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Company Shares Held in Trust – High Court Identifies Pitfall

Company shares are often held in trust by nominees for the benefit of others, but it is vital to remember that it is only the former who have a legal right to litigate on behalf of the trust. The High Court made that point in the case of a businessman who claimed to have been fraudulently deprived of shares that he beneficially owned. The businessman claimed...

Contract Arbitrators’ Factual Findings Accorded Judicial Respect

The decisions of contract arbitrators are accorded due respect by the courts and only in exceptional cases will judges go behind their findings of fact. That point could not have been more clearly made than in one High Court case concerning an allegedly defective shipment of fertiliser. The buyers of 4,500 metric tonnes of fertiliser had paid more than Euros...

Motor Insurers Must Pay £2 Million Cost of Factory Fire

In a decision of importance to the insurance industry, the Court of Appeal has ruled that motor insurers must cover the seven-figure cost of a catastrophic factory fire that broke out whilst a mechanic was doing a welding job on his car. The man worked for an engineering company and, in his own time, was welding a plate onto the bottom of his car when a spark...

Fair Treatment of Minority Shareholders – High Court Ruling

Minority shareholders may not have control of companies but they are entitled to fair treatment and to have a role in decision making. The High Court made that point in ordering that a businessman who was excluded from his managerial position in a company must be bought out of his 49 per cent shareholding for over £300,000. Half of the shares in the company...

Technology Harnessed to Reduce Costs of Holiday Group Insolvency

Paperwork costs of insolvency proceedings in respect of large companies with many clients can be very high. However, one High Court case concerning a troubled group of holiday companies showed that technology can be harnessed to achieve economy in the interest of creditors. The four companies had between them over 14,000 customers when they went into...

No Contract, No Remuneration – You May Still Owe a Duty of Care

In a decision that will be required reading for all professionals, the Court of Appeal has ruled that liability in respect of substandard services does not depend upon the existence of a contract, or even remuneration. The point was made in the case of an architect who helped friends to landscape their garden free of charge. A couple wished to iron out steep...