Sentence Confiscation order. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in refusing the prosecution's application for leave to appeal, held that the judge's decision not to allow the prosecution to rely on any pecuniary advantage gained by the company to form the basis for confiscation orders against the defendants, in circumstances where the company in question had committed breaches of its environmental permit, had been correct, albeit that his reasoning had been erroneous. In the present case, the necessary conditions for rendering the defendants liable to a confiscation order had not been established. The prosecution's attempt to have the corporate veil pierced would be rejected.
Shipping Demurrage. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, in circumstances where, under bills of lading, the defendant shipper was obliged to redeliver containers to the claimant carrier or suffer the imposition of demurrage, but was unable to redeliver in the foreseeable future because it did not have title, the carrier was only entitled to demurrage up to the date when it had been told of that impossibility. That was because it had then been clear that the shipper had repudiated the contract and the carrier was not in a position to wait for the contract to be performed as its performance had become impossible.
Design Design right. The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court allowed a claim by Raft Ltd only in respect of the alleged infringement by the defendants of its design right in one of two variations of sofas, namely the 'wide-arm Loft sofa'. The claim for passing off and a counterclaim were dismissed.
Company Dividend. The Chancery Division, in ruling on the payment of two dividends by a company, which was a subsidiary of the first defendant in the first action before the court, held that a dividend was a transaction entered into at an undervalue within the meaning of of the Insolvency Act 1986. It held that neither dividend contravened of the Companies Act 2006. However, the second dividend had been made with the intention of putting the dividend money beyond the reach of the first defendant company or otherwise prejudicing its interests.
ICBC Financial Leasing Co Ltd v Consultants Group Commercial Funding Corporation (trading as CG Commercial Finance)
Contract Construction. The Commercial Court made rulings in a case involving the financing of the construction of a number of ships. It held that, among other things, the making of an agreement between the claimant company and a group of financiers to fund construction had not breached the claimant's agreement with the defendant company by circumventing it, nor had doing so involved the improper use of confidential information.
Company Director. The Chancery Division held that the defendant former director of the two claimant companies, which had been engaged in the business of offering services to free schools and academies, had breached duties owed to the companies in some respects, but not in others. The court held that, among other things, she had breached her duty as a director of the companies by arranging with the Department For Education the return of a grant to it, which had meant that the funds had not been available to the second claimant company, and by alleging that there might have been any fraud in the submission of a bid concerning free schools. The claimants were awarded 10,300 plus VAT, with the proviso that credit had to be given for any part of that amount that had been already paid.
Insurance Employer's liability insurance. The Supreme Court held that a person could not be made indirectly liable for breach of an obligation imposed by statute on someone else, including on a company. There was no basis in case law or in statute for looking through the corporate veil to the directors or other individuals through whom the company acted. Accordingly, the second respondent director of the first respondent company would not be held liable for the company's failure to have had in place adequate employer's liability insurance in respect of the appellant's workplace injury.
Sale of goods Repudiation of contract. The Mercantile Court held that, among other things, the sale or supply of software promoted by the claimant company counted as the 'sale of goods' for the purpose of the definition of 'commercial agent' in reg 2(1) of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993, . An award would be made in favour of the claimant, where the defendant company was responsible for repudiatory breaches of a contract to promote software.
Contract Breach of contract. The Commercial Court held that the defendant bank was contractually bound by a commitment letter, which had been duly executed by the bank's head of treasury and investments on its behalf, to provide equity funding for the purchase of an aircraft and that the decision of the defendant's board not to proceed with the transaction amounted to an anticipatory repudiatory breach of contract, such that the defendant was liable for the claimant's loss in an amount to be agreed.
Income tax Partnership. The Administrative Court dismissed the claimants' application for judicial review of partner payment notices issued by the defendant Revenue and Customs Commissioners, under to the Finance Act 2014 (Sch 32). There was no distinction between general partnerships and limited liability partnerships for the purposes of Sch 32 and sufficient notice of enquiry into a tax return had been given.