Knowledge

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HP/Autonomy v Lynch & Hussain - A FSMA First

Travers Smith LLP acted for the Claimants in these proceedings.

"Fraud on a grand scale; or relentless witch-hunt?": these were the first eight words of Mr Justice Hildyard's mammoth (almost 1,700 page) judgment in the high profile fraud claim brought by various Hewlett-Packard group companies (the "Claimants") against Dr Michael Lynch (the founder and former CEO of Autonomy Corporation Plc ("Autonomy")) and Mr Sushovan Hussain (the former CFO of Autonomy) following a 93 day trial which Hildyard J said "may rank amongst the longest and most complex in English legal history".

Court of Appeal confirms scope of banks' duty to take reasonable care to protect their customers from fraud: Philipp v Barclays Bank UK PLC & Anor [2022] EWCA Civ 318

The Court of Appeal's recent decision sheds significant light on banks' liability for failing to exercise reasonable skill and care in executing the instructions of their customers. Reversing the ruling of the High Court, the Court of Appeal made clear that the "Quincecare duty" arises not only when it is the customer's agent who fraudulently instructs the bank to transfer the customer's money, but can also arise when the customer themselves, as the victim of a fraud, instructs the bank to do so. The Court of Appeal overturned the summary judgment in the bank's favour, and remitted the case to the High Court for trial. The question of what measures the bank should have had in place to prevent a fraud of this kind can only be determined at trial.

Suppipat v Siam Bank: privilege across jurisdictions

"It does not follow that documents obtained lawfully in one jurisdiction are available for use in litigation in another."  The High Court confirms in Suppipat v Siam Bank [2022] EWHC 381 (Comm) that, where documents obtained in litigation outside the jurisdiction are proposed to be put in use by a party to English proceedings, English law, as the lex fori, will determine the questions of loss of privilege and confidentiality.

The "footballer trusts" case – the Court of Appeal provides an assist to claimants pleading fraud against corporate bodies

Allegations of dishonesty in English civil litigation – whether against individuals or corporate bodies – are not to be made lightly, and care must be taken over how they are pleaded. This is reflected in paragraph 8.2 of Practice Direction 16, which provides that a claimant must "specifically set out…any allegation of fraud" in the Particulars of Claim.

Jurisdiction and Judgments: where are we now?

International businesses like English law and feel comfortable using London as a venue to resolve their disputes, particularly those with significant monetary, reputation or precedent value. Brexit will not affect the benefits of using English law or, in the round, the attraction of an English forum, be that the English courts or a London-seated arbitral tribunal.

"The world has changed" - how to compel a US-resident witness to give oral evidence at an English trial

The case of ACL Netherlands B.V. (as successor to Autonomy Corporation Limited) and others v Dr Michael Lynch and Sushovan Hussain, in which this firm acted for the Claimants (referred to here as "HPE" for ease), has attracted much media attention. The trial took place over 10 months before Mr Justice Hildyard in the period March 2019 to January 2020.

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