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Commercial Newsletter

April 2019 - Issue 1

Welcome to the Spring 2019 edition of our Commercial Newsletter

At Prettys we understand our clients’ commercial needs and imperatives: whether that is in securing and completing a commercial transaction on favourable terms, or in dealing with any litigation in which you may be involved “justly and at proportionate cost” (to use the wording in rule 1.1 of the Civil Procedure Rules).

We can offer a “one stop” shop for all your commercial needs: with specialists in commercial, property, employment and dispute resolution who can assist you in ensuring that matters are dealt with as expeditiously and cost-effectively as circumstances permit.

In this edition of our commercial newsletter, we look at:

  1. The question as to whether a company in the construction industry, that is in liquidation, can bring a claim for adjudication under the Housing Grants (Construction and Regeneration) Act 1996.In Bresco Electrical Services [2019] EWCA Civ 27 the Court of Appeal held that adjudication was properly described as “an exercise in futility” and dismissed an appeal from the decision of Fraser J.Different considerations may apply if the company is in some other form of insolvency process.

  2. Proprietary Estoppel – the cause of action often used where, for example, parents with a working farm promise a son or daughter “all this will be yours, if you work on the farm, for little or no pay”.The decision in McDonald v Rose [2019] EWCA Civ 4 emphasises that this sort of case is very fact sensitive.A son, who had done some work, but also had his own successful business, failed in a claim for an £8-9 million share of his parents’ £10 million estate, to the detriment of his 5 siblings.

  3. We discuss the benefits of having a formal partnership, where one or more people might be in business together, without having formed a corporate vehicle through which they might otherwise be trading.Equally relevant whether the people involved happen to be family members, or friends working together.

  4. We discuss the recent case of Duval v 11–13 Randolph Crescent Ltd 2018, in which the court of Appeal confirmed that a landlord’s obligations to enforce lessee’s covenants in residential leases were enforceable.

  5. We close with a cautionary tale for investment landlords if a building has inherent defects.

The following articles and case summaries are for guidance only and do not constitute specific legal advice.  If you have any concerns regarding any of the issues raised in these articles, or otherwise, please contact us for further information.

Also, if there are any topics that you would like to see featured in a future edition of our newsletter, please do not hesitate to let us know.

For further information or advice please contact Andrew Kinnison at akinnison@prettys.co.uk.

Contents

Adjudication -v- Liquidation: Bresco Electrical Services Limited and the Housing Grants (Construction and Regeneration) Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”)

For construction contracts to which he 1996 Act applies, there are statutory rights and entitlements that have two main purposes. The first is to provide that every construction contract must include a mechanism for determining what payments become due, and when, and the ... Read more

When is a promise to pass the farm to an adult child binding, regardless of the terms of a Will? Proprietary Estoppel and the decision in McDonald v Rose [2019] EWCA Civ 4

Parents can be disappointed by what their children do; just as much as (adult) children might be disappointed by their parents – and an adult child can be particularly disappointed if they do not get as much of a legacy as they might ... Read more

Partnership Agreements

Many couples owning and running a business together do not see the need for formal documentation, but what happens if the relationship ends and a commercial dispute arises?  A partnership is defined under the Partnership Act 1890 (Act) as “the relation which exists ... Read more

Landlord's obligations to enforce lessee's convenants in residential leases

In the Court of Appeal’s decision in Duval v 11–13 Randolph Crescent Ltd 2018 the court confirmed that a landlord’s obligation to enforce tenants’ covenants at the request of other tenants was enforceable. The nine tenants of the flats at 11-13 Randolph Crescent in ... Read more

Cautionary tale for investment landlords if a building has inherent defects

In Blue Manchester Ltd v North West Ground Rents Ltd [2019] EWHC 142 (TCC), the High Court upheld a tenant’s claim for specific performance against its landlord, requiring the landlord to repair an external glass façade in a tower block by replacing defective ... Read more

Andrew Kinnison

Senior Associate

e akinnison@prettys.co.uk

t 01473 298219

Matthew Cole

Employment Partner

e mcole@prettys.co.uk

t 01473 298221

e

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