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Tuesday 4 April 2017

MH Dispute Resolution

Recovering debts and resolving disputes – without it costing the earth

The decision to commence Court proceedings can be a daunting one.  Litigation is expensive, time consuming and there is no guarantee of success.  There are, however, alternatives to traditional costly Court proceedings:

1.Mediation 

Mediation is an effective tool used to resolve disputes of all values and complexities at a fraction of the cost of litigation.  The usual format involves a mediator (usually a lawyer) bringing opposing parties together in one location for a day or half a day.  There is often an “all parties” initial meeting followed by “shuttle diplomacy” during which the mediator will shuttle between the parties who will be located in separate rooms.  The aim is for the mediator to try to narrow the issues and focus the parties’ minds on the legal and commercial realities of their dispute so that they may be more agreeable to settling.  Mediation can be used whether or not proceedings have been issued.

Thursday 15 December 2016

MH Dispute Resolution

Is “Brexit” a frustration?

In many contracts, one or other party may rely on the benefits of membership of the European Union (EU) in order to make the contract profitable or even viable.  For instance a contract may oblige parties to comply with EU Laws, or have a territorial aspect which refers to “the EU”, or it may benefit from EU subsidies or tariffs.

 

Friday 20 November 2015

MH Dispute Resolution

Take Notice

The recently reported decision of the High Court in IPSOS S.A. v Dentsu Aegis Network Limited (formerly Aegis Group plc) [2015] EWHC 1171 (Comm) highlights the importance of ensuring that any provisions in a share sale and purchase agreement regarding giving notice of claims are followed precisely.

Under the terms of a sale and purchase agreement completed on 12 October 2011 (“the SPA”), Ipsos S.A. (“Ipsos”) purchased shares in various companies forming part of the same world-wide group from Dentsu Aegis Network Limited (“Aegis”).

Beyond the Limit?

Where two businesses contract with each other on the standard terms of business of one of them, any exclusions or limitations of liability contained in those standard terms must be “reasonable” in order to be effective, pursuant to the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (“UCTA”).

Exclusions/limitations commonly found in standard term business-to-business contracts include terms which exclude liability for any “indirect or consequential loss” and/or which limit liability to the contract price.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

MH Dispute Resolution

Are you being served? (Again)

The recent decision of the High Court in Dunbar Assets v BCP Premier Ltd [2015] EWHC 10 (Ch) once again highlights the need to ensure that proceedings are served in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”).

The Claimant was a banking institution providing lending to organisations and individuals looking for investment for developments. The Defendant was a construction management company which provided advice on proposed lending opportunities.

Friday 24 October 2014

MH Dispute Resolution

You only get what you paid for

The recent case of Comau UK Limited v Lotus Lightweight Structures Limited [2014] EWHC 2122 (Comm) is an interesting decision from the Commercial Court in which the Court found against Comau UK Limited (“C“) which was seeking summary judgment of its claim for an award for loss of profit from a repudiatory breach of contract by Lotus Lightweight Structures Limited (“L“). The Court instead found that L had a real prospect of successfully defending the claim. The Court held that while C was entitled to seek damages for amounts due under a contract, where that contract permitted L to perform its obligations in different ways, the least onerous way would be applied and C would not therefore be able to get a better deal than it had bargained for.

Let’s get friendly

The recent case of Emirates Trading Agency LLC v Prime Mineral Exports Private Limited [2014] EWHC 2104 (Comm) demonstrates the approach of the Court to dispute resolution clauses which require the parties to enter into good faith discussions to resolve their disputes.

Emirates Trading Agency LLC (“E”) had agreed to purchase iron ore from Prime Mineral Exports Private Limited (“P”) under the terms of a Long Term Contract dated 20 October 2007 (“LTC”). In the event, E failed to lift all of the iron ore expected to be taken up and P sought liquidated damages from E pursuant to the terms of the LTC. The next year E failed to lift any iron ore and, on 1 December 2009, P served notice of termination of the LTC and claimed $45,472,800 in respect of liquidated damages. P stated that if the claim was not paid within 14 days they reserved the right to refer the claim to arbitration in accordance with clause 11.2 of the LTC.

 

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