Published articles



The Week in HR - On your bike!

There are few people who don't complain about their commute to work. Whether it's leaves on the line, road rage or just the British weather, the experience is rarely rewarding.


Developing solar assets: legal considerations

Solar energy is key to the UK's energy future and developing solar assets represents both an opportunity and a challenge. So, what are the key legal questions developers of solar farms need to consider?


The Week in HR - You can't put a price on loyalty

Many businesses place great emphasis on the importance of their employees. This is particularly the case for employers who rely on the specialist skills, knowledge or networks that their people bring.


An object of interest

The Lundbeck decision has provided a lot of food for thought.


Just Desserts?

The case of Harrison & Ors v Technical Sign Co ltd & Ors considered where responsibility lies, and how much responsibility to apportion, when multiple parties have contributed to a flawed building project.


The Week in HR - Computer says ... YES!

In a memorable scene in the BBC comedy series Little Britain, Carol, the customer service assistant who loves to say no, is finally lost for words. For one glorious sketch, the computer says ... yes!


Conversion - but by whom?

Finance companies will be familiar with title dispute cases and the principle that 'no one can transfer a better title in goods than they possess' – or nemo dat non quod habet.


Opportunities and challenges for the Real estate sector in 2014

Adrian Bland, head of real estate, looks at the opportunities and challenges for the sector in 2014


Bona fide purchaser or notice of interest?

Where two innocent purchasers of the same vehicle claim title to it, the court has to determine which of the innocent purchasers will lose out. Such issues arise in one off bespoke financing as well in standard hire purchase financing.



Comment restructurer une dette immobilière commerciale ?

Depuis fin 2007, un nombre élevé d'opérations de restructuration portant sur des dettes d'acquisition d'immobilier commercial ont été menées.


TUPE reform: draft amending regulations published

The draft Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 were published in October 2013. This article focuses on the issues presented by the draft regulations.


The Week in HR – After sharpest showers

Much of William Langland's poem holds as true today as when it was written over 600 years ago. It is, however, fair to say he would not recognise the 21st century City of London.


Silence is not always golden - and can be costly as far as a request to mediate is concerned

Most motor finance companies engaged in litigation will generally consider the possibility of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at some point in the proceedings.


The Week in HR – Crossing the border

Acres of coverage have been devoted to imagining the future in a less than United Kingdom.


A difficult Act to balance? Disclosure of personnel information in the public sector

How should organisations deal with FOI requests that relate to salary and payment information? Kirsten Whitfield, Mark Greenburgh and Jennifer Harper explain.


Challenging ATE insurance premiums

Many claims issued against motor finance companies over the last few years have been  funded with the benefit of an after the event (ATE) insurance policy.


Share deal vs asset deal : Quelques idées reçues à combattre

Les investisseurs qui souhaitent acquérir des biens immobiliers se voient de plus en plus fréquemment proposer par les vendeurs de prendre le contrôle de la société propriétaire de ces actifs.


A clear steer towards ADR for dispute resolution

Litigation can be a costly and time consuming exercise. An overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules is that the court actively encourages parties to litigation to explore the possibility of resolving their dispute by alternative means.


Anti–discharge provisions

Guarantees can be discharged, and the guarantor released from liability, where the obligation guaranteed is varied (without the guarantor's consent) so that its terms are materially different.


The Week in HR - The naughty list

Media interest in zero-hours contracts has exploded, with analysis, controversy and exposes. Employers are being subjected to intense scrutiny, with some consigned to a 'naughty list' for suspected abuse of the contracts.


Naming and shaming before investigations are complete

The new financial regulator's plans to publish misconduct allegations could wreck disciplinary procedures and lead to claims, employment lawyers have warned.


The Curse of the Black Swan

On 11 June, a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan issued a judgment on unpaid internships. In doing so, he tossed a rock into the pool of unpaid labour, the ripples of which may yet come to be felt beyond the confines of US jurisdiction.


The Donau Chemie case

The thorny issue of access to leniency documents remains unresolved.


The battle of Generation X

Finding your feet in the workplace is tough enough for young professionals. A recent study from KPMG suggests the country's newest workers will also have to cope with growing generational tensions in the workplace.


Please go home!

Did you greet your colleagues with a cough and a splutter this morning? Findings from a recent survey conducted by Capita Employee Benefits suggest you might have done.


