What is “gross” when it comes to contracts?

Posted on Nov 22, 2017 in Bugg’s Boilerplate, General, Seminars

English law consists of various areas of law with different theories of liability. Under the Law of Torts, there is traditionally no difference between “gross” negligence and  simple negligence: Wilson v Brett (1843) 11 M&W 113. However, under Crminal Law “gross” negligence will attract criminal liability but negligence by itself is normally not sufficient for a criminal offence. And, under Contract Law if an...

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A judicial mix: English Language and German Law

Posted on Nov 16, 2017 in Bugg’s Boilerplate

English is undoubtedly the most common language of cross-border business. However, if a contract has a jurisdiction clause (also a “forum” or “venue” clause) selecting a non-common law jurisdiction, such as Germany, English cannot normally be used as the language of court proceedings. Thus, if the parties agree on the jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Germany, the rule is that German procedural law (ZPO) and the...

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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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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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