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Japanese tyre and automotive parts manufacturer Bridgestone has threatened to take legal action against a one-man-band flooring company in Herefordshire over use of the ‘Bridgestone’ company name.

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Unpaid debts are an unwelcome hazard of operating in the commercial world. The reality of working life is that operating in the private sphere exposes a business to the risk that their fees will not be paid, or that the terms of an agreement are not honoured. In other words, the business will become a creditor and must attempt to recover commercial debt.

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Whilst Covid-19 may have forced many parts of society to slow down and re-think our approach to all aspects of our lives, recent comments by a number of High Court judges would seem to indicate that this is certainly not happening in civil and commercial litigation. The 3 judges have expressed their disquiet over the ever increasing pervasiveness of hostile and antagonistic approaches to litigation where every point, good or bad, is taken.

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US-based financial services and card payment corporation Mastercard with global revenues of £12bn are facing a £14bn class action claim for allegedly overcharging over 45 million British consumers during a 15-year period.

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Californian tech giant Apple is facing a class-action legal action over allegations that the Cupertino-based company has followed a programme of software updates that have deliberately resulted in the slowdown of older iPhones.

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French car maker Citroen, part of multinational auto manufacturer PSA Group, has accused a new Swedish manufacturer of infringing copyright through the use of a logo that bears a strong resemblance to the logo the French maker has used for years. 
 
The Swedish brand in question, Polestar, used to be a division of Volvo cars but became an independent brand and business three years ago. Whilst still maintaining close ties with Volvo, Polestar focusses on designing and manufacturing plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. Polestar already has two products that go but the simple names of 1 and 2, but the trademark dispute with Citroën means that they have been unable to sell the vehicles in France. 

The Supreme Court in London is about make its judgement in highly contentious case centred on the rejected business interruption claims that many large insurers have turned down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With large numbers of mainly small businesses reporting problems when claiming on their business insurance policies, the final judgement in the case will have huge implications for over 350,000 businesses involving claims totalling just under £1.3bn.

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New research by GLG that was commissioned by litigation funding specialists Burford Capital shines light onto the increasingly common use of third party litigation funding to resolve business disputes of all types.
GLG approached a cross section of private law firms, in-house legal departments and other related professionals in the USA, UK and Australia, the territories in which use of litigation funding is most prevalent. The law firms surveyed had between 10 and 500 lawyers, whilst the in-house legal professionals were at firms with annual revenues ranging from £80m to over £4bn. Overall, use of litigation funding by private law firms has increased from 37% to 89%, with funding use by in-house teams also doubling over 3 years to 76%.

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Tech giant YouTube is facing a group action claim in the UK over allegations that the Google-owned video sharing platform has violated various privacy and data protection laws. The class action claim, being brought by specialist non-profit international law Hausfeld and Foxglove, accuses YouTube of habitually breaching breaking European data protection laws by unlawfully targeting over four million under thirteen year-olds with addictive programming whilst also gathering their data for use in targeted advertisers.

A large scale contract dispute claim has commenced involving a Hull based energy plant and one of its main contractors.

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Engineering and construction firm Bechtel now has a court date set to enable its appeal against the award of the HS2 £1bn Old Oak Common station construction partner contract.

Whilst Covid-19 may have forced many parts of society to slow down and re-think our approach to all aspects of our lives, recent comments by a number of High Court judges would seem to indicate that this is certainly not happening in civil and commercial litigation. The 3 judges have expressed their disquiet over the ever increasing pervasiveness of hostile and antagonistic approaches to litigation where every point, good or bad, is taken.

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As the UK moves ever closer to the end of the Brexit transition period on the 31st December, responses to a recent Ministry of Justice (MOJ) consultation has highlighted the potential for legal chaos if the High Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Court abandon current EU case law.

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A recent decision by the Court of Appeal now means that car making giants Volkswagen will not be able to appeal the decision that it did circumvent EU clean air regulations. The decision is a key preliminary issue in the current class action the German manufacturer is facing.

