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Commercial Disputes Weekly – Issue 761 June 2021

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BITE SIZE KNOW HOW FROM THE ENGLISH COURTS

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"The use of experts only works when everyone plays by the same rules. If those rules are flouted, the level playing field abandoned and the need for transparency ignored, as has occurred in this case, then the fair administration of justice is put directly at risk."Dana UK Axle Ltd v Freudenberg Fst GmbH

Default judgment
In circumstances where a defendant had not been validly served with proceedings out of the jurisdiction, but the invalid service had been retrospectively validated, the Commercial Court has confirmed that default judgment should be set aside and a further period granted for the defendant to file an acknowledgement of service. It would be unfair and unjust not to grant the defendant a period to enter an acknowledgement once it knew the service had been valid.
YA II PN Ltd v Frontera Resources Corporation

Enforcement
Noting that there are sound justifications for taking different approaches to the enforcement of a contract and the enforcement of a judgment given by a foreign court of competent jurisdiction, the Court of Appeal has rejected arguments that the foreign judgment was tainted by illegality so as to make it unenforceable as a matter of public policy under English law. There was only a slight degree of connection between the claim to be enforced and the relevant illegality, which had to be balanced against the strong public policy in favour of finality and enforceability.
Lenkor Energy Trading DMCC v Puri

Experts
Providing a serious warning on the risks of failing to comply with the rules on expert evidence, the TCC has refused a defendant permission to rely on the evidence of its technical experts in circumstances where their reports failed to set out full details of all the materials provided, the defendant’s experts had engaged in site visits to the defendant’s factories without informing the claimant’s experts, and they had failed to identify the source and details of data referred to in their reports.
Dana UK Axle Ltd v Freudenberg Fst GmbH

Injunctions
A majority of the Court of Appeal has rejected arguments that an injunction requiring a defendant to repudiate agreements concerning the manufacture and supply of football kits which were entered into in breach of a settlement agreement with the claimant still enabled it to issue proceedings to recover sums due under the repudiated agreements. It would be contrary to the clear purpose and intent of the injunction to permit the defendant to take such action
SDI Retail Services Limited v The Rangers Football Club Limited

Limitation
In a notable decision on professional negligence, the Court of Appeal has found that where there are two alleged breaches of duty, one outside the relevant limitation period and the other within it, the general principle is that the negligent advice relied on during the limitation period will give rise to a valid claim unless a claimant was so irretrievably committed to a course of action as a result of the first negligent advice that the second advice will not have caused further loss.
Sciortino v Beaumont

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:

Andrew WardRebecca Williams
Ryland AshCharles Buss
Dev DesaiRobert Fidoe
Andrew HutcheonSarah Ellington
Mike Phillips
Theresa Mohammed

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