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Court of Appeal clarifies the ambit of litigation privilege in Loreley Financing (Jersey) No 30 Ltd v Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd

The appeal concerned two issues. The first issue was the scope of litigation privilege – the respondent defendants ("the Bank") sought to know which individuals were authorised to give instructions in relation to the proceedings on behalf of the appellant claimant ("Loreley"). Loreley claimed that this information was privileged.

High Court orders "mass disclosure": parties only to exclude unequivocally irrelevant documents

In a recent judgment given in the context of a case involving competition and intellectual property claims, Mr Justice Marcus Smith adopted a striking and unconventional approach to disclosure, placing the burden of a relevance review on the receiving party, not the disclosing party. Having originally ordered the parties to follow the "standard" PD51U (now PD57AD) disclosure model, the judge subsequently replaced this with a regime where the parties were required to conduct a disclosure review, targeted not at the identification and disclosure of relevant documents, but at the narrow exclusion of unequivocally irrelevant, and privileged, documents, with all other documents to be provided for inspection.

Online sales: do countdown timers break consumer law? - CMA investigates Emma Sleep

The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating whether online mattress and bed seller Emma Sleep has breached consumer law by making misleading claims about urgency, including the use of countdown timers for discounted deals. This investigation may be the start of a wider crackdown by the CMA on potentially harmful online selling practices.

Update on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

Last week the Government announced that it will be introducing legislation that enables judges to use procedural shortcuts to dismiss so-called Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (or "SLAPPs") at an early stage. This follows a campaign by UK newspapers to prevent wealthy individuals from issuing SLAPPs with the intention of preventing legitimate public interest journalism.

Force majeure, reasonable endeavours and sanctions: Court of Appeal takes a different view

In MUR Shipping BV v RTI Ltd, the Court of Appeal ruled that a force majeure clause did not apply because the party unable to comply with its obligations had offered suitable alternative performance (as envisaged by the clause, which included a reasonable endeavours obligation).  In doing so, it reversed the decision at first instance, where the court ruled that the shipowners were entitled to insist on being paid in US dollars, not euros, as required by the contract. The case highlights the difficulties in relying on force majeure clauses, even where (as here) the contract is affected by US sanctions.

A second bite at the cherry: Governmental consults again on the design of the Building Safety Levy

We reported last summer on the Government's 2021 consultation about the design and implementation of the Building Safety Levy (the "Levy"). It is intended to contribute to the costs of anticipated building safety expenditure to ensure that neither the taxpayer nor tenants have to pay for the remediation of safety defects in the existing high-rise housing stock. Since that consultation, the scope of the Levy has expanded to apply to all new residential developments that require building control approval (with a few exceptions). The Building Safety Act 2022 has also been enacted, section 58 of which gives the Secretary of State broad powers to raise a Levy on any in-scope building.

Real Estate Tax Checklist - December 2022

There is plenty going on of interest to those in the real estate sector, both domestically (e.g. the recent “mini-Budget” and Autumn Statement announcements) and internationally (e.g. the signing of a new UK/Luxembourg double tax treaty), and with so many tax developments progressing it can be difficult to stay on top of things. Our briefing provides a checklist of the key tax issues to be aware of (including future developments) and sets out the actions you should be undertaking now in preparation.

Water and Sewerage Group Claim in England: the Competition Appeal Tribunal collective proceedings regime continues to be tested

Claimants are finding novel ways to advance collective proceedings, including the increasingly popular collective proceedings regime in the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT").  While this regime was introduced to facilitate competition law claims, claimant law firms are finding creative ways to use it for matters that do not appear, at first blush, to be "competition" related matters at all. 

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