of Property Alliance Group v Royal Bank of Scotland came to a close with the Court of Appeal's judgement in March 2018, after four and a half years and at least 12 reported decisions. So what will we remember from the litigation?

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Blog

On the first day of Christmas, the High Court gave to me…a privilege in E-N-RC

Published on 03 December 2018. By Davina Given, Partner

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With Advent upon us, and Christmas on the horizon, RPC takes a musical look back at the most important English judgments of 2018. Liability for all failures of rhythm and rhyme is hereby excluded.

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Publication

TerraLex guide to tracing assets around the world 2018

23 November 2018

We are delighted to present the TerraLex 2018 Guide to Tracing Assets Around the World.

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Blog

Letter of contract versus business common sense – latest from Court of Appeal

Published on 20 November 2018. By Jake Hardy, Legal Director

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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.

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Blog

Five ways the civil courts are fighting back against cybercrime

Published on 06 November 2018. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Eliot Henderson, Associate

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Service by text and data room, worldwide freezing orders against persons unknown, self-identification orders and hearings on paper and in private are ways the court is dealing with cyber-crime. Here are five ways that the courts 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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Blog

Reflections on the UK Bribery Act seven years on

Published on 23 October 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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Following the appearance of RPC's Sam Tate at the annual IBA conference earlier this month, where he joined a panel of experts discussing Corruption and Corrupt Contracts, here are our reflections on how the Bribery Act has changed the landscape of bribery offences and corporate criminal liability, first published by the IBA earlier this year and now updated.

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Blog

Oil or nothing: Court of Appeal considers damages in continuing misrepresentation claim

Published on 16 October 2018. By Harriet Evans, Associate and Davina Given, Partner

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The Court of Appeal recently held that a director who had made continuing fraudulent misrepresentations was liable for damages calculated at the point of sale and not at the point of entering into the contract. This judgment is a reminder that, in the right case, deceit may be used to pierce the corporate veil. It also highlights the considerations when assessing damages regarding continuing representations, particularly when there is time between the representation being made and the performance of the contract.

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Blog

Force Majeure – specificity is vital – Seadrill v Tullow

Published on 26 September 2018. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner

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Force majeure clauses in contracts must be clear on the events that can excuse a party from fulfilling its obligations. Inability to perform under the contract must be wholly caused by that event. So said the High Court in the case of Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana Ltd.

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Blog

High Court warns directors to get match fit for new reporting regulations

Published on 25 September 2018. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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It is understandable that directors might be reluctant to seek legal advice – be it due to concern about time or cost or a potential conflict of interest if seeking advice internally. However, as a recent case demonstrates, this is a small price to pay to avoid the time and financial cost of a claim, especially when a company's subsequent precarious financial position shines a light on an officer's behaviour and competence.

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Blog

Section 1782 order allowed

Published on 18 September 2018. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Alan Williams, Senior Associate

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The Commercial Court recently discharged an injunction restraining the enforcement of a US court order made under Section 1782 of Title 28 of the US Code (Assistance to foreign and international tribunals and to litigants before such tribunals). Section 1782 applications can be a useful weapon in an English litigator's armoury as a means of obtaining evidence under the control of a US-based entity through US-style discovery, including by the use of depositions and documentary evidence.

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Blog

Negligent misstatement and undisclosed principals – a gamble not worth taking

Published on 11 September 2018. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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The Supreme Court recently ruled that a bank providing a reference relating to its customer owed a tortious duty of care only to the addressee. The decision reflects the wider judicial trend of restricting the circumstances in which duties of care for negligent misstatement are found to exist on the basis of an assumption of responsibility by the party making the statement.

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Blog

Breaking news – a victory for privilege

Published on 05 September 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Jonathan Cary, Partner and Alan Williams, Senior Associate and Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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Today the Court of Appeal handed down its eagerly anticipated judgment in the appeal of Andrews J's controversial High Court decision in Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.

