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Insolvency Proceedings Must Not Be Used to Turn the Screw

Insolvency proceedings must not be used as a means of bringing pressure to bear in commercial disputes and are only appropriate where there is a genuine inability to pay debts. The High Court made those points in blocking a winding up petition against a company that was far from the financial brink. The dispute arose out of the company’s non-payment of a...

Contractual Restrictions on Right to Litigate – High Court Ruling

There is nothing commercially absurd about contractual restrictions on the right to litigate. The High Court made that point in dealing a blow to a subcontractor’s hopes of winning an additional £1 million for its work on a major infrastructure project. During the project, there were four sets of adjudication proceedings between the subcontractor and the main...

Insuring a Risk? Absolute Frankness Is the Best Policy!

When you take out an insurance policy, it might seem tempting to minimise the risk insured against with a view to reducing the premium. However, one High Court case concerning a catastrophic property fire showed why absolute frankness is required. The case concerned a five-storey mixed commercial and residential property that was so severely damaged by a fire...

Shipping – Judges Will Not Rewrite Bargains Freely Entered Into

Commodity prices go up and down and it sometimes makes financial sense for fully laden vessels to remain at sea for extended periods before discharging their cargos. In considering the financial consequences of one such situation, the High Court emphasised that judges are not in the business of rewriting bargains that have been freely entered into by...

Material Non-Disclosure Stymies Landlord’s Fire Insurance Claim

Insurance policies of any type are not worth the paper they are written on if you fail to make full and frank disclosure of all facts that might affect the risk that you wish to guard against. A property landlord found that out to his cost after neglecting to tell insurers that he was facing trial on an assault charge. The man lodged a claim with insurers after...

Own a Company? Have You Planned for Its Future Without You?

Estate planning really is essential, particularly if you own a company, and a failure to take professional advice can store up unforeseen trouble for your loved ones. The point could hardly have been more powerfully made than by one High Court case concerning a company that was plunged into crisis following its founder’s death. The businessman owned all the...