Grupo Hotelero Urvasco SA v Carey Value Added SI (Formerly Losan Hotels World Value Added ISL) and another company; Carey Value Added SI (Formerly Losan Hotels World Value Added ISL) v Grupo Urvasco SA
Costs Order for costs. The Commercial Court considered the issue of costs following an earlier judgment. It refused to make an order on an issue-based basis but made a percentage order. Further, it considered the effect of the new wording in CPR44.2(8) and made an order for payment on account of costs.
Negligence Surveyor. The claimants brought proceedings against the defendant firm of surveyors, alleging negligence in its carrying out of a survey on a building in historic premises which the claimant companies were interested in purchasing. The Technology and Construction Court held that no breach of duty, contractual or tortious, had been established, and hence the claim would be dismissed.
Practice Family proceedings. The Family Division refused a wife's application for the continuation of a without notice freezing order in respect of the husband's assets in circumstances where the freezing order had been fatally flawed in a number of respects and the wife had breached her duty of candour. The court gave guidance on the relevant principles and provided standard examples of freezing and search orders.
Costs Order for costs. In earlier proceedings, the claimants' case alleging professional negligence against the defendant was dismissed. The Chancery Division held that, on the facts, it was an appropriate case in which to make an order for indemnity costs in favour of the defendant.
Pension Pension scheme. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in upholding an appeal from a decision of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), held that, when the Pensions Regulator, acting by its Determination Panel, had made a determination about an financial support direction in relation to a pension scheme, in the instant case the Lehmans Brothers group pension, the trustees of that scheme, by virtue of their office, were persons 'directly affected' by that determination for the purposes of s96(3) of the and, accordingly, they had standing as of right to refer that determination to the tribunal under that provision. Further, if any person referred a determination of the Regulator to the tribunal under s96(3) of the 2004 Act, the two-year time limit in s43(9) of the 2004 Act, which, prior to amendment by the in effect required the Regulator to issue a financial support direction within two years of the time limit which he had selected for determining whether the pre-conditions in s43(2) for the issue of an financial support direction had been fulfilled, did not apply to any directions which the tribunal might give regarding a financial support direction under s103(5) and (6) of the 2004 Act or to any order made on an appeal from those directions.
Libel and slander Defamatory words. The defendants published articles accusing the claimant treasurer of the Conservative Party of, inter alia, agreeing to provide access to government ministers in return for cash. The claimant commenced a claim for libel and malicious falsehood. The judge held that an allegation that the claimant's conduct had been criminally corrupt was the relevant single meaning for the libel action and for the malicious falsehood claim that they were possible meanings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the defendants' appeal in part, holding that the judge had erred in finding that the articles complained of had amounted to an allegation of criminal corruption.
Sale of land Completion. The parties had entered into a contract for the sale of property. A dispute arose as to whether VAT was payable and the completion date was missed. The claimant purchaser served a notice to complete and sent a letter before action. The defendant vendor conceded the VAT point and sent a revised completion statement. The claimant was dissatisfied with the completion statement and the defendant offered to retain money from the purchase price until the issues were resolved. The claimant did not forward the completion sum to the defendant on the completion date and the defendant alleged rescission of contract. The claimant issued proceedings seeking specific performance. That claim was dismissed and the claimant appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal on the grounds that, because the claimant had not paid the purchase price in accordance with the contract on the expiry of the notice to complete, the defendant had been entitled to say that the claimant was in breach of a condition which had been of the essence of the contract and so had been entitled to rescind. Further, the failure to provide a completion statement which accurately reflected all outstanding matters should not have prevented the claimant from making the necessary arrangements to complete.
Road traffic Motor vehicle. Following a road accident in which the claimant pedestrian was hit by a bus driven by the defendant company's employee, and as a result of which the claimant sustained head injuries, he claimed damages for personal injury. The issue before the court was that of liability. The Queen's Bench Division concluded that, whilst both parties were guilty of significant negligence and responsibility for the accident, the bus driver had been more culpable. Accordingly, there would be judgment against the defendant for 60% of the full value of the claimant's claim.
Contempt of court Committal. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the defendant's appeal, held that a sentence of 24 months' imprisonment imposed for contempt of court in the context of matrimonial proceedings had not been excessive. The judge had been entitled to regard the breaches of orders as serious, and to include in the sentence an element to reflect punishment and a coercive element to prompt future compliance.
Arbitration Award. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain an application for permission to appeal from a refusal of a High Court judge to grant permission to appeal from his decision on a question of law arising from an arbitration award. Whilst there was a residual jurisdiction to set aside a refusal of permission to appeal if the decision to refuse that permission had come about as a result of unfair or improper process, it had been unjustified in the instant case to say that the judge had acted in excess of his jurisdiction when he refused permission to appeal after adversarial argument had been completed.