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Force Majeure Attempt to Avoid Agreement Fails

Oil exploration is a risky business and industry contracts commonly make provision for unforeseen events that interrupt production – known to lawyers as 'force majeure'. Force majeure clauses are common in many other types of contract also. In a recent...

When is a Year More Than a Year?

When a landlord appointed agents to manage properties in London, it did so under an agreement for 12 months, which was specified to continue on a yearly basis until terminated by either party giving the required notice. The landlord failed, however, to give...

Asset Freezing Can be Costly

Asset freezing injunctions can be a crucial tool in commercial litigation – but applying for them is not for the faint-hearted. If a freezing order is granted, it can be cataclysmic for the owner of the asset, as it prevents them (in effect) from using...

Indemnity Insurance in Conveyancing Transactions

Indemnity insurance is a form of insurance taken out in conveyancing transactions where legal issues arise that cannot  be rectified easily or quickly. This type of insurance can be obtained to mitigate against the risks arising from breaches of...

Landlords Caught by Tenant's Environmental Failings

A landlord that ignores the potential for problems caused by the activities of its tenant does so at its peril, as a recent case demonstrated conclusively . It concerned a company that recycled mattresses on a site it rented. It lacked any sort of...

Non-Disclosure is Fault of Policyholder Not Brokers

It is no real surprise that insurers are often not wildly enthusiastic about paying claims and will deny liability when they are able to do so. One condition which is normally present in a policy application is that the insured discloses any past criminal...

Business Owners - How Secure Are You Against Sudden Eviction?

Business owners that fail to take legal advice and occupy premises on an uncertain basis are always at risk. In a High Court case exactly on point , a business college found itself locked out of its office block and embroiled in a costly dispute with the...

Registered Your PSCs Yet?

Every UK company is required to identify the people who are 'persons with significant control' (PSCs). Essentially, PSCs are the people who own or have significant control over the company. Their details must be lodged with Companies House. Surprisingly,...

New Planning Rules to Benefit Developers

Obtaining planning permission is often a tricky process and the delight in getting permission can be tempered by the local council adding a 'pre-commencement' condition specifying something that must be done. The result is a planning permission granted but...

Oral Contract Variation Invalid, Rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has decided a case which will be of significance to anyone who is used to making oral variations to contracts. The dispute involved a firm that had a licence to occupy office space provided by another company. The contract term was 12...

Landlords - Children Count Too!

When a landlord appealed against his prosecution for breaking a planning enforcement notice with regard to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) he owns, he used a rather novel argument to justify exceeding the limitation on the number of residents of the...

Debt Management Company Investigation Brings Bans

There was a certain irony to a recent report that the directors of a debt management company – set up to offer advice and assistance to those with debt problems – have been banned from acting as directors for a total of 23 years after action was...

Oral Contract Existed as a Matter of Fact

When a decision is made as to what the facts are in a particular case, the judgment regarding those facts is normally accepted as not being able to be revisited in subsequent proceedings unless it was manifestly unreasonable or unfair, or subsequent evidence...

Director Address Disclosures - Changes

Recent changes have made it easier for company directors to withhold disclosure of their private addresses in publicly filed documents. Prior to 2009, the usual residential address of all company directors was on file at Companies House in publicly...

Faulty Electrics Necessitate Lease Interpretation

Many commercial leases provide that the formal document represents the entirety of the agreement, superseding any prior agreements that may have been reached. An important Court of Appeal ruling has, however, made clear that such clauses do not preclude...

Do You Understand Your Duties as a Director?

Directors have a wide range of legal duties that do not always coincide with their own interests, and seeking expert legal advice is the best way of ensuring that these are performed. In one case in which that did not happen, two directors of a phoenix...

One Reasonable Condition is Sufficient for Landlord

When a tenant wishes to assign a lease, it is usual for the landlord's consent to be required, and that consent can be withheld if there are sufficiently good grounds for so doing. In a recent case, a landlord was asked by a tenant to agree to the...

Failure to Address Expert Report Proves Costly

When a tenant of industrial land failed to adhere to a notice to quit the premises, the landlord brought a legal action under the law of trespass for its lost rental income – £12,000 per annum. The tenant did nothing and the landlord then...

Breach of Contract Claim Defeated Quickly

Some breach of contract claims are stronger than others, but even groundless cases come to court sometimes. However, with skilled legal representation, these can be identified and defeated at an early stage. In one case on point, the High Court struck out a...
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