Definitely worth the paper it was written on

Lessors need to ensure that the contractual provisions in their lending agreements provide them with protection when the goods, the subject of the leasing agreement, turn out not to be fit for purpose.


Be careful with those 'British' claims

Trend-spotters had already predicted 2013 would be the year of localism and since the horsemeat scandal thrust traceability into the spotlight, consumers have only become more interested.


Wragge & Co LLP's response to DG Competition's draft proposal for a revised block exemption for technology transfer agreements and for revised guidelines

Wragge & Co LLP welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposals by the European Commission to revise the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation, and its accompanying guidelines.


Order for sale threshold

Maximising recoveries from 'bad books' is important to the financial health of motor finance companies.


In deep water

In a judgment handed down in the Patents County Court on 28 January 2013, Kohler Mira secured victory in its shower unit design infringement case against Bristan Group. Kohler Mira succeeded on its UK unregistered design right (UK UDR) claim.


"As she was" didn't exclude implied satisfactory quality

A broken down tanker is subject to a dispute over the Sale of Goods Act. Greg Standing explains.


Do you need that Roller?

When faced with a car hire claim, the onus is on the claimant to show a reasonable need for a replacement vehicle. The court will not find the need 'self-proved'.


Derivative actions: members only?

A recent High Court decision covers an issue on which there is no previous reported English authority: namely, can a member of a LLP which holds all of a company's shares pursue a derivative action against a director of that company?


Invalid Patents and the Implications for Patent Licences Around the World

Having a patent invalidated is bad enough but, if the patent has been licensed out, additional complications can arise.


UK IPO Consultation on exemptions to patent infringement for clinical trials

It is uncertain whether clinical trials of innovative drugs are exempt from patent infringement. Clinical trials on generic drugs already are, because of the 'Bolar' exemption, set out in section 60(5)(i) of the Patents Act 1977.


Litigation funding changes should deter meritless claims

From 1 April 2013, changes to the way in which litigation in England and Wales can be funded will see a reduction in the legal costs a losing party to litigation has to pay its opponent.


Guarantee binding despite alleged fraudulent signature

Motor finance companies sometimes take personal guarantees as additional security. Whether a guarantee is enforceable in the event of one signatory not signing as intended will depend on the wording of the guarantee itself.


How do design and copyright interact?

The treatment of design and copyright varies substantially between countries, with much of it driven by jurisprudence rather than legislation. Attorneys in six jurisdictions offer their advice.



Assigning rights away

Finance companies will often enter into debentures to secure funding arrangements without considering whether that may later affect their ability to bring claims against their own debtors in their own right.


When does the clock start running for limitation purposes?

When issuing a claim for breach of contract, it is essential the claim form is issued within the relevant limitation period.


Piercing the corporate veil

When an agreement entered into with a company has to be enforced without personal guarantee backing it up, finance companies may consider looking to the director, or parent company, behind a debtor company for redress.


Lessons from litigation

In any proposal to sell or license an early stage pharma or biotech business or product, valuation will inevitably be the most important and most difficult issue.


Assignee's right to enforce a consumer credit agreement

Motor finance companies sometimes assign finance agreements in default to third party debt purchasers. 


Caught by own conditions?

This case serves as a reminder to lessors to be familiar with their own pro-forma documentation.


The benefit of good housekeeping

Motor finance companies will be aware that claims against them relating to the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI) policies have been rife for a few years now.


Does a charging order offer complete security?

Leasing companies will often consider obtaining a charging order over a debtor's property to secure a judgment obtained when a customer defaults.


Between a rock and a hard place

Money laundering officers (MLOs) in financial institutions will be breathing a sigh of relief following the decision in Shah v HSBC Private Bank (UK) Ltd.


Default notices and termination

This is an update on American Express Services Europe PE Limited v Brandon which featured in Casebook in November 2010. It was a useful case for motor finance companies about a technical error in a Consumer Credit Act default notice.


Costs control in court

Litigation reform Daniel Wood explains Lord Justice Jackson's proposals for 'costs management' rules, now being trialled in the Technology and Construction Court


At last – court looks at good faith in outsourcing contract

Compass Group UK and Ireland Limited (trading as Medirest) and Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (the Trust) entered into a long term outsourcing agreement for the provision of catering services.


The true meaning of contracts

This article looks at a recent case where objective knowledge of the law was attributed to a landlord and tenant and a term implied in the tenancy as a result. It also details previous case law developments relating to contractual interpretation.


The true meaning of contracts

Deciphering the true meaning of contracts is plagued with difficulty. Tensions arise between the presumed objective intention of the parties on the one hand and the commerciality of the transaction on the other.


Don't bank on it

Sarah Dawe explains why changes in the tenancy deposit scheme rules are not all bad news for landlords, but watch out for the transitional provisions.


PPI win for lender

Payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims still regularly come before the courts. A number have involved motor finance transactions where the dealer was the party responsible for selling PPI to the hirer.


Enforceable guarantee by email

In the February edition of Leasing Life, we reviewed the case of Golden Ocean Group Ltd v Salgaocar Mining Industries PVT Ltd and another


When is a 1930 Speed Six not a 1930 Speed Six?

This was the question at the hearing of Brewer v Stanley Mann and Fortis Lease UK Ltd, an oft-discussed case concerning a vintage Bentley bought on hire purchase, which the purchaser alleged was not the car she had been told it was.


End game for excessive litigation costs?

The debate surrounding Lord Justice Jackson's civil litigation reforms has been well documented.


They think it's all over - it isn't now: mediated settlement agreements and mediators in the firing line

The mediation ends in the early hours of the morning with the parties reaching a settlement and there is a collective sigh of relief.


Are you being served?

The courts insist parties abide by the terms of their contract and will be strict about deadlines.


Last known address for serving claim forms

With the £5,000 financial threshold for small claims in the county courts set to increase to £10,000 (and possibly £15,000), more businesses may consider undertaking at least the initial steps of recovering smaller debts themselves.


When is an innocent third-party purchaser not an innocent purchaser?

Motor Finance companies are often faced with claims from individuals claiming to be innocent private purchasers under section 27 of the Hire Purchase Act 1964.


Claims for Compensation Events - how should a Contractor prove its claim for time?

This article was written by Lucinda Robinson, associate in Wragge & Co LLP's Construction and Engineering team and published in the March 2012 edition of Construction Law Journal.


A good deal for landlords?

The government has published proposals on the Green Deal. Lee McBride and Sarah Dawe consider how property investors whose tenants and occupiers want to enter into a deal will be affected.


Contract, what contact?

A crucial element of contract law is an intention by the parties to create legal relations.


The European Commission is reviewing the current rules

On 6 December last year, the European Commission launched a consultation concerning the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (TTBER) and its accompanying guidelines (the Guidelines), which closed on 3 February 2012.


My word is my bond

Motor finance companies sometimes take personal guarantees as extra security on transactions.



Sellers Beware!

The Sale of Goods Act implies certain terms into all sale contracts, one of which is that goods will be of satisfactory quality.


Earn-outs on trial

The recent High Court decision in Porton Capital Technology Funds and others v 3M UK Holdings Limited and another shows that agreeing to an earn-out as part of the purchase price for a business does not always produce the desired result.


Adjudication and Part 8

Faced with an unfavourable adjudicator's decision the paying party usually has two options. To pay up and litigate later; or to raise a jurisdiction challenge in front of the judge when the decision is enforced.


Creditor entitled to be first past the post

Whether a finance company can collect on a finance agreement debt may depend on whether the debtor is insolvent, and if not, how quickly it can take enforcement action.


Keeping the costs of small claims down

Any monetary claim which has a financial value of £5,000 or less will generally be allocated to the small claims track (court). In this track, the strict rules of evidence and procedure do not apply and the trial (or final hearing) is relatively informal.


Any way, any time, any order

The case of White v Davenham Trust Ltd has reaffirmed that a creditor can choose its own method of enforcing a debt which has been guaranteed by an individual even though it continues to hold security for that debt from the principal debtor.


Fit for purpose

The Court of Appeal recently reminded us of the application of the statutorily implied term regarding the fitness for purpose of goods, which is important to finance companies where dealers arrange the financing of the vehicles they supply.


The public procurement and competition implications of the government's health reforms: who should we believe?

38 degrees is campaigning hard this week with e-mails to members of the public urging them to persuade their MPs to vote against the Health and Social Care Bill (the Bill).


PI cover proves essential for healthcare providers

Chris Finney warns the number of clinical negligence claims is on the increase.


Execution and delivery of deeds - Are we all on the same page?

Baljit Chohan and Andrew Platt examine the law and practice relating to the execution and delivery of deeds.


Power to the arbitrator

There is limited scope to challenge an award under the Arbitration Act 1996. Anne Waltham and Paul Barker examine the issues and review the decision in Cordoba v Ballymore.


Unfair terms in consumer contracts

In the Office of Fair Trading v Ashbourne Management Services Ltd, the court looked at standard form contracts relating to minimum membership periods, cancellation and debt collection.


Do I not like that

Negative declarations are becoming more and more popular it seems in construction particularly in adjudications.


The challenge of competitive neutrality in public procurement and competition policy: the U.K. health sector as case study

Competitive neutrality describes the aim of a level playing field in mixed public/private markets, where state-owned or quasi-public bodies line up to compete with private sector companies.


Practical completion pitfalls

Practical completion is a concept that can throw up a number of difficulties, not least that of establishing what the term actually means. Suffice to say that whether or not a set of works is practically complete is a matter of fact and degree.


Practical completion pitfalls

Parties can inadvertently put themselves at risk by having discrepant practical completion provisions in building contracts and related commercial agreements.


Why competition still has its place in NHS

There have been some misunderstandings in the Health Bill debate on the role of competition law in the NHS. Simon Taylor sets out a few clarifications to help inform the ongoing debate.


Attention for pillars two and three

Pillars 2 and 3 of the Solvency II regime will bring significant changes to the way insurers run their businesses, but have not been the subject of the same levels of debate as Pillar 1.


Judgment in favour of developers

Sally Farrall exposes the problems inherent in attempting to register land as a village green when it has already been appropriated by a local authority for planning purposes.


Bribery Act 2010 - an update on adequate procedures

Implementation of the Act was delayed due to provide guidance on certain provisions of the Act that were raised as concerns during the consultation process. That guidance has now been issued and the Act comes into force on 1 July.


Sub-sales in the spotlight

With HMRC's attentions focused on sub-sale arrangements, Lee Nuttall reviews the findings of the recent decision DV3.


Complex structure theory unresolved

In Construction Law we examined the scope of a builder's duty in tort not to cause 'pure economic loss' (or financial loss) in anticipation of the eagerly awaited decision in Linklaters Business Services v Sir Robert McAlpine.


PPI mis-selling decisions in lenders' favour

There has been a further spate of judgments in recent months arising out of the high volume of payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims being brought against lenders.


Firms must comply with Solvency II equivalence

Very little has been written about Solvency II equivalence, reports Chris Finney, of the Financial Services team at Wragge & Co LLP.


Company and business names: don't get caught out

There are relatively few statutory restrictions on the names that can be used by businesses in the UK. This is certainly true in comparison with the large number of names that cannot be used because they are protected by intellectual property rights. 


Vicarious liability for employee's deceit

This month's case review is a salutary tale that will be of interest to dealerships and finance companies alike.


Finance company is not a private purchaser

The court has confirmed a business that provides finance to consumers, and enters into a bill of sale over a vehicle as security for that finance, is not a private purchaser under the Hire Purchase Act 1964 (HPA).



With penalties for fossil fuel and incentives for a plentiful supply of low-carbon generation, the government is going for radical change in the electricity market. Derek Goodban and Gus Wood explain the proposals.



Economic loss and complex structures

The scope of a builder's duty in tort not to cause 'pure economic loss' has fast become one of the most talked about legal issues in the construction industry.


Adequate procedures needed to prevent bribery

When the Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) comes into force in April 2011, motor finance companies, their directors, mangers and senior officers need to be aware of the penalties for failing to implement adequate procedures to prevent bribery.


Guidelines on outsourcing issued by the Data Protection Authority

The French data protection authority, the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des liberte's (CNIL), published guidelines on outsourcing on October 11, 2010.


All will be revealed

Soon after moving into Downing Street, David Cameron called for more government transparency. Kirsten Whitfield looks at the steps that are being taken to realise his vision.


Technical defect not fatal to default notice

A minor technical defect in a default notice will not necessarily assist a debtor in invalidating the notice if it can be shown that the debtor has suffered no prejudice as a result of the non-compliance.


HRA 1998: irreversible?

John Cooper & Chris Warburton reflect on the future of the Human Rights Act.


A new plan for energy regulation

For those of a certain age, the idea of regulating the gas and electricity industry by reference to a national development plan might seem an unattractive throwback to the 1960s.


Fishing for evidence not permitted

The court has confirmed it will not assist would-be claimants to obtain evidence to try to substantiate wholly speculative claims.


New penalties for inaccurate returns

SDLT may only be approaching its seventh anniversary, but it has already been subjected to various changes, both through SDLT-targeted measures, and also as part of a wider programme of consolidation and harmonisation across a range of taxes.


High Court victory on PPI mis-selling claim

In Black Horse Ltd v Speak, the lender advanced the sum of £7,012.39 to the defendants pursuant to a regulated consumer credit agreement.


Incoterms 2010 - Making trading easier

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) launched the new Incoterms 2010 rules (the new rules) in Paris on 16 September 2010.



Debtor fails to win on technicality

In what might be perceived as a further 'try on' by claims management companies, the court has once again taken a robust view in favour of the lender.


Cost on discontinuance of claim

When a claimant discontinues its claim, the usual position is that it has to pay the defendant's reasonable legal costs. This is the general presumption under the Civil Procedure Rules and applies unless there is good reason for it not to.


Don't dodge the drafting

Land Registry restrictions Often used in connection with developments to restrict the registration of dispositions, these can be useful but, as Julia McNaught explains, only if they are used correctly.


Hot stuff

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is billed by the UK government as the first of its kind: a support tariff for renewable heat.


Contractual right to costs in the small claims track

Finance companies often find themselves litigating in the small claims track. 


Goodbye Tolent clause, hello Scheme

For the past ten years contracts providing for one party to pay not only its own costs but also the other side's costs in an adjudication (whatever the outcome) have been accepted in the construction industry. Why shouldn't this be the case?


Lenders beware

The decision of the Court of Appeal in Shah & another v HSBC Private Bank (UK) Ltd (HSBC) will give lenders cause for concern.


Unfair relationship applies to live agreements only

In the case of Soulsby and Soulsby v FirstPlus Financial Group Plc (1) and Limited (2), FirstPlus advanced money to the claimants under three successive written credit agreements arranged via a broker.


Settlements: drafting watertight agreements

Anyone sensible that is involved in a dispute will want to try and settle a claim. This has been one of the principles behind the development of methods of alternative dispute resolution (and, in particular, mediation) in the UK over the last 20 years.


Renewable energy incentives

The Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme and the Landfill Tax Accelerator are the cornerstones of UK waste policy, and will continue to be the primary factors underpinning any residual waste treatment project.


Finance company loses out on title fight

There has been a Court of Appeal decision involving Section 27 of the Hire Purchase Act 1964, one of the exceptions to the nemo dat quod non habet principle of English law, that no one can pass better title to goods than they possess.


The Walker Report and the revised UK Corporate Governance Code – what does this mean for the pension scheme trustee?

In this article Vivien Cockerill takes a look at the issues faced by trustees and their advisers in light of the Walker Report and the revised Corporate Governance Code, the extent to which these issues will affect them and how they should respond.


Reconstituted agreement suffices

In the latest in a line of decisions in favour of finance companies engaged in writing Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) regulated business, the High Court has provided further guidance arising out of s78 CCA request for information.


Litigation costs - change is in the air: Lord Justice Jackson's final report on civil litigation costs

Anyone involved in civil litigation needs to be aware of Lord Justice Jackson's recent report on civil litigation costs. If implemented, the proposals could result in widespread reform in the way litigation is paid for.


Voluntary v compulsory liquidation

An agreement with a company has gone into arrears. The vehicles may or may not have been sold. The company has placed itself into voluntary liquidation. Can the finance company take steps to protect itself?



Public Procurement - the new Remedies Directive

On 20 December 2009, the Public Contracts (Amendments) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2992) (2009 Regulations) will come into force, implementing the Remedies Directive in England and Wales.


Creditors' rights not extinguished

Last month, I reported on the OFT draft guidance note on how to comply with duties to give debtors and hirers copy documents and statements of account following requests under sections 77 - 79 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. There has now been a case.


The early bird

The recession and funding cuts may finally increase the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques by local authorities. Kathy Garside explains what is involved with early neutral evaluation.


Guidance on giving information

Readers are likely to have seen an increase in requests for information under sections 77(1), 78(1) and 79(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act).


It's a matter of timing

Securing judgments by way of charging orders over property is a popular way for finance companies to enforce against debtors. Often, this process is a race against time before a bankruptcy or winding-up order is made.


"Without prejudice"

The use of the words "without prejudice" on correspondence or in a meeting where there is a "dispute" over a finance agreement can potentially lull the parties into a false sense of security.


Justice trumps ability to pay

Finance agreements with a debtor company are often backed by personal guarantees from the directors of the company. If insolvency proceedings are contemplated, you need to consider whether you could bring the same action against the principal debtor.


DC Trustees under attack?

Most active members of occupational pension arrangements are building up benefits on a DC basis.


Cloud computing: the journey has just begun

The term 'cloud' can be interpreted as a reference to the cloud symbol frequently used in network diagrams to represent the Internet. The expression cloud computing refers to a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided as a service.


Personal data security breach management: checklist

This checklist provides a summary of the relevant action points following the discovery of a breach of personal data security.


Personal data security breach management in the public sector

This Practice note considers UK data protection laws and guidance on personal data security breach management in the public sector.


'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum': Where to Turn for a Remedy Before Arbitration Proceedings Have Commenced, EDO Corpn v Ultra Electronics Ltd

Comparing the respective approaches of major institutions to pre-arbitration measures in light of the case of EDO Corporation -v- Ultra Electronics Ltd. The article provides practical guidance for practioners and clients alike.


That old chestnut!

Guarantee or indemnity? A guarantee is a promise to answer for the debt of another who remains primarily liable, the liability of the guarantor being secondary. However, with an indemnity, the surety assumes primary liability.


A Budget for real estate?

On Wednesday 22 April Chancellor Alistair Darling made his second, and one of the most eagerly awaited, Budget statements. A top rate of income tax at 50% ... A diminution in the value of personal allowances ...


Unfair terms in consumer contracts

In consumer contracts entered into on a business's standard terms, the court can find on a claim by an individual consumer that a term is unreasonable and unenforceable as against that particular consumer.


Pensions Buy-Out: Deal or no deal?

This paper considers the buy-out process from the perspective of trustees of UK occupational pension schemes. It considers the decisions faced by trustees and the legal factors which trustees need to consider before and during the buy-out process.


Debt Relief Orders - the essentials

Individuals unable to pay their debts have an additional form of debt relief available to them following the introduction of the Debt Relief Order (DRO) on 6 April 2009.


Intervening bankruptcy fails to thwart charging order

When an individual is made bankrupt or a company is wound up, any dissipation of assets, or enforcement proceedings completed after the date of the presentation of the petition are liable to be set aside (s 346 Insolvency Act 1986 (IA)).


On the record

If an army marches on its stomach then it is equally correct that the effective administration of a pension scheme relies heavily on the quality of its membership database.


The sustainability of the Local Government Pension Scheme

It is only a matter of time before the focus of elected members and council tax payers returns to the sustainability and affordability of the Local Government Pension Scheme as a defined benefit scheme.


Payment by instalments

In these difficult financial times it is not unusual for a debtor to ask for additional time to pay outstanding finance instalments, or any judgment that might have been obtained against him.


Open source software: the top 10 open source licences

Andrew Katz wrote an excellent article on the subject Open Source: An Opening Resource. This article drills down into one of the significant issues identified in Andrew's article, namely "loads of different licences".


Now you're asking for it...

Credit insurance shortage will bring down SMEs" ran a headline in last month's Building (12 December). The report went on to highlight the reluctance of many banks and insurers to provide performance bonds for smaller contractors.


Demands and performance bonds

"Credit insurance shortage will bring down SMEs" ran a headline in last month's Building (12 December). The report went on to highlight the reluctance of many banks and insurers to provide performance bonds for smaller contractors.


Funding options for litigation

Conditional fee agreements (CFAs), often combined with insurance policies, have been used in the personal injury market for a number of years to enable parties to bring claims in circumstances where they might otherwise be unable to afford to do so.


Charging orders remain enforceable indefinitely

Having obtained a judgment following default in payment of a finance agreement, the obtaining of a charging order over the debtor's property is an effective way of ensuring that the judgment is secured and that payment will be made.


Pharmaceutical patents need a new lease of life

Patrick Duxbury and Emma Tuck ask whether the increasing cost of drug development, and the declining numbers of drugs being approved, mean that IP protection for life science products should be reevaluated.



Public sector pensions: the storm clouds gather

Apparently computerised modelling programmes predicted that the type of global financial circumstances recently encountered would only occur once in every 10,000 years.


Guarantees - business or consumer?

Business loans guaranteed by individuals involved in the management of the business are not caught by the UTCCR. Such guarantors are unlikely to be able to prove that the terms of such a guarantee are unreasonable and so unenforceable.


No HPI registration? No problem

Although it is standard practice for finance companies to register their interests on the HPI register, the case of Industrial & Corporate Finance Ltd v Wyder Group Ltd confirmed that there is no legal duty to do so.


The Reluctant Litigator

Getting someone else to fight your PFI dispute battles for you can be uncomfortable for both parties – name-borrowing may be a better solution all round.


Serving proceedings

Lenders issuing and serving proceedings need to be aware of the changes to the rules on service of proceedings in England and Wales which came into effect on 1 October 2008.


Ombudsman complaints

If consumers' complaints cannot be resolved to their satisfaction by the body complained of, they have the right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.


Settlement by cashing cheque

When attempting to negotiate repayment from a debtor, it might initially appear attractive to accept and bank a cheque offered in payment and then pursue the debtor for the remainder.


Conversion for wrongful retention

A recent case has restated the basic principles of a claim in conversion fir wrongful retention of goods.


PFI: Opportunity still knocks

The risks for contractors and subcontractors in PFI are not to be underestimated. The trick is to understand what these risks are, and to be bold about pricing for them.


Preparing for the PPF - The foundation for a smooth PPF assessment period

The credit crunch is biting ... your scheme's sponsoring employer is facing insolvency ... what can the trustees and advisors do before the insolvency to lay the foundations for a smooth PPF (Pension Protection Fund) assessment period?


Ignorance is bliss: but it's no defence

With the OFT breathing down our necks, it would be wise not to get caught out on competition rules because you didn't know they existed.


Civil Procedure Rules

A new pre-action protocol for general litigation claims is likely to be added to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) that govern litigation in the UK.Read what this could mean for motor finance companies.


Search engine sponsored links - developments for trade mark owners

Recently Google announced it had revised its Trademarks Adwords Policy in respect of the UK and Ireland. It would no longer investigate complaints by trade mark owners relating to the selection of their marks by third parties as keywords.


No contractual effect

In ING Lease (UK) Ltd v Harwood a director unsuccessfully attempted to escape liability under a personal guarantee by alleging an agreement had been reached in negotiations that he would not be personally liable.


So, what's the damage?

Construction companies accused by the OFT will be wondering how bad things are going to be for them. Here's the answer.


Is Ofgem fit for purpose?

Utility regulation as we know it in Great Britain has been one of the most effective public policy innovations of the past 30 years.


Comparative advertising trumps trade marks rights

On the last day of January 2008 Advocate General Mengozzi delivered his opinion in the O2 Holdings Limited & O2 (UK) Limited v Hutchinson 3G UK Limited litigation .


It's still my property!

In Schwarzschild v Harrods Ltd, the court confirmed that for a claim in conversion to arise, there has to be both an unequivocal demand for delivery up and an unequivocal refusal to do so.


Why all brand owners should be worried by Advocate General

On 31 January 2008, Advocate General Mengozzi delivered his opinion in O2 Holdings Limited & O2 (UK) Limited v Hutchison 3G UK Limited (Case C 533/06).


Consumer or business contract?

Clarification from the Court of Appeal in Evans v Cherry Tree Finance Ltd & Anor, concerning consumer and business contracts.


Get the basics right

The case of County Leasing Ltd and another v East is a reminder of the need to get the simple things right when enforcing hire-purchase and loan agreements, such as calculations of arrears and demands for payment, even the agreements are unregulated.


Changing with the times

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is certainly true of pensions. No longer is it the sleepy backwater of the financial world, but it continues to be high profile with new developments worthy of leading articles in the press.


Holding the ring

Ian Yule discusses the legal issues regarding the project manager's duty to act fairly and impartially.


Dishonest valuations - lender wins mortgage fraud case

A look at a case showing an increasingly robust judicial attitude benefiting lenders.


Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Management Building Contract

The concept of the management contract has come in for a lot of flak from a lot of critics in the past but the new JCT model is certainly the best in class.


Fraudulent misrepresentation

Renault UK Ltd v Fleetpro Technical Services Ltd & Anor is an interesting case. It confirms that fraudulent misrepresentations can be made to a machine such that, if loss is suffered as a result, a claim in damages can be brought.


Limit to ROT reach

ROT clauses are often found in agreements for the sale of goods whereby a seller seeks to reserve the ownership of those goods until certain conditions are met, usually payment in full. However, they may not be suitable in every transaction.


Bear in mind the 12 year rule

Usually, a mortgagee has 12 years from the date on which the right of action accrued to take action under its security; and after the expiry of that period, will be 'time barred' under the Limitation Act 1980 from taking steps to enforce its security.


