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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Hurry! Masterclass on Contracts Update 2017

Posted on Oct 24, 2017 in General, Seminars

It’s that time of the year again! Some places are still available on my Masterclass Contracts Workshop Update 2017 from 8-9 December in Nürnberg. If you want to review the changes and developments in Common Law Contracts for 2017 (against the backdrop of the medieval city of Nuremberg (Nürnberg) in Advent and the world-famous Christkindlesmarkt!) , this seminar-workshop may be of interest to you. This year I will also be covering a...

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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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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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