This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 29 June 2014

The romance has definitely gone from air travel. The last semblance of exotic flying probably fizzled 14 years ago, when sadly Air France’s Concorde burst into flames on take-off at Charles de Gaulle airport. Now travelling by air is all about budget airlines charging an arm and a leg for a cold sausage roll, or self-important bores in business class. And compensation claims for delays. In Huzar v, the English Appeal Court has ruled on the issue of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ around flight delays and cancellations caused by technical faults. On its face, the judgment appears to be a victory for all those passengers left kicking their heels in airport terminals while the chaps with spanners get down to business. But, say commentators from law firm DLA Piper, the judges missed a chance ‘to bring some much needed clarity to the airline industry’. The firm anticipates likely grounds for yet another appeal, suggesting the Supreme Court judges should prepare for take-off. Which means more frustrating delay for what are thought to be hundreds of county court small claims that have been stayed pending a definitive result in Huzar. Indeed, if the Supreme Court also backs passengers, expect a budget-airline-style departure gate scrum as claims flood in against carriers. Click here for more information.

Jonathan Ames
Jonathan Ames

Businesses with any form of intellectual property in their cupboards should be preparing for this autumn, when recently passed legislation starts to be implemented. The Intellectual Property Act 2014 – first elements of which come into force in October – is billed by our commentators at law firm Eversheds as making ‘fundamental changes to UK design and patent law’. Broadly speaking, say the lawyers, the new legislation aims to make the handling of design and patent issues faster and more efficient. It will also allow the UK Intellectual Property Office to send more British patent information to other global patent offices on a confidential basis. All provisions of the act are meant to be implemented by the end of next year. Click here for more information.

Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell could be headed for a few paragraphs in the history books as the man who triggered a shake-up of the top brass at the Metropolitan Police. But his brief row with Bobbies at the gates of Downing Street is also destined for more than footnote status in the annuals of early 21st-century legal history. A bit more prosaic it may be, but the Jackson reforms costs ruling in Mitchell’s defamation action against News Group Newspapers is arguably of equal importance. If nothing else, the case has highlighted the importance to litigators of Jackson, and law firm Walker Morris has produced a cut-out-and-keep checklist for in-house legal departments dealing with disputes. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm 
DLA Piper: Out of the extraordinary: the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Huzar v Jet2.comDownload
Minter Ellison: Full Federal Court confirms a ‘public benevolent institution’ does not need to provide direct reliefDownload
IBB Solicitors: Global cybercrime costs estimated at $445bnDownload
Pillsbury: Halliburton: Supreme Court changes little about securities fraud class actionsDownload
Schoenherr: Czech Republic: recorded telephone conversations — legal evidence in administrative proceedingsDownload
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Top five briefings by practice area 
Banking & finance: Osborne’s attack on financial markets abuseDownload
Employment: In Brief: drinks on the employer; and informal traders trump ‘Operation Clean Sweep’Download
Intellectual property: What impact will the Intellectual Property Act 2014 have on your business?Download
Litigation: Tips for dealing with post-Jackson litigation in houseDownload
Company/commercial: Guarantee or indemnity? — a useful taleDownload
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Top five briefings by region
Asia-Pacific: PRC: rules relating to the provision of cross-border security are relaxedDownload
Middle East & Africa: South African government considers carbon offset schemeDownload
Offshore: BVI approved managers regimeDownload
Europe: The end of the road for ‘one-way’ jurisdiction and arbitration clauses?Download
US & The Americas: Supreme Court sends computer-implemented business method claims down the rabbit holeDownload
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