Company Insolvency. The Companies Court ruled on a preliminary issue concerning limitation, which arose in a claim, under s212 of the which had been brought by the applicant joint liquidators of two Jersey companies in liquidation in England. The claim alleged misfeasance and breach of directors' duties by the respondents in respect of the various payments allegedly made from the companies' bank accounts. The court held that the duty owed, under art74 of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991, was a fiduciary duty in the strict sense, and not tortious in nature. Accordingly, the prescriptive period for both causes of action, under art74, was ten years, being the default period applicable to personal claims under Jersey law, and not three years, being the relevant period applicable to breach of trust and to tort under Jersey law, as the first to the fifth respondents had contended. Accordingly, the claims were not time-barred.
Insurance Claim. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the insured's appeal against a judge's decision, granting summary judgment in favour of the respondent insurer, and dismissing the insured's claim under an insurance policy concerning his property, which had been damaged by fire. The property had been let to students and the insurer had sought to avoid the policy on the grounds of material non-disclosure and misrepresentation. The court held that the policy amounted to business insurance, rather than consumer insurance and that the insured had no real prospect of establishing that he was a 'consumer', within the meaning of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, , and the Insurance Conduct of Business Sourcebook rules. Accordingly, the position at common law applied and, in circumstances where the insurer had an unanswerable defence of breach of warranty, the judge had been right to enter summary judgment in its favour.
Contract Breach. The Chancery Division allowed the claimant company's claim, in proceedings concerning a dispute about property management fees payable in the running of a franchise of estate agencies. The claimant had not been in repudiatory breach of an agreement between the parties concerning its non-payment of fees relating to an estate agency in Chelsea.
European Union Public procurement. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling in which it decided, among other things, that of Directive (EC) 2004-18, in conjunction with art 21 thereof, should be interpreted as precluding an economic operator from submitting to the contracting authority, in order to prove that it satisfied the conditions for participating in a public tender procedure, documents which had not been included in its initial bid, such as a contract performed by another entity and the undertaking of the latter to place at the disposal of that operator the capacities and resources necessary for the performance of the contract concerned after the expiry of the time limit laid down for submitting tenders for a public contract.
Practice Consent order. The Technology and Construction Court allowed an application by the claimant company to vary the terms of consent orders dealing with the disclosure of confidential information and highly sensitive documentation. It held that, not only was it appropriate for the claimant to seek to vary the consent orders, but the court had made out a prima facie entitlement that the full group already within a confidentiality ring could review the relevant confidential information and highly sensitive documentation.
Injunction Variation or discharge. The Commercial Court held that an injunction preventing the defendant company from providing certain confidential information would not be continued. There was no serious issue to be tried as to there being a real risk that the defendant intended to break its confidentiality and non-disclosure obligations, and the injunction could not be maintained on the basis of a risk of inadvertent loss or leakage of confidential data.
Confidential information Access to confidential information. The Technology and Construction Court considered the issue of confidentiality and the circumstances in which documents could be marked as 'private' on the court file. The court held that draft guidance, entitled 'Guidance Note on Procedures for Public Procurement Case', was to be commended to those involved in such issues. In the present case, the particulars of claim would not be regarded as private, and counsel for the claimant would be permitted to take further instruction regarding the annexes to the particulars.
Company Member. Directors' remuneration and no-dividend policies in respect of a company were unfairly prejudicial to the petitioning shareholders of the company, because they had been denied a return on their investment, the company's balance sheet had been diminished by the excessive remuneration, and their share of the profits had been taken by those relevant directors. The Companies Court so held in allowing an unfair prejudice petition, under of the Companies Act 2006.
European Union Rules on competition. The Court of Justice of the European Union allowed the appeal by Evonik Degussa GmbH (EDG) against a judgment of the General Court of the European Union by which that court had dismissed EDG's action for annulment of Commission Decision C(2012) final, rejecting a request for confidential treatment submitted by EDG under of Decision 2011-695-EU on the function and terms of reference of the hearing officer in competition proceedings.
European Union Copyright. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling, deciding that of Directive (EC) 2001-29 and specifically the concept of 'access to cable of broadcasting services', should be interpreted as not covering, and not permitting, national legislation which provided that copyright was not infringed in the case of the immediate retransmission by cable, including, where relevant, via the internet, in the area of initial broadcast, of works broadcast on television channels subject to public service obligations.