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Law Commission – e-signatures

 It would be easy to dismiss the above case as merely a HC judgment. However, the decision reflects the general direction of travel regarding electronic signatures. The Law Commission has recently confirmed that electronic signatures can be used to sign formal legal contracts under English law.
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Electronic signatures – valid?

 A recent HC judgment should strike fear into the hearts of property lawyers. 
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Injunctions against persons unknown – use in fraud cases

We reported in our September 2019 edition (p25) about the use of injunctions against persons unknown as a potential remedy in trespass cases. An article discusses the use of this remedy in a recent case involving ‘push payment fraud’.
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Buyout obligation - not triggered until price determined

The CA has reached a common-sense decision in relation to buying out an outgoing partner's share. The case involved a family-owned agricultural partnership agreement which provided that on retirement or death of a partner, the ongoing partners would buy out the outgoing share by the mechanism of a put and call option. The partnership agreement required an initial upfront payment followed by the balance in instalments. The first instalment was to be paid approximately four months after the departure of the outgoing partner but if unpaid the entire balance would become immediately repayable.

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Contracts – implied terms

We reported in our March 2019 edition (p2) on the case of Wells v Devani [2019] in which the SC confirmed that it will imply a term into a contract to give it business efficacy.
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Companies House – proposed changes

The 2017 national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing identified that the formation of trusts and companies is being used to ‘facilitate high-end money laundering by hiding beneficial ownership, undermining due diligence checks and frustrating law enforcement investigations. 
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Arbitration proceedings – extensions of time?

The CA has permitted a claim for arbitration to be issued out of time, which is unusual. The terms under which a dispute may be referred to arbitration will be set out in the arbitration agreement, many of which contain a strict time limit for issuing a claim. Often the time can be as little as 14 to 28 days, which can be onerous especially if the proceedings are an appeal. This can lead to claims being issued out of time, typically if the time limits are not clear.
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Guarantees – test extended

A recent HC case considered the common situation where a company director gave personal guarantees in relation to loans provided to a limited company (interestingly, a law firm which had gone into liquidation).
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Disclosure letter – can be rectified

When the shares, business or assets of a private limited company are sold, the seller prepares a disclosure letter which includes general and specific disclosures regarding the warranties that the seller is giving in the share purchase agreement (SPA). Usually the buyer agrees that the seller will not be liable for breach of warranty in relation to matters contained in the disclosure letter.
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Social media – beware defamatory statements

The SC has held that the context in which words are used in relation to defamation proceedings is essential.

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Most-read articles

LPAs – gifts by attorneys
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Giving attorneys the power under an LPA to make gifts to others and themselves can invalidate it, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has ruled in a test case. The law limits the power of... Read more...
VAT and disbursements – Law Society guidance
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The Law Society has issued a detailed new practice note ‘VAT Treatment of Disbursements and Expenses’ (8 October 2019) following two recent cases in which the concept of disbursements has been... Read more...
Socialising with colleagues – a thing of the past?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 It is not the role of The Practical Lawyer to judge. But firms would be well advised to re-visit their attitude to lawyers socialising with each other following a recent high-profile case of the... Read more...
Trial bundles – careful preparation required
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Rather like buses, one waits for judicial comment on court documents and trial bundles, and then two come along at once. An article discusses a recent case in which the court was unimpressed with the... Read more...
Infant approval hearing – top tips
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the... Read more...
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – fully into force
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
We have reported in our March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28) editions on the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force for new tenancies and licences to occupy on 1 June 2019. The Act... Read more...
CVA – use to reduce rent
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 If a limited company is insolvent, it can use a CVA to pay creditors over a fixed period. If creditors agree, the limited company can continue trading. The CVA has been used by companies in the... Read more...
Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The HC has considered whether or not to correct a mistake on a registered title. Under Sch 4 LRA 2002 the court can order rectification but no order may be made without the proprietor’s consent in... Read more...
Paternity – best interests
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
What’s the court’s approach to paternity cases when the issue arises years after the child’s birth, and in circumstances where both child and F always believed F was the biological father, but... Read more...
Religious beliefs – not always protected
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
The ET has heard an interesting case relating to a person’s religious beliefs. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced... Read more...

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