Latest by Dan Wyatt

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Crypto-assets again confirmed as property by the English Commercial Court

Published on 26 August 2021. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate and Rebecca Baker , Trainee Solicitor

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In the Commercial Court's latest crypto-related judgment, Fetch.AI(1), a proprietary injunction and worldwide freezing order were granted against various categories of persons unknown who had misappropriated various crypto-assets from one of the claimant's Binance trading accounts. In doing so, the Court agreed with the key finding in the seminal case AA v Persons Unknown, Re Bitcoin [2019] EWHC 3556 (Comm) – that bitcoin is 'property' – albeit it did so on a different basis.

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Forum conveniens – English High Court decides that parallel proceedings are not a "trump card" when determining jurisdiction

Published on 12 August 2021. By Alastair Hall, Associate and Dan Wyatt, Partner

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Hot on the heels of another recent decision on forum conveniens, PJSC National Bank Trust v Mints(1) (see our article on this decision), the English High Court has re-affirmed that the risk of irreconcilable decisions from parallel proceedings in other jurisdictions is not a "trump card" in determining the proper forum for a dispute.

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Forum conveniens – context is key

Published on 06 May 2021. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Karina Plain, Associate (Australian qualified)

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The English High Court has allowed conspiracy proceedings brought by two Russian banks against several Russian nationals to proceed in England, despite there being "no doubt, and no dispute, that [it] is a Russian case".(1)

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Commercial Court cracks down on crypto-fraudsters (if it can find them)

Published on 18 February 2021. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate and Rebecca Baker , Trainee Solicitor

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In the first initial coin offering 'ICO' fraud case before the Commercial Court, Ion Science Limited & Duncan Johns v Persons Unknown & Ors, the court granted permission to serve disclosure orders on two cryptocurrency exchanges through which the claimants' stolen bitcoin had been traced, granted a world-wide freezing order against persons unknown, and gave ground-breaking guidance on the lex situs of crypto-assets.

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Beware of trying to address gaps in your evidence during trial: High Court refuses permission to rely on a new witness statement prepared part-way through trial

Published on 07 January 2021. By Alastair Hall, Associate and Dan Wyatt, Partner

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The "inherent unreliability" in evidence prepared during trial, and the high risk that the evidence had been tailored to fit the current state of the claimant's case, caused the High Court to refuse the claimant permission to rely on a witness statement of one its in-house lawyers, prepared during an ongoing trial, and to call that witness to give oral evidence during the trial. (1)

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When is an Application to Court an Abuse of Process?

Published on 12 November 2020. By Lucy Baughan, Associate and Dan Wyatt, Partner

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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.

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Overseas In-house lawyer's advice covered by legal advice privilege

Published on 08 October 2020. By Emily Saffer, Associate and Dan Wyatt, Partner

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There is no additional requirement for in-house foreign lawyers to be "appropriately qualified" or recognised or regulated as a "professional lawyer" for legal advice privilege to extend to communications between them and company employees.

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Stick to the process – a further reminder of how useful a process agent clause can be, especially following Brexit

Published on 10 September 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Tim Potts, Senior Associate

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Process agent clauses are commonly included in cross-border finance transactions. They avoid the need for the claimant, typically the lender, to have to serve process outside the jurisdiction, frequently a costly and time-consuming exercise, particularly when the court's permission is needed. Accordingly, lenders will often require a foreign borrower and/or any guarantors to appoint a process agent in the lender's jurisdiction to accept service on their behalf.

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No interim injunction over bitcoin account where damages would be adequate

Published on 03 September 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

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The court has declined to continue interim injunctions granted in respect of a 'coin depot account' holding bitcoin over which the claimants asserted a proprietary right.

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To perform or not to perform? When tendering performance means actual performance

Published on 21 May 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Kirtan Prasad, Senior Associate

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A consultant was alleged to be in material breach of a consultancy contract for refusing to supply his services. He responded to a notice of material breach by stating that he was willing to perform. However, the Court of Appeal held that this was insufficient to remedy the breach (Bains v Arunvill Capital Limited and others)(1).

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COVID-19: Virtual hearings - what we've learned

Published on 27 March 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

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Remote court hearings have very quickly become the "new normal". We've taken part in a fair few in recent weeks so wanted to share some practical tips that we hope will help those about to enter the virtual courtroom….

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Disclosure Pilot Scheme: Technology

Published on 22 May 2019. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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How does the Disclosure Pilot encourage the use of technology?

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Technology assisted review in English civil proceedings: the exception or the norm?

Published on 10 August 2016. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Simon Hart, Partner

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Hot on the heels of its first endorsement of the use of predictive coding in the widely publicised Pyrrho decision in February 2016, the English court has recently given judgment ordering the use of predictive coding in circumstances where its use was opposed by one party.

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A (bright) green light for predictive coding in English litigation

Published on 24 February 2016. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Simon Hart, Partner

A recent interlocutory judgment in Pyrrho Investments Limited & Anr -v- MWB Property Limited & Ors [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch) endorses, for the first time, the use of predictive coding when conducting disclosure in English civil proceedings.

