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Latest Briefings

The Commercial Agents Regulations: a step behind the times?

By Alex Williamson The Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the Regulations) are 25 years old this year. An evaluation by the European Commission concluded in 2015 that the underlying Commercial Agents Directive (the Directive) still met its objectives and functioned well. However, a recent Court of Appeal decision has shown that the legislation is struggling to […]

Exclusion clauses under the spotlight: UCTA reasonableness

By Perran Jervis In decisions handed down one day apart, the Court of Appeal concluded that a far-reaching exclusion clause which limited liability for negligence was reasonable under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA), whereas an exclusion clause in a lease (in the form of a non-reliance clause) was not. The decisions emphasise that […]

Currency, cost calculations and contractual clarity

Walker Morris’ Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution, Gwendoline Davies, highlights the importance of dealing comprehensively and clearly with matters of currency and calculation in cross-border contracts…

Belgian draft Trade Secrets Act: opportunities for the life sciences sector

On 8 June 2016, the EU Trade Secrets Directive was adopted. The main purpose of the Directive was to harmonise and enhance the protection of trade secrets EU-wide and to thus create an innovation-friendly environment for businesses. The EU Member States had to implement this Directive by 9 June 2018. Belgium missed the deadline, but […]

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Lord Irvine's favourite set reveals CFA system flaws

A SET held up by the Lord Chancellor as a pioneer of controversial Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) in personal injury actions is now saying the system is flawed. Number 1 Serjeant’s Inn has taken on more than 100 cases on a conditional fee basis, which have highlighted two major potential conflicts of interest. One tenant […]

Indemnity issue is about choice

Elizabeth Mullins entirely misses the point in her letter (The Lawyer 15 March) in which she demands an explanation of a “vested interest”. In common law it is generally unnecessary to establish the presence of actual bias – it is enough to establish that a reasonable person, acquainted with the circumstances, would have reasonable grounds […]

How not to deal with kids who kill

Paul Cavadino says the James Bulger murder trial revealed the way our legal system treats children who kill is out of sync with the rest of Europe. Paul Cavadino is director of policy at the National Association for Care and Resettlement of Offenders. The decision by the European Commission of Human Rights to refer the […]

In brief: Royal & SunAlliance

Royal & SunAlliance has become the first major company to offer after-the-event insurance in commercial and contract disputes, easing the pressure on the Lord Chancellor’s legal aid reforms. The product is targeted not at personal injury cases, but at the commercial sector. Insurers have been reluctant to cover commercial, contract and intellectual property cases because […]

In brief: Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless’ has reorganised, leaving one of the UK’s best known in-house lawyers without a job. Elizabeth Wall had been group director of legal and regulatory affairs at C&W since 1990. A spokesman at C&W says that to date she does not have a replacement position. Her deputy Dan Fitz has already been appointed […]

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