That's all folks

If a home is built defectively, but the owners can still live in it, what compensation can they claim from the house builder for their loss of enjoyment?


Patent pools in the pharmaceutical industry – sink or swim?

Patent pools as a tool for the collective management of intellectual property rights are not a new concept.


An increasingly uneasy relationship - the English courts and the European Court of Justice in trade mark disputes

There is now a plethora of Directives intended to harmonize the national intellectual property legislation of the EU Member States.


Capitalising on nostalgia, re-awakening and exploiting long unused brands

In a challenging competitive marketplace, the importance of brands and how they make consumers feel and respond is becoming ever more important.


Surrendering life policies to aid mortgage arrears can still lead to posession

Wragge & Co's experts look at Mr & Mrs Banfield v Leeds Building Society, which saw an unhappy Christmas for the Banfields. This was due to the dismissal of their appeal by the Court of Appeal in relation to a Possession Order granted in LBS' favour.


Time is running out

If a home is built defectively, but the owners can still live in it, what compensation can they claim from the housebuilder for their loss of enjoyment?


Damages for fraudulent misrepresentation as to ability to supply cars

The case of Parallel Imports (Europe) Ltd  (T/A Baglan Car Centre) v Radivan & Anor is a reminder to dealers that care needs to be exercised where there is a history of trading with a supplier.


Title disputes

Fairfax Gerrard Holdings Ltd and others v Capital Bank Plc (now Bank of Scotland Plc by substitution) is a reminder that retention of title clauses are a clumsy and unreliable method of taking security over an asset, including over motor vehicles.


No infringement unless the sign indicates origin? Clairty and the Celine case

In the article "Here we go again...Trademark Use" Carina Badger expressed the view that, in light of the Opel decision, the European Court of Justice now always requires use of the offending sign to establish infringement.


Court of Appeal decides on bankruptcy and marital breakdown

The New Year sees an important decision in relation to two of the competing modern day realities: financial difficulties and marital breakdown. 



CDM mobilisation

The new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 require the client to allow a mobilisation period to each principal contractor. We explain this new requirement and provide some practical advice to ensure compliance with this provision.


Promotional literature and directors' warranties

Wragge & Co takes a look at the legal implications of statements made in a company's promotional literature used to attract customers.


That's better but not by much

The RIBA standard form has been revised and two particularly irksome clauses have been amended. But don't go overboard. It is still biased in favour of architects. "Go bespoke" seems to be the message.


Bankruptcy and its impact on property ownership

Fiona Hayles, associate at Wragge & CO LLP Solicitors, discusses two very different cases illustrating the varied impact of bankruptcy in the property arena.


Patent misuse in the pharmaceutical industry: developments in US & EU

The pharmaceutical industry has been scrutinized closely by competition authorities and Courts in the US and Europe.


Who owns what share of the home

In Stack v Dowden, the House of Lords handed down a judgement setting out the rights of ownership in relation to a marital home following the marriage breakdown. Wragge & Co's experts look at the Court's attitude to the division of property ownership.


Bankruptcy and matrimonial court orders

In Scottish & Newcastle plc v Lancashire Mortgage Corporation Limited, both companies had registered legal charges over 109 Wellington Street, Grimsby (the Property) which was owned by Mr & Mrs Pexman.


Counting the costs

Failure by a party to a dispute to reasonably consider alternative dispute resolution procedures (ADR), including mediation, can result in severe cost sanctions being imposed by the court. Wragge & Co provide expert material on this issue.


VFS Financial Services (UK) Limited v Euro Auctions & Others Limited

This article analyses a case about the correct measure of damages payable to a finance company whose goods have been unlawfully converted by a third party.


Comparative advertising

The Misleading Advertising Directive as amended by the Comparative Advertising Directive is due to be repealed at the end of this year and will be replaced by the Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive.


A little light relief

SOPC4: What are the main changes that affect the building contractor?


Legal Business arbitration report, May 2007

Arbitration disputes are increasingly ending up in court, raising questions as to whether this  pays proper regard to the wishes of the parties and the message the courts ought to give when faced with invitations to adjudicate arbitration issues.


Patent entitlement: when inventions become monsters

Never has the commercial value of patents been so well understood in the business community as in recent years.


Room for improvement

On 6 December 2006, the long-awaited Gowers Review of intellectual property in the United Kingdom was finally published.

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