Welcome to the seventh edition of our quarterly disputes newsletter, which covers key developments in the dispute resolution world over the last three months or so.
The team here has been heavily involved in this month's London International Disputes Week ("LIDW"), which provided a perfect showcase for the depth and breadth of legal expertise in this jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the twin impacts of Brexit and COVID, the English courts remain extremely busy with both domestic and international disputes, as the Commercial Court's recent annual report amply demonstrates. As to the subject matter of those disputes, the impact on data breach claims of the Supreme Court's decision last year in Lloyd v Google continues to be felt, and disputes relating to crypto-assets also continue to generate interesting – and novel – case law, as covered by my colleague John Lee in his recent LIDW speaker slot. We also report below on an important Court of Appeal decision on the interpretation of exclusion clauses, which for anyone involved in the drafting of such clauses is a must-read.
This month has also seen publication of Mr. Justice Hildyard's full judgment in the long-running, multi-billion dollar litigation arising out of HP's 2011 acquisition of the FTSE 100 software company Autonomy, in which our firm acted for the HP claimants. In a comprehensive victory for our clients, the judge ruled that they had "substantially succeeded in their claims" against two of Autonomy's former directors, Dr. Michael Lynch (the ex-CEO) and Mr. Sushovan Hussain (the ex-CFO), in doing so considering for the first time some knotty questions concerning the liability of issuers of securities for published statements under Schedule 10A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This analysis will be of particular interest to shareholders looking for a remedy in circumstances where they have acquired shares in a listed company on the basis of information in interim and annual reports and other trading updates that turns out to be untrue or misleading, or where important information that would have been relevant to the investment decision was omitted. You can read more about the judgment in the "Cases" section below, and in this detailed briefing.
We hope that you continue to enjoy reading this round-up, whether a litigator by trade or a generalist, and whether in-house or in private practice, and that you will share it with any of your colleagues who may also find it useful.