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Blog

No discretion to extend time to appeal registration of foreign judgments

Published on 29 January 2015. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Taylor-Carr -v- Howkins & Harrison LLP[1], it was held that the English courts have no power to extend the time for appealing against the registration of a foreign judgment under Council Regulation 44/2001, which permits judgments in one member state to be enforced in another.

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FTT prevents HMRC from having two bites of the cherry!

Published on 22 October 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Lady Henrietta Pearson v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 890 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ('FTT') concluded that HMRC had "ignored" its previous decision by seeking to reduce the amount of a VAT refund ...

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FTT prevents HMRC from having two bites of the cherry!

Published on 22 October 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Lady Henrietta Pearson v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 890 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ('FTT') concluded that HMRC had "ignored" its previous decision by seeking to reduce the amount of a VAT refund which it had ordered HMRC make to Lady Henrietta Pearson ('the taxpayer').

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Trading "with a view to the making of a profit" - an objective or subjective test?

Published on 06 August 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Beacon Estates (Chepstow) Ltd v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 686 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ('FTT') allowed the taxpayer's appeal, holding that 'with a view to' in section 393A(3), Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 ('ICTA')[1] imports an objective test when considering relief for trading losses.

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Taxpayer succeeds in loss relief claim

Published on 10 July 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Hamilton & Kinneil (Archerfield) Ltd and others v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 350 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ('FTT') held that a company which had not made a cash capital contribution to a limited liability partnership could nonetheless claim loss relief against its other profits in respect of losses incurred by the limited liability partnership.

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Assessing compensation under cross-undertakings in damages: is remoteness relevant?

Published on 19 June 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In short, yes; compensation under cross-undertakings in damages is assessed using the same rules as assessing damages for breach of contract, i.e. the principles of causation, remoteness and mitigation apply.

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Information notices suspended by FTT to allow the taxpayers to seek judicial review

Published on 18 June 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Whitefields Golf Club Ltd & Others v HMRC,[1] the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ('FTT') suspended the effect of its decision in relation to information notices issued by HMRC pursuant to paragraph 1, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (the 'information notices') which it had, less than two months earlier, confirmed on appeal.

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HMRC lose FURBS appeal

Published on 19 March 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In HMRC v Forde and McHugh Limited [2014] UKSC 14, the Supreme Court has dismissed HMRC's appeal and reinstated the decision of the Upper Tribunal.

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Relief from sanctions: round-up of recent decisions

Published on 17 March 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

Please click here for our latest article which looks at three recent decisions concerning relief from sanctions following the much publicised changes in April 2013 and the seminal case of Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1537.

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Further guidance from the Tribunal on closure notices: long stop dates

Published on 05 February 2014. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

We recently blogged about the timing of closure notices: "Tribunal directs HMRC to issue Closure Notice".

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High Court considers service of breach of warranty claim

Published on 25 November 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Ageas (UK) Limited -v- Kwik-Fit (GB) Limited, the court considered a preliminary issue regarding service of proceedings in a breach of warranty claim.

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Tribunal prevents HMRC from 'relitigating' the case in Rosenbaum v HMRC

Published on 13 November 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In Rosenbaum v HMRC[1] the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') recently considered the circumstances in which it can set aside a decision under Rule 38 of The Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Tax Chamber) Rules 2009 ('the Tribunal Rules').

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Taxpayer's appeal allowed as HMRC had not made a discovery determination in time

Published on 17 October 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

The recent First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') case of Nijjar Dairies Ltd v HMRC1 dealt with two matters.

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Taxpayer wins appeal notwithstanding mistimed implementation

Published on 11 September 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has recently ruled in favour of a taxpayer in relation to a consultancy fee purportedly paid to a company which was not at the time incorporated(Maureen Hepburn v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 445 (TC)).

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High Court considers non-party costs order on appeal

Published on 15 August 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

The High Court recently gave judgment on an appeal against a master's costs decision in AP (UK) Limited v West Midland Fire & Civil Defence Authority.

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High Court confirms accountant's duty to alert client to tax saving opportunity

Published on 17 July 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

The recent decision of Mr Justice Silber in Hossein Mehjoo v Harben Barker (A Firm) and Harben Barker Limited[1] has attracted a great deal of publicity in both professional journals and the general press as it considers the important issue of an accountant's duty to his client in the context of tax mitigation opportunities.

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When should a penalty be suspended?

Published on 27 June 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Testa v HMRC,[1] against HMRC's refusal to suspend a penalty imposed under paragraph 1, Schedule 24, Finance Act 2007...

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Termination payments: don't forget the breakdown

Published on 08 May 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

In an encouraging win for taxpayers, the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') in Johnson v HMRC[1] allowed an appeal relating to a termination payment under a compromise agreement.

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Injunctive relief in support of foreign proceedings: don't fall at the first hurdle

Published on 09 January 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

Following RPC Commercial Litigation Blog post "Granting interim relief in support of foreign proceedings: the expediency test revisited",...

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Granting interim relief in support of foreign proceedings: the expediency test revisited

Published on 03 December 2012. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

Will the English courts grant claimants a worldwide freezing order ("WFO") or other interim relief in support of foreign proceedings, even if a defendant has no assets in the jurisdiction?

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