One question too many

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 in General, Lawspeak

It is an old maxim of barristers that you should not ask a witness a question in court to which you do not already know the answer. We are also told that we are our own worst lawyers. Both principles proved to be very true in the following record of a U.S. criminal case, much to the loss of the accused: United States Court of Appeals District ofColumbia Circuit. Joseph NANCE, Appellant,v.UNITED STATES of America, Appellee. Defendant was...

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What does “success” mean?

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 in Bugg’s Boilerplate, General

In the recent case of Edmond de Rothschild Securities (UK) Ltd v Exillon Energy Plc in the Queen’s Bench Division (Commercial Court) [2014] EWHC 2165 (Comm) the court had to deal with the interpretation (construction) of contract language for the purpose of deciding when a “success fee” was due. The court held in this case that the correct construction of a contract for the provision of corporate advisory and strategy services meant that...

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September 2014

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 in General, Lawspeak

It is a common device (and incentive) in the business world to provide for success fees in the event of certain results occurring. But does the performing party have to demonstrably cause such events? Could we claim a success fee for the sun rising in the morning? A recent English High Court case approaches this matter as a question of contract interpretation in a business context. Miscellaneous: Lawyers ask questions all the time. That is...

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