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Is Your Confidential Information Being Misused? You Are Not Powerless!

Commercial relationships almost always involve a powerful element of trust and it is common for confidential information to pass between buyer and seller. However, one important High Court ruling has emphasised that such information must only be used for the purpose for which it is supplied and not to obtain a competitive edge. Company A had for many years...

When Does Failure Frustrate a Contract? Court of Appeal Considers

Business projects sometimes fail so completely that contracts which underlie them are frustrated and cease to have effect. In an important decision concerning the abject failure of a call handling venture, the Court of Appeal considered the circumstances in which that might occur. Company A used a network of franchisees to handle calls on behalf of its clients....

SFO Finger of Suspicion Enough to Threaten Company’s Solvency

Public awareness of corruption accusations, whether true or false, can be enough to undermine valuable trading positions and that was said to be so in the case of one company that faced a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation in respect of its dealings in a troubled African state. The company vehemently denied claims that it had made corrupt payments to state...

Contract Adjudicators’ Awards Will Be Enforced – Regardless of Error

Regardless of factual or legal errors, contact adjudicators’ rulings will generally be enforced by the courts, on the basis that reaching the right result is secondary to rapid dispute resolution. The High Court made that point in upholding one such award, although it contained a calculation error that made a difference of up to £2.45 million to the final...

Valuing a Company? Are You Using the Right Method?

Putting a price on companies can be a tricky business and there is more than one formula for assessing their worth. In one case, a firm of professional valuers who used the wrong method were found liable by the High Court to pay six-figure compensation to a bank which lent £1.8 million on the basis of its advice. A company that owned two entertainment venues in...

Bespoke Amendments to Standard Contracts Can Be Hazardous

Even in the case of very large construction projects, standard contracts are often employed and the greatest care is needed before making any bespoke amendments to them. That point was strikingly made by the Court of Appeal in a case concerning a £121 million hotel development. The relevant contract was in standard Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) form but...