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Commercial Disputes Weekly – Issue 10622 February 2022

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BITE SIZE KNOW HOW FROM THE ENGLISH COURTS

"It would strike at the heart of an efficient system of adjudication… if adjudicators were encouraged to believe that they must stay silent when they spot a potential jurisdictional problem…"Steve Ward Services (UK) Ltd v Davies & Davies Associates Ltd

Adjudication – fees after resignation
An adjudicator who had been appointed in proceedings arising from construction works in a restaurant resigned because the adjudication was based on a contract to which the defendant was not a party. He was entitled to recover his fees as there had been good cause for his resignation and the contract provided that absent bad faith, the adjudicator was entitled to his fees if the adjudication ceased for any reason prior to a decision being reached. The adjudicator had acted with diligence and honesty and there was no bad faith.
Steve Ward Services (UK) Ltd v Davies & Davies Associates Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 153, 14 February 2022

Deceit
The Commercial Court found that there had been an elaborate fraudulent scheme involving repo transactions for parcels of nickel and forged warehouse receipts that did not confer any title to the nickel.  The defendants were guilty of the tort of deceit, procuring breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy.  The claimant was awarded damages in the region of US$283 million.
ED&F Man Capital Markets Limited v Come Harvest Holding Limited and others [2022] EWHC 229 (Comm), 16 February 2022

Use of draft judgment
The Court of Appeal has reminded parties about the limited uses of a draft embargoed judgment to enable parties to suggest error corrections, prepare submissions and agree orders on consequential matters, and prepare for judgment. Circulation should be kept to the minimum necessary and it was the responsibility of counsel and solicitors to ensure that the provisions of Practice Direction 40E were complied with. Breach of those provisions would be contempt of court.
R. (on the application of Counsel General for Wales) v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2022] EWCA Civ 181, 16 February 2022

Relief from sanctions
D Ahkye Ltd was ordered by the Court to pay a sum of money in relation to a claim against it and another defendant alleging dishonesty in relation to monies due to the co-defendant but paid to D Ahkye Ltd.  It failed to comply with that order and the Commercial Court refused the application for relief from sanctions. There were no good grounds for granting relief, in particular because the order had been made because the co-defendant had misled the Court and the order specified that if the defendants did not comply, they would be barred from defending the claims.
Rapid Displays Inc and others v Ahkye and another [2022] EWHC 274 (Comm), 10 February 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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