COMMERCIAL CONTRACT DISPUTES

Members of Chambers advise and act in disputes covering a very broad range of commercial contract disputes, often concerning interpretation and rectification.

Typical instructions are in relation to disputes concerning business and asset sales, shareholders agreements, distribution agreements, licensing agreements, franchise agreements, commercial agency agreements, sponsorship agreements, information technology (e.g. supply of software systems).

Such disputes often occur in the context of wider disputes involving the following: commercial fraud, conspiracy, misrepresentation, mistake and parallel equitable claims often involving breach of fiduciary duty and accessory liability.

Members of Chambers also have experience of working as part of a team of Counsel in major cases, on occasion involving specialist practitioners from other sets, for example, where commercial disputes require specialist input in field such as tax or “hard” intellectual property.

Leading cases in which members have appeared are:

  • de Vere Group Limited GmbH v Pearce [2011] EWHC 1240: agency and summary judgment.
  • JR French Ltd v Redbus LMDS Ltd [2006] FSR 13: Licence agreement; prohibitions against assignment; interpretation; mutual and unilateral mistake;
  • My Fotostop Ltd (In Administration) v Fotostop Group Ltd [2007] FSR 17: assignment of intellectual property rights in context of asset sale by administrators of “Snappy Snaps” chain. Leading authority on assignment under Community Trade Mark Regulation.
  • Bottin International Investments Ltd v Venson Group plc [2004] EWCA Civ (CA) [2006] EWHC 3112: whether notice requirements for claim observed;  deceit in relation to share sale agreement.
  • I-Way Limited v World Online Telecom [2002] EWCA Civ 413 (CA); [2004] EWHC 244 (Commercial Court): misrepresentation, implication of terms, estoppel; whether the parties can be bound by a subsequent oral variation notwithstanding clause in written contract which requires amendments to be in writing.
  • Linpac Plastics Ltd v Europlast Mudder GmbH [2001] EWCA Civ 1804 (CA): Distribution Agreement: construction: whether orders for contracts constituted separate contracts or were orders under a global distribution contract.
  • Eurofi Ltd v Teletech UK Ltd [2000] CA 31st July:  Construction of consultancy agreements. Entitlement to commission arising on satisfaction of a contingency: whether satisfied.
  • Thomas Witter & Co Ltd v TBP Industries Ltd [1996] 2 All ER 573: company sale: exclusion of liability or remedies for misrepresentation under s. 1 Misrepresentation Act 1967.

Further, Clive Freedman QC is an editor of Mendelsohn on Franchising Law, the leading work in this area.  He and other members have advised on and appeared in a number of major disputes in this field.