Posts Categorized: Company and Commercial

Breach of Contract – Court Takes Commercial Approach

Making the right decisions in the immediate aftermath of a breach of contract is of critical importance and, at such knife-edge moments, legal advice is essential. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a High Court case concerning an abortive deal to ship 4,500 metric tonnes of biofuel. An oil trader… Read more »

Facing Financial Difficulties? Early Advice Essential

Financial problems are very common and often mark a low in people’s lives. However, as one High Court case showed, it is no good burying your head in the sand: taking professional advice at an early stage can bring peace of mind and save you money in the long run. The case concerned a businessman… Read more »

Insurance Company Need Not Disclose Cover

Winning a legal case is one thing. Getting paid is quite another, so it makes good sense to do your homework on a defendant to make sure that they are ‘good for the money’ before you undertake litigation. Much information is available. Credit ratings can be ascertained, and company accounts can be obtained from Companies… Read more »

Supreme Court Upholds Reality Principle in Property Valuation

Property valuations can be a live issue for many reasons, not just on sale. Differences of opinion on the value put on property when businesses are being broken up are common, insurers are known to contest claims if a property is wrongly valued, and a revaluation can prop up a sagging balance sheet. However, on… Read more »

Commercial Court Imposes Prison Sentences on Uncooperative Directors

The Commercial Court does not take defiance of its orders lightly and has a panoply of powers to enforce obedience. In one case that proved the point, the Court ordered sequestration of an overseas company’s assets and imposed prison sentences on five members of its senior management. In the context of proceedings to enforce an… Read more »

How to Value Company Shares – Court of Appeal Guidance

Valuing shares is notoriously difficult and is generally a matter of taking a reasonable view of what a hypothetical buyer might pay. That was the approach taken by the Court of Appeal in putting a price on a minority shareholding in a holiday park. Following a falling out between the four equal shareholders in the… Read more »

Lack of Clarity Over Farm Ownership Leads to Court Appearance

Clarity in business relations is always important, and making sure that what is thought to be agreed is made legally unequivocal is always good advice. In a recent case, the son of a couple had joined them in their farming partnership. The partnership accounts showed the farm (which was legally owned by the parents) as… Read more »

Pension Protected for Bankrupt

Bankruptcy laws strike a delicate balance between satisfying creditors and enabling debtors to make a clean break so that they can get on with their lives. In one ruling that clarified the law, the Court of Appeal decided that the balance came down in favour of allowing a bankrupt businessman to preserve his private pension…. Read more »

Director Not Liable for Company Insurance Shortfall

When a company received a claim for compensation from an employee who suffered an injury whilst using a circular saw, it became clear that the employer’s liability insurance policy did not cover the risk of the injury: it specifically excluded claims arising from the use of ‘woodworking machinery’. The company went into liquidation and the… Read more »

In Business With a Friend? Don’t Dispense With Formalities

When entering into a business partnership with someone you also consider to be a soulmate, putting in place formal agreements with them can seem inappropriate. However, personal relationships can turn sour and, in one case, the equity in a buy-to-let property was eaten up by the costs of a dispute after a friendship turned to… Read more »