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English Judges Will Enforce Arbitrators’ Decisions To The Hilt

One of the principal reasons why commercial arbitrators so often sit in London is that the English courts are well known for enforcing their decisions to the hilt. In one case that proved the point, a businessman who utterly ignored an arbitration award and a string of court orders was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for his defiance. Company A, a...

Jim Lad! Tax Tribunal Ponders VAT on ‘Pirate Island’ Construction

Tax tribunals deal with some very unusual cases, but few can have been stranger than that concerning VAT liabilities in respect of a ‘pirate island’, built on a former gravel pit in rural England for the private enjoyment of a wealthy family. The artificial island was constructed at a cost of over £1 million and was complete with its own skeleton cage,...

Don’t Rely on a Handshake – Get Your Contract in Writing!

The hazards involved in dispensing with legal formality and making oral contracts are well known – but it is surprising how often caution is thrown to the wind. In one case, the High Court rejected claims that a binding Euros 13.5 million business deal had been finalised by a simple handshake following dinner in an expensive restaurant. The case focused on the...

Court of Appeal Blazes Trail in Fight against Corporate Corruption

The global fight against corporate corruption is gathering pace and English judges are leading the way. In one case that proved the point, the Court of Appeal ruled that £4.4 million held in a UK bank account had rightly been frozen as the suspected proceeds of crime. The money represented the proceeds of sale of 800,000 shares in a Canadian company that had...

Contract Administrators Must Be Impartial – High Court Cautionary Tale

Employing an impartial contract administrator to oversee major construction projects is vital. In one High Court case where that did not happen, a company was left with an incomplete housing development and an adjudication bill for almost £870,000. The company had engaged a contractor to build 33 flats and three houses. The contract administrator who was...

Inventive Employees and Exceptional Rewards – Court of Appeal Test Case

Companies are entitled to reap the benefits of their employees’ inventiveness – but patent law does require compensation to be paid to those whose ideas make an outstanding contribution to profits. In an important test case, the Court of Appeal analysed the circumstances in which such exceptional rewards are justified. A professor employed by a global...