Costs Assessment. The defendants had been unsuccessful in a boundary dispute. On a detailed assessment, the deputy master had found the legal costs proportionate and issued costs certificates, including the costs of the detailed assessment of two solicitors' firms engaged by the claimants. The defendants appealed. The Queen's Bench Division, in dismissing the appeal, held that the deputy master's conclusion had not been outside the ambit of his discretion, and that it had been reasonable for the claimants' original solicitors to be separately representedat the detailed assessment.
Conflict of laws Foreign proceedings. The Commercial Court dismissed the claimant Zambian company's application for the continuation of an anti-suit injunction preventing the defendant Zambian company from pursuing proceedings in Zambia in breach of the arbitration agreement in the relevant contract between the parties as the defendant's proceedings in Zambia had not been in breach of the contract between the parties.
Practice Stay of proceedings. The Commercial Court of the Queen's Bench Division considered a number of outstanding consequential matters following a dispute between the parties as to the construction of a yacht by the first defendant company. It held, inter alia, that it would be appropriate to grant a stay of proceedings against the first defendant and the second defendant, who was its chairman and managing director.
Solicitor Negligence. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, upheld a decision granting summary judgment in favour of the defendants in an action in which the claimant alleged that the defendants had been negligent in earlier proceedings brought against the claimant for infringement of copyright in recordings of Jimi Hendrix.
Injunction Undertaking. The Commercial Court dismissed the defendants' application for a release from an undertaking given as part of a consent order as it had not been open to the defendants to seek to be released from their undertaking on the grounds that the freezing order ought never to have been granted and they had failed to establish good cause for being released from the undertaking.
Insurance Indemnity insurance. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that a judge had been wrong to find that the defendant insurer's liability to the claimant insured under an employer's liability policy had restricted the indemnity that the claimant could claim under the policy for damages paid to an employee who had contracted mesothelioma by proportioning the period of the employee's period of work with the claimant to the period under which the claimant had been insured with the defendant. If an employer was liable to his employee for his employee's mesothelioma following a tortious exposure to asbestos created during an insurance period, then, for the purposes of the insuring clause in the employer's liability policy, the disease was 'caused' within the insurance period.
Contempt of court Committal. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, whilst a judge had been entitled to impose sentences of imprisonment on the two defendants for breaches of a freezing injunction whereby they had wilfully and knowingly transferred the assets of a business into a phoenix company in breach of the injunction, despite the absence of remorse, there had been considerable personal mitigation which had justified the suspension of their sentences. An attack on the administration of justice which was made when a freezing injunction was breached usually merited an immediate sentence of imprisonment of some not insubstantial amount.
Damages Measure of damages. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, permitted the admission of fresh evidence in an appeal concerning the recoverability of car hire charges recoverable after the innocent victim in a road traffic accident had hired a car on credit terms while their own car was unavailable. Based on the new evidence, the decisions of the judges below were set aside to the extent that they related to issues of quantum as the evidence upon which the judges had based their decisions had been unsafe and unsatisfactory.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Queen's Bench Division held that there was an overwhelming case for the continuation of a freezing injunction against the defendant employee in circumstances where there were strong grounds for supposing that she was involved in criminal fraud by milking numerous sums of money from the claimant bank's clients by stealth and deception.
Practice Post-trial or pre-judgment relief. The Commercial Court considered a number of applications made by the claimant, who was alleged to have misappropriated and misused money from a bank in liquidation. The court held that none of the claimant's applications would be granted, and that a world-wide freezing order against him would continue.