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The Commercial Litigation Journal: January/February 2012

Michael Morton reviews recent arguments on security for costs

Even with a strong body of rules, regulations, guidance and case law, judicial decisions in respect of applications for security for costs remain subjective and are fraught with difficulties for judges and an arena of heated argument among litigators. A client may grumble about paying his solicitor for work actually done. It is a wake up call to a cash-strapped client being forced, by the court, to pay moneys or provide a substantial bond for security for his opponents costs, including those yet to be incurred. It is difficult to think of a more effective way to force the claimant to put their money where their mouth is. They will then have to consider whether the litigation is worth the risk? How much do they want to throw at the claim?

Nicola Bridge and Felicity Crowe assess the impact of directors’ duties

Directors are appointed by shareholders to manage the business and affairs of their company and are in a position of trust. The press is often full of examples of the abuse of this position with tales of bribes, secret profits and misappropriation of company property by directors. Over the past five years, directors have therefore been subject to increased regulation in respect of their decisions and management, for example, by the implementation of the Bribery Act 2011. However, in this ever-changing environment it is crucial that directors do not neglect the basic duties that they owe to the company.


Siobhan Almond looks at recent developments in e-Disclosure

The observation by Lord Justice Jackson that: ‘e-Disclosure is inevitable’ referred to the fact that e-disclosure, and its impact on the litigation process, could no longer be ignored by businesses and practitioners alike.

Damian Cadman-Jones considers what to look out for when terminating contracts

OFCOM’s proposed ban on contracts for landline and broadband providers that tie customers into repeated minimum contract periods unless they opt out is most welcome news. What does this mean and what (if anything) can you do in the meantime?

Ron Cheriyan

Ron Cheriyan examines recent developments in the setting aside of default judgments

To obtain judgment in default is to obtain peace of mind. This is probably the view shared by most litigators, particularly those that handle high-volume money claims. Preparing a case for trial is often a lengthy process involving the exchange of allocation questionnaires and witness statements and the collation and assessment of lengthy evidence. Judgment in default affords claimants the opportunity to sidestep the requirements of standard disclosure and avoid an expensive trial.

Nick Rowles-Davies discusses the future of third-party funding

As law firms try to climb out of the grips of the worst recession that most have ever seen, it is quite right that they look at how they can maximise their fee income and enhance their client base.The profession has suffered during the economic crisis and while most litigators have been relatively lucky, in comparison to their property colleagues, they have still suffered because their clients have seen a reduction (or even termination) of their available litigation budgets.

Dominic Swallow and Christopher Perry contemplate the brave new world of costs management

In these times of economic and legal change costs have never been a greater issue for clients and, as such, we can only expect client interest in the subject to blossom, especially among the more commercially astute or legally savvy clients.