Ahmad and others v Bank of Scotland and others

Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The claimants entered into loan arrangements with the first defendant bank's predecessor. They fell into arrears and the bank subsequently appointed receivers. The claimants brought claims alleging that the bank was in breach of contract by appointing receivers. The claimants further alleged that the receivers were in breach of duty in failing to secure best price for properties. In allowing summary judgment against the claimants, the Chancery Division held that there was no evidence of the bank giving up its rights under various security documents, or varying them. The bank had had the right to appoint receivers on an unsatisfied demand. Further, the claim against the receivers had to fail on the facts.

Re Calibre Solicitors Ltd (in administration) Justice Capital Ltd v Murphy and another (Administrators of Calibre Solicitors Ltd)

Company Administrator. A company in administration applied, under r2.109 of the Insolvency Rules 1986, , to challenge the remuneration and-or expenses of the appointed administrators on the ground that they were excessive. The issue was whether that application, in addition to challenging remuneration detailed in a first report, could also challenge remuneration and-or expenses detailed in a second progress report, or whether a second application and an extension of time to make it were required. The Companies Court held that, on the true construction of the Rules, the eight week period within which to challenge remuneration and expenditure applied to the specific report which detailed the remuneration and expenses challenged. Accordingly, the company could not rely upon the first report to challenge the remuneration and expenses detailed in the second report. A second application was required and the court granted an extension of time in which to make it.

Singularis Holdings Ltd v Price Waterhouse Coopers

Company Compulsory winding up. The Privy Council, in dismissing an appeal by liquidators of a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, held that, although the Bermuda court had a power to make an order against persons subject to its personal jurisdiction in favour of foreign liquidators for production of information for the purpose of identifying and locating assets of the company, provided they had a similar right under the domestic law of the court which appointed them, the material which the liquidators sought in Bermuda would not be obtainable under the law of the Cayman Islands pursuant to which the winding up was being carried out there.

*Lehman Brothers Finance S.A. (in Liquidation) v Sal Oppenhim jr. & cir. KGaA

Contract Construction. The claimant, Lehman Brothers, brought a claim for the balance of a sum which it contended was due from the defendant arising out of early termination of four option transactions governed by an International Swaps and Derivatives Association agreement, together with interest. The defendant had paid the claimant 1,849,968.99. The Commercial Court held, among other things, that the defendant had breached its contractual obligation to use the agreed market quotation formula to determine the sum due. Using that formula, a payment of 2,963,081.18 should have been made.

Hellard and another (as Trustees in Bankruptcy for Mireskandari) v Chadwick (Trustee in Bankruptcy for Tehrani) and another

Insolvency Bankruptcy. M and T were former partners in a law firm. The trustees in bankruptcy for M (the M trustees) issued an application under and of the Insolvency Act 1986, seeking to impugn a previous assignment, made by M to T, as a preference or a transaction at an undervalue. The registrar held that the claim against the T estate was a provable debt, and that a claim against his wife should be stayed. The M trustees appealed. The Chancery Division, dismissing the claim, held that the registrar had correctly held that the claim against the T estate was a claim which was a provable debt in the T bankruptcy and that she had correctly granted a stay of the proceedings both against the T estate and Mrs T.

Lovell Partnerships Ltd and another v Merton Priory Homes

Contract Services. The Technology and Construction Court considered the interpretation of a contract between the parties, under which the claimant companies provided services to the defendant. The issue arose as to whether the claimants would be entitled to further remuneration if they went into liquidation. The court held that the claimants would be entitled to a declaration that the contract referred to any further payment to which it would or might otherwise be entitled pursuant to the contractual provisions relating to payment.

Re Christophorus 3 Ltd

Company Administration. The directors of an English company sought, among other things, an administration order and an order granting the proposed administrators liberty to enter into an immediate 'pre-pack' agreement (the SPA) for the sale and purchase of all the company's assets, as part of a scheme for the restructuring of a predominantly German-based group. The Companies Court granted the administration order where the proposed restructuring was the only available alternative to the liquidation of the company and the break-up of the group. It was a natural and proper use of language to describe the proposed sale as one which would be implemented under a court approved process, even though the actual decision to enter into the SPA would be taken by the proposed administrators.

*Re Agrenco Madeira – Comércio Internacional Lda

Company Winding up. A company incorporated under the laws of Portugal entered liquidation. It became clear that the Portuguese authorities had initiated proceedings for the involuntary dissolution and liquidation of the company. The liquidators sought relief to ensure that there was no question as to their authority to act. The Companies Court held that, on the proper application of of the Insolvency Act 1986, the liquidators still had that authority.

*Enta Technologies Ltd v Revenue And Customs Commissioners

Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Chancery Division dismissed the Revenue and Customs Commissioners' petition for the winding up of a company, where the company had appeals pending before the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (the FTT) and the FTT had expressed the view that those appeals were not 'hopeless'. The winding-up court should, post-2009, refuse to adjudicate on the prospective merits of an appeal before the FTT and leave that question to be dealt with by that tribunal, either dismissing the petition or staying it in the meantime.

Re Brand & Harding Ltd

Company Winding-up. The Companies Court granted a petition to wind up a family-run company where there had been a complete breakdown in the mutual trust and confidence between the family members, impeding the proper management of the company, and where it was just and equitable to wind up the company.