Latest Articles

UK Supreme Court: Litigation Funding Agreements Are Damages-Based Agreements

On 26 July 2023, the UK Supreme Court handed down a judgment that will cause serious disruption (at least in the short term) to the litigation funding market. In R (on the application of PACCAR Inc and others) v. Competition Appeal Tribunal and others, the Supreme Court held by a majority that litigation funding agreements which entitled the funders to recover a percentage of the damages recovered were damages-based agreements and, as such, were unenforceable, as they did not meet the strict statutory conditions for such agreements.

Irish Circuit Court Awards Damages for ‘Non-Material’ Harm Under GDPR

On 11 July 2023, the Circuit Court of Ireland awarded 2,000 euros in compensation to a plaintiff seeking ‘non-material damage’ under Article 82 of the General Data Protection Regulation, in what is believed to be the first case in the European Union to follow the recent Court of Justice of the European Union decision in the Österreichische Post case (Case C-300/21).We have written previously about the Österreichische Post case, in the blog post titled ‘European Court of Justice Clarifies Rules on Damages Compensation for GDPR Breaches’.In the Irish case of Arkadiusz Kaminski v Ballymaguire Foods Limited [2023] IECC 5, the court held that the plaintiff suffered non-material harm when the defendant, his employer, used CCTV footage of him, in which he was clearly identifiable, in a training session delivered to other employees.

Law Commission Publishes Final Report on Digital Assets

On 28 June 2023, the Law Commission of England and Wales published its highly anticipated final report on digital assets following its consultation with industry stakeholders (see this summary of the final report). The comprehensive and wide-ranging report stresses that ‘digital assets are fundamental to modern society and the contemporary economy’, ‘used for an expanding variety of purposes’ and ‘in growing volumes’. It makes few recommendations for actual law reform, concluding that the common law developed through individual cases is sufficiently flexible and able to accommodate most of the legal complexities posed by digital assets (which the report recognises is a very broad term covering very different assets and technologies).

High Court Endorses Seven Principles for Securing Precautionary Injunctions

Injunctions are typically sought by parties after wrongdoing has already taken place. However, the English courts may grant a ‘quia timet’ – or ‘precautionary’ – injunction to prevent an actionable wrong from being committed.

In University of Brighton v. Persons Unknown Occupying Land, the High Court of England and Wales granted a final injunction preventing protesters from occupying certain areas of the claimant’s executive administration office. This judgment provides a useful restatement of the principles applied by the courts when determining whether to award a precautionary injunction.

High Court Rules Arbitral Awards Don’t Deprive English Court of Jurisdiction in Crypto Consumer Claim

In Chechetkin v. Payward Ltd and Others[1], the High Court of England and Wales ruled that the existence of an arbitration clause in an agreement between the parties should not prevent the court from hearing the UK consumer’s claim for repayment of sums lost through his trading on the defendants’ cryptocurrency exchange.

Limitation of Liability: Court Considers Key Principles of Interpretation

In Drax Energy Solutions Limited v. Wipro Limited, the Technology and Construction Court considered the proper interpretation of a limitation of liability clause. The judgment provides a useful summary of the principles that apply to such an exercise. It is particularly notable that the court gave very little weight in the circumstances to the notion that in the absence of clear words, the court will assume that parties generally do not intend to derogate from the normal rights they would otherwise have.

A Taxing Question: Just When Does a Duty of Care Arise?

The decision of the Court of Appeal in the closely watched case of David McClean & Ors v. Andrew Thornhill KC[1]helpfully rearticulates the established principles governing when a duty of care may arise and the scope of such a duty. It is widely understood that any professional advice needs to be given with sufficient confidence as to allow the recipient to act upon it, but in addition, that the risks associated with that advice also need to be clearly outlined, so that the recipient is not blind to potentially adverse consequences. How this balance is navigated is difficult and only becomes more so when the recipient of the advice wants to share it with third parties to give them comfort on the issues at hand.