Commercial Law

Banks Under No Duty to Play Detective

Financial Fraud – Banks Under No Duty to Play Detective, High Court Rules

To what extent, if any, are banks under an investigatory duty to protect their clients from fraud? The High Court considered that critical issue in a case concerning a woman who lost £700,000 after falling victim to a sophisticated scam. The woman made international payments from her bank account after a fraudster convinced her that her money would be safe and that she was assisting an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the National Crime Agency. Although she had been tricked into making the payments, the bank took the view that she had authorised them and denied any responsibility …

Financial Fraud – Banks Under No Duty to Play Detective, High Court Rules Read More »

Court Acts Fast to Save Airport Logistics Group From COVID-19 Insolvency

Court Acts Fast to Save Airport Logistics Group From COVID-19 Insolvency

Many companies are struggling to survive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic but, so far as judges are concerned, it is a case of all hands to the pump to save what can be saved. In one case, the High Court paved the way for the proposed rescue of an airport logistics group which employs 65,000 people worldwide. The grounding of the airline industry arising from the pandemic plunged the group into a liquidity crunch of such severity that it was in imminent danger of running out of cash. In order to stave off insolvency, it planned to borrow 380 million euros …

Court Acts Fast to Save Airport Logistics Group From COVID-19 Insolvency Read More »

Private Hospitals Operator Triumphs in 20 Million Insurance Dispute

Private Hospitals Operator Triumphs in £20 Million Insurance Dispute

No matter how long and technical the wording of an insurance policy may be, it may contain ambiguities that can only be resolved with expert legal assistance. A case on point concerned an eight-figure loss sustained by an operator of private hospitals arising from a breast surgeon’s negligent and criminal acts. The company inherited the liabilities of a predecessor which owned private hospitals where the surgeon performed operations. The General Medical Council suspended him from practising on the basis that he had negligently performed numerous mastectomy operations on breast cancer patients (the negligent operations). He was subsequently convicted of assaulting …

Private Hospitals Operator Triumphs in £20 Million Insurance Dispute Read More »

Signing A Lease With No Advice Is A Gamble

Signing a Lease Without Legal Advice? Don’t Do It!

Entering into a lease, whether commercial or residential, without taking legal advice is, to say the least, highly unwise. A landowner who fell into that trap put himself at serious risk of an unwanted tenant moving into his newly built home. The man bought 40 acres of land on which stood a racing stable. A keen equestrian, his plan was to build a home for himself and his wife, a certified trainer of horses. He was at first on amicable terms with a racehorse trainer who had for years lived in a static caravan on the land, and agreed that …

Signing a Lease Without Legal Advice? Don’t Do It! Read More »

Biogas Facility Operator Wins Substantial Damages After Components Buckle

Biogas Facility Operator Wins Substantial Damages After Components Buckle

If goods supplied to you are unfit for purpose, you are entitled to be compensated in full for any losses that you suffer as a result. In a High Court case on point, the operator of an anaerobic digestion facility won substantial damages from a company which supplied components that failed catastrophically under pressure. The facility, which cost £12 million to build, had capacity to process 25,000 tonnes of food waste annually, creating 2.2 million cubic metres of biomethane gas for injection into the national grid. Its operator had engaged a specialist company to design and build components for the …

Biogas Facility Operator Wins Substantial Damages After Components Buckle Read More »

Encouraging New Employees to Bring Clients With Them Can Be Risky

Encouraging New Employees to Bring Clients With Them Can Be Risky

Encouraging employees recruited from competitors to bring their clients with them may not be inherently wrong, but it is often legally hazardous. A Court of Appeal ruling in the context of the travel agency business served to highlight the pitfalls. A travel agency which used a franchise model to employ over 700 sales consultants took action after a substantial number of them left to join a competitor. For reasons of economy, the agency proceeded against two of the franchisees on a sample basis. After a trial, a judge found that, in taking client information belonging to the agency with them …

Encouraging New Employees to Bring Clients With Them Can Be Risky Read More »

Jean Maker Blocks Competitor

Maker of ‘Shapewear’ Jeans Blocks ‘Rip-Off’ Product from the Market

There is nothing more galling than witnessing competitors profiting at your expense by ripping off your original ideas and designs. As a High Court case concerning a novel variety of ‘body-enhancing’ jeans showed, however, intellectual property lawyers are always there to ensure your rights are not trampled upon. The jeans were designed to give the appearance of slimmer hips, whilst at the same time lifting and separating wearers’ buttocks, and formed part of an expanding trend in fashion known as shapewear. Their manufacturer said that they represented a dramatic departure from what was previously available on the market. They were …

Maker of ‘Shapewear’ Jeans Blocks ‘Rip-Off’ Product from the Market Read More »

Helicopter Crash Ruling Highlights Risk of Suing the Wrong Company

Helicopter Crash Ruling Highlights Risk of Suing the Wrong Company

Companies within the same group frequently have almost identical names, but that does not detract from their independent legal personalities. As a High Court case concerning an offshore helicopter crash showed, that fundamental principle constitutes a trap into which the unwary persistently fall. The helicopter’s passengers and crew lost their lives after it fell into the sea whilst on its way back to the Brazilian mainland from an offshore oil platform. An investigation by the Brazilian authorities reported manufacturing defects in the helicopter which had, amongst other things, led to the catastrophic failure of its tail rotor blades. Following publication …

Helicopter Crash Ruling Highlights Risk of Suing the Wrong Company Read More »

Bank Fraud

Worldwide Asset Freezing Orders Issued After Bank Cries $1 Billion Fraud

Even banks and other sophisticated financial institutions are sometimes caught out by apparently thriving businesses which are not all that they seem. In a case on point, the High Court came to the urgent aid of an overseas bank which claimed to have lost more than $1 billion as a result of wholesale fraud. The case involved a UK-registered company which gave all the appearance of being highly successful but which collapsed in what the bank described as a calamitous fall from grace. It was placed in administration at the behest of the bank, to which it was very heavily …

Worldwide Asset Freezing Orders Issued After Bank Cries $1 Billion Fraud Read More »

Are Criminal Fines Provable Debts in Company Insolvencies

Are Criminal Fines Provable Debts in Company Insolvencies?

Is a fine imposed on a company by a criminal court a provable debt in the company’s winding up or administration? In an important ruling for insolvency professionals, the High Court has provided an authoritative answer to that novel question. Prior to entering voluntary liquidation, a recycling company pleaded guilty to seven environmental offences in connection with the storage of controlled waste. Sentencing had been deferred pending the outcome of proceedings against its directors, but the company was likely to receive a substantial fine. In those circumstances, the company’s liquidators sought judicial guidance as to whether such a fine would …

Are Criminal Fines Provable Debts in Company Insolvencies? Read More »

Scroll to Top