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Blog

ISDA agreement wins jurisdiction clause battle in Court of Appeal

Published on 04 September 2018. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Christopher Whitehouse, Associate

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The Court of Appeal recently confirmed that an English jurisdiction clause in the underlying International Swaps and Derivatives Association Master Agreement under which certain swaps were made should be applied to disputes relating to the swap transactions, rather than an Italian jurisdiction clause in a competitor agreement governing the parties' generic relationship

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Blog

Football club's entire agreement clause performs impressive save against negligent misrepresentation claim

Published on 28 August 2018. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Ed Holmes, Senior Associate

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A recent case(1) serves as a lesson that context is key to a watertight entire agreement clause.

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Blog

Non-party access to documents on court file: normal service resumes

Published on 22 August 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Laura Evans, Associate

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A master's decision to allow a non-party to proceedings to access a wide range of documents in the proceedings was reviewed by the Court of Appeal in Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring (Asbestos Victims Support Group).(1) In its judgment, the court provided helpful guidance on the principles that should be applied when deciding whether to allow such an application.

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Blog

A variation on a theme of settlement

Published on 14 August 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Parham Kouchikali, Partner

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In this unusual case, the Court was asked to determine a dispute regarding the settlement of a debt alleged to be owed to the Claimant following a sale at Sotheby's of various Persian antiquities. The case will be of interest to practitioners in its examination of the circumstances in which a party is able to discharge its liability under a settlement agreement through the payment of a lesser sum than that originally agreed. The judgment also provides a valuable insight into the antiquities world, and its comments on the close community in which the parties operated are particularly pertinent for those in the art arena who are considering embarking upon litigation.

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Blog

Important issues relating to effect and interpretation of non-assignment clauses

Published on 07 August 2018. By Simon Hart, Partner and Sarah Shaul, Associate

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Service by text and data room, worldwide freezing orders against persons unknown, self-identification orders and hearings on paper and in private are ways the court is dealing with cyber-crime. Here are five ways that the courts 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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Blog

Significant increases to District Court's monetary jurisdiction

Published on 25 July 2018. By Michael Maguiness, Of Counsel

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Significant increases to the jurisdictional limits for civil claims in the District Court have been proposed.

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Publication

Financial litigation roundup - Summer 2018 edition

20 July 2018

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Welcome to the latest edition of our financial litigation roundup. In this edition, we consider recent judgments and ongoing cases from the banking and financial world in the UK and Hong Kong, as well as legal developments across those jurisdictions.

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Blog

Court of Appeal upholds wide exclusion clause

Published on 17 July 2018. By Tim Brown, Partner and Gill O'Regan, Associate

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In its recent decision in Goodlife Foods Limited v Hall Fire Protection Limited ([2018] EWCA Civ 1371) the Court of Appeal held that a particularly broad exclusion clause in a contract relating to a fire suppression system was reasonable within the framework of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

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Blog

More dismissal of 'dormant' claims

Published on 12 July 2018. By David Smyth, Senior Partner, Hong Kong and Maria Petzsch, Registered Foreign Lawyer (England & Wales)

Defendants should welcome the recent judgment in Fiscalink International Ltd v Yiu Yu Sum Alex,(1) in which the court struck out the plaintiffs' claims against a majority of the defendants on the basis that the lack of progress over many years was an abuse of process such that the entire action against those defendants should be dismissed.

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Blog

First Tower Trustees: contractual fiction clauses, unfair contract terms, parliamentary sovereignty and the limits of party autonomy

Published on 06 July 2018. By Jake Hardy, Legal Director

In its recent judgment in First Tower Trustees Ltd and Intertrust Trustees Ltd -v- CDS (Superstores International) Ltd, the Court of Appeal has set down a significant marker that so-called contractual estoppel does not have any special status and is to be treated as just another form of exclusion of liability.

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Blog

Court of Appeal clarifies meaning of 'knowledge' for purposes of Limitation Act

Published on 26 June 2018. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Chris Ross, Partner

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In Su v Clarksons Platou Futures Ltd ([2018] EWCA Civ 1115) the Court of Appeal upheld a decision granting summary judgment against a claimant on the basis that his claim in negligence was time barred.

