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At Tennyson we welcome your interest in our barrister and mediator’s latest cases pages and about us. Here you will find references to cases undertaken by members of chambers recently in our practice areas which have been reported and to other recent reported cases of interest.

Please press on the case name to take you to the case report.


New development in the law of Legal Professional Privilege

Posted: 7th September 2018

On 5th September 2018 the Court of Appeal gave judgement in the case of The SFO v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited and the Law Society [2018] EWCA Civ 2006. The case raised important issues as to the proper scope of legal professional privilege, and was  primarily about litigation privilege. The Court of Appeal held that the judge was wrong to conclude that a criminal prosecution was not reasonably in prospect once the SFO had written its letter of 10th August 2011. The contemporaneous documents did not show that ENRC failed at the first hurdle of showing that, as at 19th August 2011, it was “aware of circumstances which rendered litigation between itself and the SFO a real likelihood rather than a mere possibility”, and that the documents demonstrated the reverse. Secondly that the dicta in Dornoch does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that once a SFO investigation is reasonably in contemplation so to is a criminal prosecution. Each case turned on its own facts though in the appeal the documents and evidence pointed clearly towards the  contemplation of a prosecution if the self reporting process did not succeed.

Whilst a party anticipating a prosecution may need to make further investigation that uncertainty will not of itself prevent proceedings being in reasonable contemplation. It was in the public interest that companies should be prepared to investigate allegations prior to going to a prosecutor such as the SFO without losing the benefit of legal professional privilege for the work product and consequences of their investigation. Futher, that the judge ought to have concluded that the documents were brought into existence for the dominant purpose of resisting or avoiding contemplated criminal proceedings against ERNC  or its subsidiaries, and that all interviews undertaken by the solicitors in the internal investigation were covered by litigation privilege. Also that the Court of Appeal would have determined that communications between an employee of a corporation and the corporation’s lawyers could not attract legal advice privilege unless the employee was tasked with seeking and receiving such advice on behalf of the client. More information maybe found by consulting the judgement at www.bailii.org.

P & P Property Limited v Owen White and Caitlin LLP [2018] EWCA Civ 1082

Posted: 6th June 2018

These appeals raise common issues about the liability of solicitors and estate agents in cases involving identity fraud. In both cases the fraudster posed as the owner of a registered property in London. He instructed solicitors and agents to act for him on the sale of the property and genuine purchasers were found. The purchasers instructed their own solicitors, and proceeded to exchange of contracts and completion in accordance with the Law Society Code for Completion by Post (2011) (“the Code”). Following completion, but before registration of title, the fraud was discovered but the fraudster and the purchase money have, of course, disappeared.

Rock Advertising Limited (Respondent) v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited (Appellant) [2018] UKSC 24

Posted: 6th June 2018

The issues in this case were whether a contractual term precluding amendment of an agreement other than in writing (“NO oral agreement modification clause) is effective in law  and whether varying an agreement to pay money by substituting an obligation to pay the same or less money was supported by the necessary consideration.

Worthington and Parkin v Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 1125

Posted: 6th June 2018

In this case  two people installed CCTV cameras outside their home generating hostility from their neighbours. The Landlord sought possession on the basis that it alleged that their had been a breach of the assured tenancy agreement for use of cameras on the premise let by the landlord. The Court of Appeal reviewed the law relating to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Practice direction in insolvency proceedings came into force on 25th April 2018

Posted: 25th April 2018

The new practice direction has recently come into force and insolvency lawyers and practitioners will find the new practice direction on the justice.gov web site here

Patel v Patel [2017] EWHC 3229 (Ch). 7th December 2017.

Posted: 8th December 2017

Application for contempt of court. Forged will. Outright invention of a claim. 3 Defendants sentenced to 3 months imprisonment and first defendant sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.

Ryan v Villarosa [2017] UKHT 466(LC) 7th December 2017.

Posted: 7th December 2017

Concerned the Construction of Lease and whether the tenant was liable to contribute 75% or 50% of the costs of repair of the roof of the demised premises. Held that the roof was included within demise and the tenant was liable to contribute 75% of repair costs. Appeal allowed on substantive point and a section 20C appeal adjourned for further submissions.

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