Practice Summary judgment. The claimant sought summary judgment against the defendants in respect of its claim for breach of their employment contracts and breach of fiduciary obligations. It also sought a declaration that the defences had been struck out as a result of a breach of an unless order made in the case. The Chancery Division, in refusing the applications, held that there were triable issues which should be determined at trial and that it was far from obvious from patent deficiencies in the disclosure list that it had been prepared in apparent but not real compliance with the obligation to give discovery.
Practice Order. During the course of proceedings, the defendants had failed to comply with an unless order. The claimant obtained a debarring order against them. The defendants applied, unsuccessfully, for relief from sanctions under CPR3.9. Shortly before the trial, the defendants applied again under CPR3.9 for relief from sanctions. Their application was allowed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the claimant's appeal. No proper basis had been put forward for revisiting the earlier refusal and the judge had erred in considering that CPR3.9, and not CPR3.1(7), had been the appropriate rule under which to consider the application.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The claimants issued proceedings against the defendant. They maintained that the claim was served on the defendant on 13 September 2013. The defendant disputed service of the claim. Following consideration of of the Companies Act 2006, Master Marsh in the Chancery Division held that service had been properly effected on the defendant on 13 September 2013 by service of the claim form, particulars of claim and response pack.
Disclosure and inspection of documents Legal professional privilege. A claim was made in the Commercial Court for inspection of two categories of documents. The defendant claimed that the documents were covered by litigation privilege, as the dominant purpose in instructing their preparation was anticipated litigation. The judge held that neither category was covered by privilege, as the dominant purpose of instruction had not been anticipated litigation.
Court-Martial Courts-Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court held that it had no jurisdiction to hear an application for leave to appeal against an order lifting restrictions on the reporting of the name of a Marine convicted of the murder of an Afghan insurgent, together with the names of other Marines who were acquitted. Accordingly, that application would be considered as an application for judicial review by the Court sitting as a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division. It further held that there was no basis for assailing the findings that had been made by the Judge Advocate General in relation to the release to the media of a video and various images. The Divisional Court, in considering the application for judicial review, held that the identity of Marine A, who had been convicted of murder, had to be made public. The public interest in open justice was the same in relation to Marines B and C, who had been acquitted. As to Marines D and E, against whom proceedings had been discontinued, the matter would be remitted for consideration by the judge.
Practice Civil litigation. The claimants issued proceedings against the defendant Spanish solicitors' firm for providing professionally negligent legal advice. Eleven claimants sought relief from sanction for non-compliance with the court's order to file particulars of claim by specified dates. The Queen's Bench Division, in granting the application, held that the failure had been trivial and there had been no adverse consequences.
Injunction Interim. Each of the claimants carried on a money service business and banked with the defendant bank (Barclays). They were subsequently given notice by Barclays of its intention to withdraw banking services from their businesses. The claimants contended that, by so doing, Barclays had acted unlawfully because it was alleged to be in a dominant position in the market for the provision of banking services. They sought interim injunctions to restrain Barclays from withdrawing its services until the trial of substantive claims. The Chancery Division granted the interim injunctions having held that there was a far greater danger of irremediable prejudice to the claimants in refusing the grant of injunctions until trial than there would be in granting the injunctions. It was settled law that a dominant undertaking could commit an abuse where, without justification, it cut off supplies of goods and services to an existing customer. However, Barclays' defence of justification needed to be fully examined at trial. The money service business sector, as a whole, was capable of constituting a relevant separate market for the purposes of art 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Practice Parties. The claimant company, Finesse, was supplied with adhesive by another company. The claimant sought to bring proceedings against the manufacturer of the adhesive, Bostik, contending that it had owed it a duty which had been breached by the adhesive not being of sufficient quality. At a case management conference the Technology and Construction Court struck out the claim against Bostik, as the cause of action in tort had no realistic prospect of success.
European Union Taxation. The proceedings concerned a renewed trial in a test case brought by the claimants concerning the legality of the United Kingdom's rules on the taxation of dividends received by UK-resident companies on shareholdings which were held by them as investments and allocated to their pension business and life assurance business, (portfolio dividends). The Chancery Division held that of the Finance Act 1989 (the 1989 Act), which set out the rules for calculating the policy holders' share of the profits of life assurance business, which were chargeable to tax at the basic rate of income tax, while the shareholders' share, representing the profit derived from carrying on the business, was charged to tax at the full corporation tax rate, infringed the claimant's Treaty rights. It further held, among other things, on the facts, the test claimants had failed to prove their entitlement to a tax credit for the underlying tax actually paid. The court ruled on the approach to remedying admitted invalidity under EU law of the 'Case V charge' to corporation tax on portfolio dividends and whether an 'ACT charge' on the onward distribution in the UK of portfolio dividends received from abroad infringed art 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Pleading Amendment. The claimants applied to amend their claim issued against the defendants, contending that the new proposed claim was part of the originally pleaded cause of action or that it related back to the original cause of action by virtue of s35(1) of the . The Commercial Court held that the new proposed claim amounted to a new cause of action and did not relate back to the original cause of action. Accordingly, leave would be granted for an amendment to plead the new claim on the basis that its effect was not to achieve a relation back to the start of the limitation period of the pre-existing claim but merely related back to six years from the date of the instant hearing.