Practice Pre-trial or post-trial judgment relief. The Queen's Bench Division granted summary judgment to the applicant investors (members of the Davies Group) who had invested in a Caribbean development scheme. It ruled that the applicants were entitled to the sum that the respondents (directors of Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd) had agreed to pay in a settlement agreement made with them in October 2014. That settlement had arisen out of the applicants' claim that they had been induced to enter contracts concerning the development. The court held that the respondents' subsequent claim that they had been induced to enter into the settlement agreement by misrepresentation had no realistic prospect of success and had all the hallmarks of an attempt by the respondents to avoid their obligations under the agreement.
Practice Pre-trial or post-trial judgment relief. The Commercial Court granted the claimant lenders summary judgement on their claim against the defendants for sums outstanding under a syndicated loan facility agreement, along with interest. It ruled that the defendants' counterclaim for damages against the claimants could not provide them with an arguable defence to the claim because the 'no set-off' provisions of the facility agreement, under which the loan had been granted, were not subject to a test of reasonableness, under of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, but applied with full contractual force.
Practice Summary judgment. The Commercial Court dismissed applications by the first and second defendants and by the third defendant businessman, Robert Tchenguiz, for summary judgment on claims brought against them. The claim against the first two defendants was for specific performance of obligations under an alleged oral agreement (for the purchase of their interests in groups of companies) and the claim against Tchenguiz was for damages and an injunction restraining him from procuring the first two defendants' breach of the alleged agreement. It ruled that the first two defendants had not demonstrated that the alleged agreement could not in law have amounted to a binding and enforceable contract and the claimants' claim had a realistic prospect of success. Further, the claimants were granted permission to amend their particulars of claim, the benefit of which meant that they would have a realistic prospect of showing that an alleged threat by Tchenguiz could amount to the tort of abuse of process.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Queen's Bench Division held that in considering allowing the claimants' application for pre-action disclosure under CPR 31.16- of the Senior Courts Act 1981 in relation to a causes of action in defamation and harassment that the claimants had made out a clear and strong case for the exercise of the court's discretion to order pre-action disclosure in their favour.
Company Practice. The Chancery Division allowed an appeal against an order requiring three defendants to pay the claimant petitioners 54,000 following their petition for unfair prejudice in respect of the third defendant limited liability partnership (LLP). It held that, notwithstanding the barring (at a case management conference) of the relevant defendants for breach of an unless order, a final hearing had still been required so the petitioners could prove their case and to hear the defendants' counterclaim. The defendants had attended what had been a case management conference and had left with a judgment of 54,000 plus costs against them, which was unjustified and procedurally unfair.
Conflict of interest Jurisdiction. The Chancery Division held that it had no jurisdiction in respect of claims for declarations of entitlement to shares in companies registered in the name of the deceased, which had been
Road traffic Accident. The Queen's Bench Division held in relation to a claimant who had suffered serious injuries following ejection from the back seat of a car in which he had not been wearing as seatbelt, that, having regard to Polish law he would be found 5% contributory negligent having regard to his injuries. In calculating his past loss of earnings, the claimant had to be given credit for benefits received in the United Kingdom.
Damages Tort. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed an appeal against a judge's refusal to grant a 10% uplift on an award of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in the context of a clinical negligence claim. There was no discretion for a trial judge to introduce exceptions to the uplift as otherwise some legally aided claimants would not receive the uplift while others would, and there would be potentially complete uncertainty and inconsistency in awards of the courts.
Claim form Service. The Chancery Division allowed the first defendant's application to set aside an order that had granted the claimant South African solicitors' firm an extension of time to serve its claim form. The court held that the claimant's efforts at service of the claim form had been wholly inadequate, and it had not come close to persuading the court that it ought to exercise its jurisdiction an extend time for service. There was no good reason to authorise service by an alternative method or at an alternative place, and no circumstances that would make it appropriate to dispense with service of the claim form.
Practice Summary judgment. The Chancery Division made rulings in the defendants' application for summary judgment, in proceedings relating to the administration of a pension scheme. The court held that the parts of the claim against the first defendant, which the defendants sought to have struck out, would be allowed to remain, as the claimants had a realistic and not merely fanciful prospect of success on the issue of novation. The proceedings against the second defendant were be struck out on the basis that they were time-barred.