Shipping Bills of lading. The Mercantile Court, in allowing the appeal of the defendant carriers in part, considered the scope and operation of the Hague Rules (the Rules). The court held that, among other things, once the carrier had shown a prima facie case for the application of the exception of inherent vice in art IV r 2(m) of the Rules, the burden had then shifted to the cargo claimant to establish negligence on the part of the carrier, such as would negative the operation of the exception in the bill of lading for loss occasioned by perils of the sea.
Bank Subrogation. The Chancery Division held, further to earlier proceedings in which the defendant bank had successfully counterclaimed for a declaration that it was entitled to be subrogated to an unpaid vendor's lien over the claimant's family home, that the bank was entitled to an order for sale of the property. The court held, among other things, that an unpaid vendor's lien was an equitable charge and that the power to realise equitable charges contained in of the Law of Property Act 1925 applied.
Contract Breach of contract. The Commercial Court made findings, overall in the claimant Portuguese bank's favour, in its claim for declarations that the defendant Portuguese transport companies' obligations under long-term interest rate swaps constituted legal, valid and binding obligations, enforceable in accordance with their respective terms. It rejected the defendants' defences that they lacked capacity to enter into the swaps, that art 3(3) of the Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations 1980 applied and that the bank had acted in breach of its duties under the Portuguese Securities Code.
Pleading Amendment. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the Unitech parties' appeal against the refusal to allow amendments to their pleadings in relation to five intended defences and allowed the lenders' cross-appeal against the refusal to order a payment into court or an interim payment. In respect of the latter, it was appropriate in the circumstances to make an order in line with the lenders' preference for a requirement for a payment into court.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Queen's Bench Division held that the claim by the claimant customer against the defendant bank would be struck out as the claimant had accepted a settlement offer and received redress of over 420,000 from the defendant.
Bond Issue of. The Commercial Court, ruling on a preliminary issue concerning the validity of a mandatory conversion notice by the defendant, issued in respect of US$70m 2.5% convertible bonds, held that the notice had been valid.
Commercial contract Construction. The Commercial Court ruled on the second case on the Financial List and held that, for a trade on the 2012 Loan Market Association terms in respect of a surety bonds facility: (i) the trade would, generally speaking, include the economic burden of the seller's obligations under issued surety bonds; (ii) the 'Purchased Assets' were, generally speaking, 'funded' to the extent that money had been paid by the seller under issued surety bonds, rather than to the extent by which the facility had been drawn by the mere issue of the surety bonds.
Practice Transfer of proceedings. The Companies Court granted the defendant Royal Bank of Scotland's application for an order to transfer proceedings brought by the claimant, Property Alliance Group Ltd, to the Financial List, notwithstanding that the claim was for less than 50m and that the transfer would result in a change of judge. It held that the allegations concerning, among other things, the alleged mis-selling of four interest rate swaps and, the alleged improper conduct of RBS in relation to the fixing of LIBOR rates involved important issues of general market significance and that a transfer into the Financial List satisfied the requirements of CPR 30.5, Practice Direction 63AA and the overriding objective. The court considered the applicable principles in deciding whether to accede to a contested application to transfer existing proceedings into the Financial List, where those proceedings satisfied the definition of 'Financial List claim' in CPR 63A.1(2).
Costs Order for costs. The Chancery Division, allowed the third to sixth defendants' application under CPR40.12 seeking clarification or amendment of an order for costs made following the trial of a probate action concerning a will. The amount of the claimant's personal liability for the costs of the third to sixth defendants under the order was not limited by reference to the amount of her pecuniary legacy. The court exercised its inherent power under CPR 40BPD 4.5 that the order be amended to add words to the order to ensure any ambiguity in the order was removed.
Will Foreign will. The proceedings related to a will made by the deceased, B, in favour of D. B's niece, A, brought proceedings. The courts below found that there had been undue influence on the part of D. D appealed. The Privy Council, in dismissing the appeal, held that, among other things, issues of unjust enrichment in Saint Lucia had to be determined under English law. The court below had not erred.