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Fortunes Can Hinge on a Few Words – Professional Drafting Is Worth It!

Large sums of money can hinge on the interpretation of a very few words, and that is why professional drafting of agreements is so important. That point was powerfully made in a High Court case concerning an option to purchase a commercial property. The tenant of the property had paid £25,000 for the five-year option. It enabled the tenant to purchase the...

Absence of Formality in Toy Distribution Contract Leads Straight to Court

Although the risks involved in oral contracts are common knowledge in the business community, it is amazing how often professionally drafted written agreements are unwisely dispensed with. In one case, the absence of formality in a multi-million-pound toy distribution deal led to a costly and unnecessary High Court dispute. A Chinese manufacturer (company A) had...

Company Not Liable for MD’s Post Christmas Party Assault

Companies are legally responsible for the misdeeds of their workers – but only if they are committed in the course of their employment. In one case that strikingly made the point, a recruitment company was held not liable for catastrophic injuries inflicted by its managing director on the night of the office Christmas party. Following festivities at a golf...

Partnership Indemnity Clauses – High Court Guidance

Being appointed a partner in a professional firm is generally a cause for celebration – but the position is not without risks. In one case, however, the High Court found that partners in an insolvency practice were not liable to indemnify a salaried colleague against the potential consequences of a substantial misfeasance claim. The man, who was described as a...

Contractor Jailed for Attempting to Bribe Council Official

British public officials are renowned for their honesty – and that reputation was borne out by one case in which a local authority official went straight to the police after a contractor offered him a cash-filled envelope. The man was subsequently jailed for offering the bribe. The businessman ran a company that had a substantial contract with the council to...

High Court Stamps Out Collateral Attack on £3.8 Million Arbitration Award

One of the primary objectives of the justice system is to achieve finality in dispute resolution and, as one High Court case strikingly showed, judges are astute to prevent collateral attacks on contract arbitration awards by dissatisfied parties. The relevant arbitration concerned a contract by which two corporate lawyers (lawyers A and B) had agreed to...