News & Events


David Holloway wins landmark DIFC State Immunity Case

David Holloway recently represented Fal Oil Company and successfully achieved the enforcement of a judgment for over US$300 million plus significant interest against the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA). The underlying litigation had a complex and long history, involving appeals to the UAE Supreme Court and the intervention of a royal commission. Fal Oil had been unsuccessful in attempts to execute the judgment in Sharjah over a number of years. Enforcement proceedings in the DIFC Courts were contested by SEWA, who opposed the enforceability of the judgment on grounds of State Immunity and Public Policy. The judgment of the DIFC Court in Fal Oil Company  v SEWA sheds considerable light on the question of State Immunity as understood in the DIFC and the…

Commercial, News, International 4 Aug, 2021

James Counsell QC and Stephen Doherty successful before DIFC Court of Appeal in Lakhan v Lamia [2021] CA 001

James Counsell QC and Stephen Doherty, instructed by Leonora Riesenburg at INTADR, have been successful before the DIFC Court of Appeal in its recent judgment in Lakhan v Lamia [2021] CA 001.   The DIFC Court of Appeal has dealt a blow to recalcitrant parties seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of the Joint Judicial Committee (“JJC”) in an attempt to obstruct proceedings before the DIFC Courts. In Lakhan, the Court of Appeal has revised its historical practice of automatically staying proceedings upon petitions being made to the JJC, by confirming that, in order for any stay to take effect, there must first be a positively determined “conflict of jurisdiction”, and the mere existence of two sets of proceedings before the DIFC Courts and the onshore…

Commercial, News, International 15 Jul, 2021

Anthony Lo Surdo SC named a leading mediator in NSW by Doyles Guide 2021

We are pleased to announce that Anthony Lo Surdo SC has been named in Doyles Guide to the Legal Profession as a leading mediator in NSW, 2021. Anthony has been recognised for his expertise using online peer-review based surveys as well as extensive telephone and face to face interviews with clients, peers and relevant industry bodies. This category was introduced in 2017 and Anthony has been ranked every year since. Doyles Guide Doyles Guide is an awards recognition program for law firms and lawyers across Australia. Awards are attributed as “Australia wide” or for specific states and are also awarded relative to practice area or speciality. Doyles Guide rank their leading mediators across a range of mediation disciplines including general commercial…

Commercial, News, International 7 Jul, 2021

A Tale of Two Duties – Approaching SAAMCO and the Scope of Duty Principle after Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP and Khan v Meadows

Joshua Cainer compares Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP and Hughes-Holland v BPE Solicitors and considers the state of the law in this area going forward, as well as the key conceptual and practical differences that are likely to generate debate in future cases. The concept of ‘scope of duty’ in the tort of negligence, especially its application following Lord Hoffmann’s judgment in SAAMCO, has generated both controversy and confusion over recent years. Many had thought that Lord Sumption’s judgment in Hughes-Holland v BPE Solicitors was to be the definitive statement on the topic. However, the starting point in this area now lies in two very recent Supreme Court decisions in two different factual contexts: Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2021] UKSC 20 in the…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial 24 Jun, 2021

Quincecare and Dishonest Assistance: An Ongoing Retreat in Claims Against Banks?

Helen Pugh examines the Stanford International Bank Ltd Ponzi scheme as one of the latest examples of multi-jurisdictional fraud and the judgment for the claims brought by the liquidators of the Bank in an attempt to increase recoveries on behalf of the creditors. Massive multi-jurisdictional fraud and the almost inevitable colossal insolvencies which follow have provided fertile ground for testing the scope of banker’s duties and liabilities in recent decades. Robert Allen Stanford’s eye-watering Ponzi scheme has been part of this trend. On 15 April 2009 the Antiguan-incorporated Stanford International Bank Limited (“the Bank”) collapsed into insolvent liquidation bringing to an end one of the largest and most prolonged Ponzi schemes in history. For the depositors who lost their retirement income…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial, News 24 Jun, 2021

Acrostic reflections on injunctions in cryptoasset cases

Inspired by the ever-evolving story of fintech, Chloë Bell showcases her poetic talents to pen a very different kind of advice note looking at injunctions in cryptoasset cases. In this acrostic poem, Chloë reflects on the requirements when making an application for a freezing injunction and the logical conundrum in the ‘Persons Unknown’ case. Norwich Pharmacal relief – Chloë analyses the pragmatic approach taken by the court in the case as well as the conflicting case-law resulting from it. She also considers the questions which require further appellate consideration. The article comments on Jurisdiction and the CPR PD 6B gateways and the Use of expert reports in digital asset injunction applications, as well as asset preservation orders existing as an alternative to…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial, News 23 Jun, 2021

