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The Commercial Litigation Journal: November/December 2013

David Sawtell focuses on a recent application for summary judgment

If a career in tax law as a barrister and then as a solicitor is not exciting enough, Mr Paul Baxendale-Walker’s subsequent CV unveils the other possibilities that are on offer. After leaving practice, he acquired and ran a company making pornographic films (in which he also starred). In May 2012 he aquired Loaded magazine. According to Mr Justice Males:

Alex Fox and Clare Arthurs report on a recent decision clarifying the duties of banks

The Court of Appeal has handed down its first decision arising from the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHP), holding that a bank does not owe its customers a common law duty of care to ensure that they understand the nature of the risks involved in signing up to an IRHP. While Green & Rowley v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2012] unquestionably sets the bar high for potential claimants, this was very much a case which turned on its facts.

Miranda Whiteley looks at recent developments on mistaken parties

There is a fine line between the duty to do the best for your client and taking an unfair advantage of the claimant. This dilemma for a defendant’s solicitor usually happens pre-action, when the claimant is working out who to sue and may be asking for an extension of time for service. It is particularly acute where potential defendants are linked in some way, whether as part of a group of companies, or where a partnership has become an LLP.

Edward Coulson and Rachel Ziegler consider the recent Court of Appeal judgment preventing French parties in English litigation relying on the French blocking statute to avoid disclosure

On 22 October 2013, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment that prevents French parties to English litigation from relying on the so-called ‘French blocking statute’ to avoid their obligations to provide information and disclosure in English legal proceedings.

Ian Tucker and Charles Crowne discuss a recent ruling on retention of title

Retention of title clauses are widely used in commercial contracts by sellers trying to preserve their right to reclaim goods until payment has been made in full. They are often combined with direct guarantees, letters of credit and/or restrictions on how the goods can be dealt with prior to payment in full being made.


Adam Forster examines a case with many lessons for practitioners

The Court of Appeal has recently handed down judgment in the case of Credit Suisse AG v Arabian Aircraft & Equipment Leasing Co EC [2013]. This is a case that has yielded a number of noteworthy findings, both at first instance and on appeal.

Maura McIntosh reviews on a recent decision dealing with costs sanctions and Part 36

In the first case we have seen addressing the new costs sanction introduced by the Jackson reforms for claimants’ Part 36 offers made on or after 1 April 2013, the High Court has declined to order the new sanction: Feltham v Bouskell [2013].

Clare Arthurs and Phillip D’Costa find out about recent developments in privilege

Legal professional privilege attracts its fair share of judicial and public attention. Broadly speaking, it protects confidential communications between a lawyer and client from disclosure, in order to allow the client unrestricted access to the lawyer’s professional skills and judgment. However, as the recent case of Tchenguiz v Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2013] demonstrates, the courts will look behind the labels applied to a communication and test whether in fact the shield of privilege should be allowed to operate.