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Commercial Newsletter

Spring 2020

A Happy New Year, and a Happy New Decade, to all our readers!

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 that 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. Claims against third parties, with whom there is no contract: claims against directors of and others involved with insolvent companies; and claims against others inducing or procuring a breach of contract

What do you do if a company, with which you have a contract, goes into liquidation, owing you, potentially, hundreds of thousands of pounds – with little real prospect of getting anything more than a small dividend, pennies in the pound, at best?Notwithstanding the potential difficulties – which come with any litigation - we anticipate that there will be a considerable growth in tort claims against directors of insolvent companies, those involved in funding such companies, and third parties that may have prevented a counterparty from completing its contractual obligations.

2. The main principles that apply when a court has to decide whether one of the parties involved in litigation should pay or contribute to the costs of the proceedings

We are acutely conscious that litigation should be a last resort – it says so, in the Practice Direction: Pre-Action Conduct & Protocols, which explains the conduct and sets out the steps that the court normally expects parties to take before commencing proceedings for particular types of civil claims.  That includes the exchange of documents and consideration of alternative forms of dispute resolution (including mediation), to try to avoid the costs that might otherwise be involved in litigation.

Sometimes, however, litigation is inevitable, and, it is not possible to settle a claim without having to go to trial.  We discuss the principles that the court will consider, when deciding whether costs are payable by one party to another, the amount of those costs and when they are to be paid. 

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

Claims against third parties, with whom there is no contract: claims against directors of and others involved with insolvent companies; and claims against others inducing or procuring a breach of contract

What do you do if a company, with which you have a contract, goes into liquidation, owing you, potentially, hundreds of thousands of pounds – with little real prospect of getting anything more than a small dividend, pennies in the pound, at best? The ... Read more

The principles that apply when a court has to decide whether one of the parties involved in litigation should pay or contribute to the costs of the proceedings

We are acutely conscious that litigation should be a last resort – it says so, in the Practice Direction: Pre-Action Conduct & Protocols, which explains the conduct and sets out the steps that the court normally expects parties to take before commencing proceedings ... 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

Peter Blake

Partner, Head of Construction & development

e pblake@prettys.co.uk

t 01473 298206

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