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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Stewarts Law LLP

Stewarts Law LLP

Paul Brehony and William Gow consider the pendulum of case law in contractual interpretation

In Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society [1997], Leggatt LJ cited Alice Through the Looking Glass when rejecting the interpretation adopted by the first instance court. He said that its interpretation was ‘not an available meaning of the words’ and was ‘unimpressed by the alleged commercial nonsense of the alternative construction’. Lord Hoffman took a different view in the House of Lords. ‘I will say at once that I prefer the approach of the learned judge’, he said, in support of the first instance analysis. He asserted that ‘almost all the old intellectual baggage of “legal” interpretation has been discarded’ and set out the following five principles of contractual interpretation:

James Healy-Pratt gives a valuable insight into the potential problems practitioners might encounter when dealing with claims after aviation accidents

As a helicopter pilot, I have often heard the humorous saying that an acceptable landing is one that everyone walks away from. However, as an aviation lawyer, the truth is that I frequently represent passengers and crew that have been seriously traumatised by enduring an emergency evacuation of an airliner.

Martin Cox provides another view of the Freedom of Information Act

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), any individual or organisation anywhere in the world has the right to access any information held by public authorities in the UK, subject to certain specific exemptions.

Elaina Bailes assesses recent case law on abuse of process

It is well established that there are two categories of abuse of process under English law (as set out in the leading case of Johnson v Gore Wood & Co [2000]):

Martin Meredith provides a timely reminder on the signature of statements of truth

The recent High Court decision of Bao Xiang International Garment Centre v British Airways plc [2015] (Bao Xiang) serves as a pertinent reminder for lawyers of the importance associated with signing statements of truth, the need to ensure that there is authority from the client(s) to bring a claim, the appropriate procedure to apply when proceedings must be issued without authority, and the significance of legal conduct so as to avoid any suggestion of an abuse of process.

Martin Meredith considers the conduct of investigatory interviews

A decade ago there was debate over, and submissions made about, the propriety and legality of allowing a company’s legal representative to attend investigatory interviews conducted by regulators on the instructions of a company’s employee. At the time that debate was largely driven by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and focused on whether there was a perceived conflict of interest in adopting this approach.

Frances Bailey and Adrian Clossick look at the potential impact of the Supreme Court decision in Wyatt v Vince

As readers will be aware, the Supreme Court gave judgment in the case of Wyatt v Vince on 11 March 2015. Significant publicity has already been given to the judgment. The facts of the case are, to say the least, unusual and the same factual matrix is unlikely to be repeated in the future. So what, then, are the principles to be drawn from the decision? As the saying goes, is this an example of a hard case making bad law?

Richard Nicolle discusses the latest proposals aimed at removing cultural barriers to reporting wrongdoing

Over the past year, there has been an increased focus on the issue of whistleblowing. A raft of reports and consultations has sought to encourage a cultural change so that instead of organisations perceiving the reporting of malpractice as an impediment to profit, they actively encourage or even celebrate ‘speaking up’.

Philippa Charles and Al Trent consider the vexed question of which law governs an arbitration agreement

Arbitration practitioners will be aware that the law governing an arbitration agreement can differ from the law governing its parent contract. For those not so familiar with the intricacies of the arbitration world, that proposition may seem counter-intuitive. Surely where a contract specifies a system of law by which it is to be construed, that stipulation will apply across the board, including to any dispute resolution provisions?

Julian Chamberlayne and Kerie Receveur review recent case law on retrospective and discounted conditional fee agreements

A discounted conditional fee agreement (CFA) (otherwise known as a ‘no win, low fee’ agreement), as we will all know, means that a law firm will be paid at the agreed discounted hourly rate as the case proceeds, but will forego the balance of its base costs if the client loses, and will recover all of its base costs with or without a success fee if the client wins. On the other hand, a retrospective CFA is based on a conditional fee agreement that covers work done before the date the document was signed. A retrospective CFA can occur in a number of situations, for instance:

Julian Chamberlayne and Kerie Receveur review recent case law on retrospective and discounted conditional fee agreements

A discounted conditional fee agreement (CFA) (otherwise known as a ‘no win, low fee’ agreement), as we will all know, means that a law firm will be paid at the agreed discounted hourly rate as the case proceeds, but will forego the balance of its base costs if the client loses, and will recover all of its base costs with or without a success fee if the client wins. On the other hand, a retrospective CFA is based on a conditional fee agreement that covers work done before the date the document was signed. A retrospective CFA can occur in a number of situations, for instance: