< Back to insights hub

Article

Commercial Disputes Weekly – Issue 466 October 2020

Share this Page
Share this Page

BITE SIZE KNOW HOW FROM THE ENGLISH COURTS

We appreciate that our clients, partners and friends are currently facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Click here for a message from our Managing Partners, and here for all of our latest updates and articles on the subject. If you have any questions or require support, please do not hesitate to speak to your usual contact at WFW.

"It is not for the Court to re-write the contractual arrangements entered into by the parties or to impose what it considers would be an equitable and fair commercial bargain by reference to the events that have unfolded."Energy Works (Hull) Limited v MW High Tech Projects UK Limited & Anr

Anti-suit injunctions
In two cases handed down this week, the Commercial Court has demonstrated its willingness to issue anti-suit injunctions to protect the integrity of the parties’ contractual bargain. In the first case the court refused to discharge an anti-suit injunction restraining proceedings brought in New Jersey in breach of an exclusive English jurisdiction clause in an insurance policy, whilst in the second the court held that an anti-suit injunction should be granted to restrain Russian proceedings brought in breach of an LCIA arbitration clause, confirming that the claims in question were arbitrable under English law.
Catlin Syndicate Limited & Ors v AMEC Foster Wheeler USA Corporation & Anr
Riverrock Securities Limited v International Bank of St Petersburg (Joint Stock Company)

Assignments and novations
Providing a useful reminder of the principles applicable to assignments and novations, the Technology and Construction Court has found that on termination of an EPC contract a sub-contract was assigned to the employer, and therefore only the rights under the sub-contract were transferred.
Energy Works (Hull) Limited v MW High Tech Projects UK Limited & Anr

Jurisdiction
Applying a strict interpretation of the exclusive jurisdiction rules under the Recast Brussels Regulation, the Commercial Court has rejected arguments that, notwithstanding the existence of an English jurisdiction clause, a claim concerning agreements to transfer shares had to be heard in the place the company had its seat – the object of the proceedings was not the validity of decisions of the shareholders as organs of the company but rather the validity of the agreements themselves.
Marriott v Fresson & Ors

Privilege
In an interesting decision concerning the scope of the protection offered by legal professional privilege, the High Court has found that the iniquity exception to the protection from disclosure of documents could extend to a cases where it was alleged that a director had breached their duties under the Companies Act 2006, and those allegations involved fraud, dishonesty, bad faith or sharp practice.
Barrowfen Properties v Patel & Ors

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:

Keep in touch