Related insights: Commercial Disputes


Six-figure benchmark in compensation for serious libel

19 Aug 2021
Two high profile judgments have been handed down by the High CouTwo high profile judgments have been handed down by the High Court in Hijazi v Yaxley-Lennon [2021] EWHC 2008 and Lachaux v Evening Standard [2021] EWHC 1797. They have set a benchmark in compensation for serious libel.


Murky waters: record £90 million fine for dumping sewage

19 Jul 2021
A record £90 million fine has been imposed on Southern Water after pleading guilty to over 6000 illegal discharges of sewage and 51 breaches of environmental law. The illegal discharges occurred between 2010 and 2015 (over multiple sites), a total of 61,704 hours. To give this some context, this is the equivalent of 7 years continuous illegal discharge. This follows a fine of £2 million imposed on Southern Water in 2016 in relation to the pollution of beaches in Kent with untreated sewage. 

Brexit and patents

02 Jul 2021
As the European patent regime is not an instrument of the European Union ("EU"), it has remained largely unaffected by Brexit. The European Patent Convention 2000 and its various protocols are not part of the accumulated body of EU law. The current membership of the European Patent Office numbers 38 countries, which is a far greater number than the current 27 member states of the EU. The membership of the United Kingdom ("UK") to the Patent Cooperation Treaty also remains unaffected.

Brexit and designs

18 May 2021
Since 1 January 2021, the scope of protection afforded by registered Community designs ("RCDs") has not extended to the United Kingdom ("UK"). However, each owner of a RCD that was registered and published before or on 31 December 2020 has been granted a comparable registered and enforceable IP right in the UK, known as the 're-registered design' – hereafter "RRD" – which came into force automatically and free of charge on 1 January 2021.

Womble Bond Dickinson advises beneficiaries in landmark trust case

16 Apr 2021
The Private Client team at Womble Bond Dickinson recently advised the beneficiaries of a complex family trust on unlocking distributions of capital that were tied up in a historic trust structure. The process required an application to Court for consideration of whether the trustees had the ability to make the capital advancements, using the statutory powers available to them under the Trustee Act 1925.

FCA test case: disruption in the new normal

15 Sep 2020
The judgment in the FCA test case concerning the operation of several non-damage business interruption insurance clauses has been handed down today. Groups representing policyholders are claiming victory, however, beyond the headlines is a complex and nuanced judgment. Nevertheless some broad themes can be discerned and insurers will want to consider these and re-assess their approach to all business interruption claims and not just those arising from COVID-19.

Changing the face of witness statements

09 Apr 2020
Following recommendations made by the Commercial Court Witness Evidence Working Group (WEWG) in December 2019, some limited amendments to witness statements and the statement of truth took effect on 6 April 2020. While the reforms are far from radical (the majority of the WEWG did not favour radical reform), the courts are likely to take a tougher approach in circumstances where a witness statement has been clearly over worked by lawyers. We examine the issues and consider the implications for solicitors, parties to litigation and their insurers.

D&O: de facto directors and policy implications

18 Oct 2019
D&O policies typically provide cover for claims and investigations against directors including de facto directors. But exactly what does de facto director mean? We explain why it matters and examine a recent High Court decision which helps clarify this difficult question for insurers and insureds alike.

Opportunistic insider trading related to a personal data breach

21 Aug 2019
The recent conviction of a second Equifax executive (Jun Ying) for insider trading after the Equifax data breach in 2017, highlights concerns about the possible interplay between data breach and insider trading. In the period from detection of a data breach to its public disclosure, insiders might try to use non-public information in securities trading, cashing in on the prediction that the disclosure of a data breach will cause stock price to fall.