New data recently published by the The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) has revealed that complaints made against law firms in the UK have seen a 9% increase based on the previous year.

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Business at all levels is underpinned by contracts. These can range from simple verbal agreements for low value transactions through to complex and detailed written agreements between corporations and governments. To save on the risk of future avoidable legal actions, writing a contract that is suitable for the transaction or agreement is key. A contract is a pledge, between two or more parties (be they individuals or organisations), that is legally binding. It is designed to the fulfilment of commitment in exchange for something of value. Whilst some contracts may be made verbally, there are some that must be in writing, such as for a property transaction.

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As part of the UK government’s attempts to speed up the processing of claims that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has recently announced the location of the first ten temporary courts.
Dubbed ‘Nightingale Courts’ after the emergency intensive care hospitals that were set up in record time during the pandemic’s peak, the new, temporary will hopefully be finished and in use by the end of August. The first such court, at East Pallant House in Chichester, Sussex, is due to open by the start of next week. The new locations opening soon are:

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Despite the recent revelations highlighting the extent of the delays and backlog of cases in UK courts, the latest set of financial results by specialist litigation funder Manolette suggests that demand is still increasing and that the litigation funding sector is in rude health, with new enquiry volumes doubling compared to the previous year.

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If you or your business is owed money by another business or individual, you can make an application to a court to claim the money that you are owed. This is known as making a court claim, and depending on your individual circumstances, there are two main types of court that you can register a claim with – the Small Claims Court and the County or High Court.

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Two major dispute resolution organisations are behind this new, low-cost solution: The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). With many courts anticipating a big increase in demand for COVID-19 related commercial litigation, the two organisations have established a value-focussed, fixed cost service for disputes over monetary amounts between £5,000 and £250,000. The online resource offers facilitated negotiation, low-cost arbitration and mediation, and companies can proceed with or without a lawyer. The online resource offers facilitated negotiation, low-cost arbitration and mediation, and companies can proceed with or without a lawyer.

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Latest News

  • Japanese tyre and automotive parts manufacturer Bridgestone has threatened to take legal action against a one-man-band flooring company in Herefordshire over use of the ‘Bridgestone’ company name. The multinational corporation, the world’s second largest tyre manufacturer is headquartered in Kyobashi in Japan, and has production facilities in 24 countries. In contrast, tradesman Andy Bridgewater set up ‘Bridgestone Designs’ in his garden shed having been furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Bridgewater says he retrained to become a resin floor installer and invested all of his savings into setting up Bridgestone Designs two months ago. As a result, and despite the different nature and size of the two businesses, the tyre manufacturer has requested that he change the name of his company or face formal legal proceedings. Mr Bridgewater said that the similarity was pure coincidence. When setting up his business, he used... Read More

  •   Unpaid debts are an unwelcome hazard of operating in the commercial world. The reality of working life is that operating in the private sphere exposes a business to the risk that their fees will not be paid, or that the terms of an agreement are not honoured. In other words, the business will become a creditor and must attempt to recover commercial debt. It is common practice that in exchange for the delivery of a particular service or product, there is payment of a fee. This happens in a variety of contexts: the delivery of goods by a private courier; or the provision of specialist services by an individual of a particular profession or trade. Regardless of the facts, when a product or service has been provided there will be requirement for payment to be given in exchange. However when payment... Read More

  • Whilst Covid-19 may have forced many parts of society to slow down and re-think our approach to all aspects of our lives, recent comments by a number of High Court judges would seem to indicate that this is certainly not happening in civil and commercial litigation. The 3 judges have expressed their disquiet over the ever increasing pervasiveness of hostile and antagonistic approaches to litigation where every point, good or bad, is taken. In the case of Navigator Equities Ltd & Ors v Deripaska from July this year, Mr Justice Andrew Baker said that, in the 30 years in which he had worked in commercial dispute resolution: There has been a significant general increase in hostility and aggressiveness in the conduct of disputes…the taking of any and every point, good or bad, and other failures to display proper independence from the litigating client... Read More