Dwyer v Fredbar: when to designate Covid-19 as force majeure

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020, many companies have been faced with disruption to their everyday commercial activities. As a result, litigation concerning the use of force majeure clauses has been on the rise. David E Grant and Anson Cheung consider force majeure in their article on Dwyer v Fredbar. An example of litigation concerning force majeure is Fibula Air Travel SRL v Just-US Air SRL [2020] EWHC 3048; the charterer contended that a lease for the charter of an aircraft had been terminated by force majeure. Another, more recent, example is Dwyer (UK Franchising) Limited v Fredbar Limited [2021] EWHC 1218 (Ch). The claimant entered into a franchise agreement with the first defendant, Fredbar, as franchisee and the second defendant, Mr.…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial 23 Jun, 2021

Chloë Bell Successful in Cryptoasset Injunction Applications

Chloë Bell successfully represented the Claimants in obtaining a series of interim proprietary and freezing injunctions in a cryptoasset misappropriation case in the London Circuit Commercial Court and the Central London County Court ((1) Lubin Betancourt Reyes (2) Custodial Management Solutions Limited v (1) Persons Unknown x 3 (2) Tether Holdings Limited (3) Binance Holdings Limited (LM-2021-000083 and H10CL251)) [2021] EWHC 1938 (Comm). The injunctions are a further example of English courts demonstrating commercial pragmatism and flexibility in this fast-developing area of law. They also represent a welcome departure from the problematic position courts had seemingly adopted on serving Norwich Pharmacal and Banker’s Trust orders out of the jurisdiction. The Facts The Claimants were intending to pay a business contact for services provided…

Commercial, News 23 Jun, 2021

PwC v BTI – allegations of abuse of process by collateral attack

Jennifer Seaman has prepared a case note on the recent Court of Appeal case of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP v BTI LLC 2014, covering abuse of process in professional negligence proceedings. On 11 January 2021, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP v BTI 2014 LLC [2021] EWCA Civ 9.  One of the issues the Court of Appeal was asked to consider was whether there was an abuse of process by BTI in bringing professional negligence proceedings against PwC, by way of collateral attack on an earlier decision of Mrs Justice Rose. Jennifer Seaman explores the Court of Appeal’s judgment on abuse of process and highlights some practical points to be taken from the case. Jennifer’s article can be read…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial, Commercial, News 11 Mar, 2021

FCA v Arch Insurance – the Supreme Court’s view

Clare Baker summarises the judgment from the Supreme Court in FCA v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd and others [2021] UKSC 1 and explores the next steps for policyholders. In the last edition of this newsletter, Clare Baker discussed the High Court’s judgment in the business interruption insurance test case brought by the FCA on behalf of policyholders affected by the COVID-19 outbreak which can be read here. The judgment was broadly favourable to the FCA (and therefore policyholders) although it did not find that the defendant insurers were liable across all of the sample policy wording. Both sides appealed parts of the judgment using the “leapfrog” procedure and the Supreme Court heard the appeals from 16-19 November 2020 by video…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial, Commercial, News 11 Mar, 2021

Practice Direction 57AC – A Simple Guide

Anson Cheung provides a brief guide to the way that trial witness statements will be prepared as a result of the new Practice Direction 57AC. The new Practice Direction 57AC comes into force on 6 April 2021. It concerns witness statements for use at trials in the Business and Property Courts signed on or after 6 April 2021.  This will involve a fundamental re-think to how such witness statements are produced. The Purpose of Practice Direction 57AC The judges of the Commercial Court felt that witness statements had become “ineffective” in achieving best evidence at proportionate cost in Commercial Court trials. In other words, witness statements were too long, sometimes strayed into submissions and were rarely in the witnesses’ own…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial, Commercial, News 11 Mar, 2021

Accessing the Other Side’s Computers? Imaging and Inspection Orders

In this article, Peter Linstead considers the use of applications for orders permitting a search of a defendant’s computers and electronic devices, including why they are useful and also their limitations. Applications for orders permitting a search of a defendant’s computers and electronic devices are routinely sought in cases involving employee competition and claims based on the misappropriation of IP.  This is commonly at the outset of proceedings, in tandem with an interim injunction application. The High Court has been receptive to these applications in the last few years, to varying degrees.  This article considers the reasons for, and the limits of, these applications, including a recent pronouncement on the relevant principles by the Court of Appeal. Peter’s article can…

Legal Blog & Publications, Commercial, Employment 11 Mar, 2021

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