Quick updates for those involved in disputes
It is common for commercial contracts to include clauses governing how notices of claims may be served and setting out a date by which they must be served after which they cannot be brought. These sometimes reproduce the methods of service set out in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).
In Tate & Lyle Sugars Ltd v Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd, the court had to decide the meaning of a claims commencement clause, within a share/business purchase agreement, which would determine whether or not a claim form had been served in time. In this case, where there was no specific reference to the CPR, the issue was whether the word ‘served’ within the agreement meant service under the CPR, and, if so, whether CPR 7.5 or CPR 6.14 applied.
Last year, the decision in Ageas (UK) Ltd v Kwik Fit (GB) Ltd, the judge held that in the context of wording materially identical to that in Tate & Lyle the word ‘serving’ should be given its natural and ordinary meaning, which he considered to be delivery in a form that brings the contents of the document being served to the attention of the intended recipient. He also said, obiter, that if that analysis was wrong, and the CPR had been imported into the agreement by implication, then the appropriate CPR rule to determine the date of service would have been CPR 7.5 and not CPR 6.14…
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