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Blog

Guarding professional secrets: A guide to English legal privilege for international lawyers

30 May 2018

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Most jurisdictions have some form of protection for preserving the confidentiality of communications involving lawyers, whether known as (legal professional) privilege, professional secrecy or something else. How far that protection extends, and how easily it may be broken, varies enormously. In England, the protection, once gained, remains strong, but recent cases have tended to restrict the extent of it, particularly by comparison to other common law jurisdictions (privilege/professional secrecy rules in civil law jurisdictions tend to be narrower than common law jurisdictions in any event). The issue becomes most acute in a pre-litigation (or investigative) phase.

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Blog

Supreme Court curtails negotiating damages

Published on 29 May 2018. By Tim Brown, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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The Supreme Court decision in Morris-Garner v One Step Support Ltd(1) is now the leading case on Wrotham Park(2) or – as the court preferred to call them – negotiating damages.

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Blog

Unlawful distribution of shareholding: application of Limitation Act clarified

Published on 22 May 2018. By Chris Ross, Partner

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In Burden Holdings UK Limited v Fielding the Supreme Court considered the application of Section 21(1)(b) of the Limitation Act 1980 with respect to claims against the directors of a company for an unlawful distribution of the shareholding.

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Blog

Regulation of cryptocurrency pre-ICO funding under English Law

Published on 15 May 2018. By James Kaufmann, Legal Director

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Launching a cryptocurrency typically involves an initial fundraising process followed by a public sale process, by way of initial coin offering or token sale ("ICO").

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Blog

That's not fair (market value)

Published on 03 May 2018. By Christopher Whitehouse, Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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Court of Appeal rules on application of GMRA close-out provisions in a distressed market. Icelandic bank LBI ehf (LBI) appealed against the High Court decision in its case against Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RZB) regarding the interpretation of the term "fair market value" in the close-out provisions of a repo agreement. The Court of Appeal rejected LBI's arguments that "fair market value" should preclude the use of prices, quotations and other pricing evidence obtained in a distressed or illiquid market and dismissed the appeal.

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Blog

Game theory and the art of litigation settlement (Part 3)

Published on 01 May 2018. By Christopher Whitehouse, Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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This article is the third in a series targeted at litigators that consider the issue of settlement in litigation through a game theoretical lens.

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Game theory and the art of litigation settlement (Part 2)

Published on 25 April 2018. By Christopher Whitehouse, Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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This article is the second in a series targeted at litigators that consider the issue of settlement in litigation through a game theoretical lens.

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Blog

Game theory and the art of litigation settlement

Published on 06 April 2018. By Christopher Whitehouse, Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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This article is the first in a series targeted at litigators that consider the issue of settlement in litigation through a mathematical lens.

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Blog

Property Alliance Group Limited v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc – a pyrrhic victory?

Published on 04 April 2018. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate

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The Court of Appeal handed down its much anticipated judgment on the misselling and LIBOR manipulation test case in March. Whilst the appeal was dismissed in full, the Court of Appeal's decision clarified a number of aspects of the law in this area and, in particular, the circumstances in which an implied representation in respect of LIBOR would arise.

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Blog

SFC requires ICO to be withdrawn from Hong Kong public

Published on 20 March 2018. By Jonathan Crompton, Partner and Jessica Wong, Associate

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On 19 March 2018 the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that it had halted an initial coin offering (ICO) to the Hong Kong public by Black Cell Technology Limited (Black Cell).

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Blog

The High Court confirms the availability of Bankers Trust orders to trustee Claimants seeking to recover misappropriated assets

Published on 16 March 2018. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

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The decision of the High Court in Miles Smith Broking Limited –v– Barclays Bank PLC has confirmed for the first time the availability of the commonly encountered Bankers Trust order to trustee Claimants of stolen/misappropriated property, highlighting the flexibility of the Court's equitable jurisdiction when presented with new situations. The decision also serves as a neat illustration of the Court's willingness to grant Norwich Pharmacal relief to facilitate the recovery of unlawfully dissipated assets and the types of complimentary interim remedies available to Claimants for that purpose.

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Blog

Litigation privilege: whose privilege?

Published on 15 March 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Christopher Whitehouse, Associate

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The claimants, companies in the corporate group of the mining company MMG, applied to inspect certain documents created in foreign proceedings over which the defendants, companies belonging to the mining company Glencore, asserted litigation privilege.

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