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Commercial Disputes Weekly – Issue 10118 January 2022

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"All these absurdities are avoided if the functions of the RTM company do not extend to the estate facilities."FirstPort Property Services Ltd v Settlers Court RTM Co Ltd

Statutory Interpretation
The Supreme Court held that a right to manage (RTM) company of a block of flats that formed part of a larger estate containing other blocks, did not have the right, under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 Pt 2 Ch. 1, to manage estate facilities shared by the blocks.  The right to manage was confined to buildings which the RTM company could manage on its own, without an obligation to share management.  The estate landlord was obliged under the leases of the other blocks to manage the shared facilities and the tenants of the other blocks could insist that the landlord and no-one else performed such functions.  Section 97(2) of the Act could not be interpreted as taking that right away from them.
FirstPort Property Services Ltd v Settlers Court RTM Co Ltd [2022] UKSC 1, 12 January 2022

The TCC has proposed a streamlined procedure for domestic building disputes aimed at ensuring that the key issues were ventilated in a reasonably speedy and inexpensive way. The procedure includes limited disclosure, a single joint expert surveyor and a stay for mediation following the expert’s report.  If no settlement was reached, trial would not exceed one day.  The ambitious suggestion may not be successful in all cases but it is hoped that the pre-trial independent expert opinion may give a better chance of settlement.
The Sky’s the Limit Transformations Ltd v Mirza [2022] EWHC 29 (TCC), 10 January 2022

Civil Procedure
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a claim form had to be sealed before it could validly be served, even under the Electronic Working Pilot Scheme. Although there was a delay between electronic filing of a claim form, and its acceptance and sealing by the court, parties could take steps to avoid this being a problem. The unsealed documents were not “claim forms” and no claim form had been served on the respondents within the period for service.
Ideal Shopping Direct Ltd v Mastercard Inc [2022] EWCA Civ 14, 13 January 2022

Adjournment of summary judgment application
The Commercial Court refused to adjourn an application for summary judgment to enable the defendant to obtain legal representation.  The defendant had failed to take obvious steps to obtain representation within the ample time available to him. The adjournment was therefore not necessary in the interests of fairness.  The claimant was granted summary judgment to enforce a judgment of the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Barclays Bank PLC v Shetty [2022] EWHC 19 (Comm), 10 January 2022

Should you wish to discuss any of these cases in further detail, please speak with a member of our London dispute resolution team below, or your regular contact at Watson Farley & Williams:

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