Contra proferentem: when to exclude an exclusion cause

The contra proferentem rule broadly states that where there is doubt about the meaning of a contract, the words will be construed against the party who put them forward. This is because a party who imposes terms on another must make those terms clear and should suffer the consequences if it fails to do so. […]

The sole director-shareholder dilemma: Kings Court Trust Limited and others v Lancashire Cleaning Services Limited

Mr Pilling was the sole director and sole shareholder of a cleaning company, Lancashire Cleaning Services Limited (the “Company”). Sadly, Mr Pilling died suddenly on 28th February 2017. Following his death, the Company endeavoured to continue trading. Before his death, Mr Pilling had prepared a Will appointing executors to administer his estate. However, regrettably, the […]

The limits of insurer’s subrogation rights against co-insureds and third parties

The Supreme Court recently handed down judgment in the matter of Gard Marine and Energy Limited v China National Chartering Company Limited [2017] UKSC 35 and ruled, by a majority of 3:2, that a contractual requirement to maintain joint insurance includes an implied term which precludes any claim by owners against the demise charterer, or […]

Pfizer’s trivial £84.2 million competition law fine highlights the advantages enjoyed by conglomerates

If George Orwell were alive today, the author of Animal Farm (where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others) would certainly be struck by how fines imposed for breaches of competition law committed by equally culpable companies bear down least heavily on multinational conglomerates and most heavily on companies that sell […]

Residential Service Charge consultation – developers beware!

It is relatively widely known that landlords of residential blocks must consult their tenants before they can recover (in full) certain items through the service charge regime. For example, if they wish to carry out a substantial redecoration of the exterior of the block. But that’s once the leases are in place, right? Unfortunately it’s […]

The General Election 2017: private client measures on hold

Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that there would be a snap general election, the government withdrew a substantial number of provisions from the Finance Bill 2017, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. The Finance Bill needed to be enacted before Parliament was dissolved so that the government continued to have authority to […]

Japanese knotweed – a growing nuisance

Viewed as an attractive ornamental garden plant when initially introduced to the UK in Victorian times, Japanese knotweed is now regarded as something much more sinister. Unusually aggressive, highly invasive, capable of regenerating from the smallest piece of rhizome, difficult and expensive to eradicate … It’s destructive nature (being capable of penetrating tarmac, building foundations […]

Driverless cars: the legal issues

The UK Government is committed to becoming a world leader in the development of automated vehicles. However, the lack of a legal framework which is able to sufficiently address issues associated with the use of this technology continues to be both a cause of concern and interest. Here’s a brief heads up as to some […]

Raiders of the director’s wallet*

(*a cautionary tale for directors about non-party costs awards in litigation) Housemaker Services Limited & another v Cole & another [2017] EWHC 924 (Ch) Mr Wayne Williams ran a building company – he was the sole director. Over the period 2010 to 2011 his company sent three invoices to some customers for work carried out. […]