Contracts and the never-ending story of Brexit

Posted on Oct 5, 2017 in Bugg’s Boilerplate, General

The political, social and financial impact of the outcome of the so-called “Brexit Referendum” (with the resulting political mayhem) will no doubt continue the nightmare of uncertainty over several years, if not decades, to come. But business people have a fundamental need to “keep calm and carry on”. That must be reflected in commercial contracts. Without even really knowing at this stage what exactly...

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No offence intended, but…

Posted on Sep 11, 2017 in General, Seminars

Legal work has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Not only the developing areas of  IT and IP law, human rights, data protection and privacy rights and international law have confronted us with challenges. But also how  we work. My leather desk diary has long beeen replaced by an electronic component to office software. Letters and documents sent by post are becoming very scarce. Even faxes are in rapid decline. Emails and IT data...

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Lost for Words or Lost in Words?

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 in Background, General

Modern legal language, especially when used in contracts, is supposed to be simple in structure and comprehensible to the parties involved. A recent case in India, reported by the BBC, shows us why. The Supreme Court apparently sent back an incomprehensible judgment from a high court judge in the state of Himachal Pradesh for re-drafting because it was simply unintelligible. Even a generous sprinkling of lawyer’s Latin in the sentences...

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How much? Assessing Damages for NDA Breach

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 in Background, Bugg’s Boilerplate, General

Once you prove a contract breach by the other party, you can always ask for damages, but how much will you get? In the High Court a £15 million contract claim has recently been reduced to a mere £2! Generally, under English contract law damages must be based on the loss (so-called “reliance” or “expectation” damages) resulting from breach or a contract not being duly performed. Furthermore, English contract law now...

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Friends at Last: Textualism and Contextualism

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Background, Bugg’s Boilerplate, General, Lawspeak

English Law and Interpreting Contracts The latest UK Supreme Court decision  (Wood v Capita Insurance Services Ltd [2017] UKSC 24) shows how far the courts have travelled with their jurisprudence over the decades when its comes to contract interpretation. In English law the interpretation (“construction”) of a contract is a matter of law. The long legal journey started with the orthodox or “objective” approach set out in...

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Having Translation Nightmares ? German Law Contracts in English

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Background, General, Lawspeak, Seminars

Translators beware! Your time is running out… Last chance for this year! On 28-29th April I will be holding a specialist two-day workshop designed not only for lawyers but also for translators and all those working with commercial contracts in English. The meeting is intended to deal with the language and legal problems encountered when trying to put German contracts into English. (Not all the answers are in the internet or the...

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Confidentiality and Damages – the saga continues

Posted on Mar 3, 2017 in Background, Bugg’s Boilerplate, General, Lawspeak

Following on from my comments in February (“Mum’s Liquidated Damages”), we are again dealing of with the issue of whether enforceable damages claims in English law can be somehow based on pre-estimated or “hypothetical” loss. In other words, can you claim for damages for breach of confidentiality even if there is no actual damage that can be established in a particular case? The white knight of the High Court in...

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The First Costs of Brexit

Posted on Feb 14, 2017 in Background, General

The high drama of Brexit-related events is already having an impact in the English courts.   In the recent case of Elkamet Kunststofftechnik GmbH v Saint-Gobain Glass France SA [2016] EWHC 3421 (Patent Court) a German company prevailing in a High Court patent claim also successfully obtained compensation for the dramatic fall of the British pound following the so-called “Brexit” referendum.   Although the United Kingdom’s...

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