Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of our Resolve - litigation newsletter. See below for a list of the topics we cover.


Dominant purpose test applies to legal advice privilege: communications including in-house lawyers 

Re-examining a significant issue, the High Court has decided that claims for legal advice privilege are, in principle, subject to a dominant purpose test.  In this context, the court also gave guidance on the approach where emails are sent to multiple addressees.

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Whose loss is it anyway? - Recovering related company losses

Where one company in a group procures goods or services on which other members of the corporate group depend, or from which they benefit, can the contracting company recover losses sustained by its related or affiliated companies as a result of breaches of contract by the seller of the relevant goods or the provider of the relevant services? This is a question that the courts have seldom had to look at but which arises frequently in practice.

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The limits to confidentiality for arbitration applications to the court

A recent judgment The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators v B and Others [2019] EWHC (Comm) highlights an exception to the general principle of confidentiality in arbitration proceedings, when it is "in the interests of justice" to permit access to documents on the court file. The High Court permitted the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (an arbitrator membership body with supervisory and disciplinary capacity), a non-party, access to documents from arbitration proceedings, for use in disciplinary proceedings against an arbitrator.

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Parent company liability for acts of subsidiaries – where has the dust settled?

It has been a few months since the Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated judgment in Lungowe v Vedanta on the potential scope of parent company liability for the tortious acts or omissions of foreign subsidiaries. See our summary of Vedanta hereVedanta now looks set to be the final word on the subject from the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future because the claimants in a similar case (AAA v Unilever) have been refused permission to appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal.

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Online civil procedure – revolution or evolution?

Lord Briggs' Civil Courts Structure Review in 2016 saw greater use of technology and online legal proceedings as an opportunity for beneficial reform to UK courts. Lord Briggs also noted that "civil digitisation" was "at a very early stage of development", even in overseas jurisdictions. 

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High Court holds that litigation friends are always potentially liable for costs

The High Court has determined that there is no bar to a litigation friend of a child or other protected party being held liable for costs, whether acting on behalf of a claimant or defendant: the previous understanding that only the litigation friend of a claimant could be held so liable was not justified.  (Barker v Confiance Ltd & Others [2019] EWHC 1401 (Ch))

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Solicitors in breach of contract and negligent due to failure to properly advise their client

The defendant solicitors in Moda International Brands v Gateley LLP [2019] EWHC 1326 were Gateley LLP (the Solicitors) and the claimants were their client Moda International Brands (Moda) with Mr Wilkinson acting as their agent.  

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Serious harm test for defamation claims - Lachaux v Independent Print in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court's decision in Lachaux v Independent Print [2019] UKSC 27 delivers long-awaited clarification of the "serious harm" threshold contained within section 1 of Defamation Act 2013.

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Quantum Meruit  - not a panacea 

Quantum meruit, or "the amount he deserves" is a remedy that conceptually allows for restitution, where a party has requested services from another person, no agreement has been reached but the other party has unfairly benefited from the work requested and provided.  

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Quick updates for those dealing with disputes

Solicitor has no duty to warn an opponent of its mistakes; Part 36 offers – must they include interest? Conflicting decisions in Horne v Prescot and Ngassa v The Home Office; Part 36 offers – when it is not a genuine offer to settle, attracting the 'usual' Part 36 costs consequences

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Key contact

Kate Menin

Kate Menin

Principal Knowledge Lawyer, Dispute Resolution
London

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