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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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Freshfields loses FTSE 100 client

Freshfields is losing a major client – aerospace giant LucasVarity – following its takeover by US-based autoparts and space group TRW. TRW completed its take-over of FTSE 100 company LucasVarity this month. Virtually all corporate legal work will now be US-based, although the operations side of the business is not affected, says LucasVarity’s general counsel […]

…as court rules on regional fees

MANCHESTER law firms were given a boost in the Court of Appeal after judges declared that claimants should use local firms and not London firms in Manchester-based cases. The ruling throws into doubt the ability of London firms to charge London rates in provincial court cases. The court decided that a judge assessing costs in […]

Herbert Smith silk in bias row

A Herbert Smith partner, sitting as a deputy judge, has come under fire for refusing to step down from a case in which he is accused of having a conflict of interest. Lawrence Collins, one of the few solicitor silks, ruled there was no conflict of interest in hearing a property case in the Chancery […]

St Philip's adds top QC and four juniors to its growing portfolio

The biggest chambers in the UK, St Philip’s Chambers in Birmingham, is continuing its rapid expansion by poaching five barristers from rival sets. The influx is being led by commercial and family silk, Heather Swindells QC, who joins from leading London set 36 Bedford Row. Swindells, a recorder, is founder and chairman of both the […]

Quote of the week

“There is no place in our judicial system for an ancient, insanitary, decaying mass of congealed horsehair.” – Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, who tabled an amendment to the Access to Justice Bill seeking to abolish wigs as the Bill progressed through its Commons committee stage.

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