Cases


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Basin Supply Corporation v (1) Rouge LLC (2) Claude Barret [2018] CFI 057

Area of Law: International and Offshore

James Weale (instructed by Dentons) acted for the successful claimant in a claim to enforce the terms of a promissory note and a related guarantee. This followed James’ successful dismissal of a jurisdiction challenge submitted to the JJC. H.E. Justice Ali Al Madhani held that an express choice of law agreement in a negotiable instrument was valid and enforceable (para 37). Moreover, the Court rejected the Second Defendant’s case that the guarantee was unenforceable by reason of a material variation pursuant to the rule in Holme v Brunskill (1871) 3 Q.B.D. 495 (paras 48-59). James also obtained an order for costs to be assessed on the indemnity basis (para 65).

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Loveridge v Loveridge [2020] EWCA Civ 1104

Area of Law: Partnership and LLP

Judgment in Loveridge v Loveridge [2020] EWCA Civ 1104 handed down on 24th August 2020 discusses its reasons for having on 30th July 2020 allowed both appeals against interim orders in (1) a partnership dispute and (2) an unfair prejudice petition brought by a son against his parents.

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Glover v Barker [2020] EWCA Civ 1112

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

In a decision of general importance for all civil litigators, the Court of Appeal confirmed the extent of the personal liability of a litigation friend for adverse costs.  The litigation friend was unsuccessful in the litigation, but was not liable for the successful parties’ costs.  The Court was exercising a discretion and had to have regard to the particular circumstances.  A claimant’s litigation friend should ordinarily bear the costs of successful defendants.   However, lack of success would not of itself generally make it just to make an adverse costs order against a defendant's litigation friend.  Factors which might justify such an order included bad faith, improper or unreasonable behaviour and prospect of personal benefit.  The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal from Morgan J’s decision.

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Moutreuil v (1) Andreewitch (2) Pier Investment Company Ltd [2020] EWHC 2068 (Fam)

Area of Law: Company

James Weale acted for the successful claimant in a claim to the beneficial ownership of 100% of the shares in company which held various property assets including a valuable property in Chelsea. In his judgment, Mr Justice Cobb rejected the First Defendant’s case that the shares had been transferred into the name of his partner as mere nominee. James also obtained an order for costs to be assessed on the indemnity basis. Following initial reporting restrictions, the judgment was published on 3 September 2020.

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Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse Trust [2020] SGCA 62

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

The Singapore Court of Appeal has dismissed Credit Suisse Trust’s jurisdiction challenge in breach of trust proceedings brought by the beneficiaries of a Singapore Trust, bringing an end to a long-running jurisdiction battle. The Court allowed the Claimants’ appeal on the grounds that Singapore was the most appropriate forum to determine the breach of trust claims against the trustee, and laid down important guidance as to the effect of forum for administration clauses in trust deeds. The Court of Appeal held that the forum for administration clause in the trust deed functioned as a jurisdiction clause, but that it did not govern all proceedings: it designated the jurisdiction that had supervisory jurisdiction over the trust, rather than dictating the venue for the resolution of contentious disputes. Jonathan Adkin QC and Sophie Holcombe act for the Claimants, instructed by Signature Litigation LLP, together with Drew & Napier (Singapore). The full Judgment can be found here.

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Phoenix v Phoenix [2020] EWHC 1409 (Ch)

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

Jonathan Fowles acted for the successful claimant in a claim to enforce a testamentary option. The case involved arguments about the construction of a will and whether in the circumstances all executors needed to be individually served with the relevant option notice. The case is also notable for its approach to an award of statutory interest.

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Nuffield Health v London Borough of Merton

Area of Law: Charities

Jonathan Fowles acted with Cain Ormondroyd (Francis Taylor Building) for Merton Council in defending a claim to establish charitable exemption from non-domestic rates for one of Nuffield Health’s fitness and wellbeing centres. The claim succeeded, but the Court of Appeal has given Merton permission to appeal. The case raises important issues about the charitable exemption and the public benefit test in charity law.

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Nimat Halal Food Ltd & Anor v Patel & Anor [2020] EWHC 734 (Ch)

Area of Law: Insolvency

Chief ICC Judge Briggs declined to order costs against an administrator despite the debtor’s successful appeal against the administrator’s rejection of his proof of debt.  The judgment makes clear that administrators who act neutrally will not be visited with personal costs liability absent ‘special circumstances’ or ‘good reason’, even if the court takes a different view on the proof of debt.   By contrast, an office holder who initiates unsuccessful proceedings risks personal liability.  The case offers useful guidance in an important area where there is little authority.

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Shanghai Shipyard Co Ltd v Reignwood International Investment (Group) Company Ltd [2020] EWHC 803 (Comm)

Area of Law: Banking and Financial Services

The Commercial Court held that a parent company guarantee of the final instalment under a shipbuilding contract was not a demand bond but a true “see to it” guarantee, under which the guarantor did not have to pay unless an arbitration award was first made against the owner.  The case has attracted significant interest in the shipbuilding industry, and permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been granted.

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