A party could not rely on a contractual term where it was both “onerous” and “buried” within standard terms that were incorporated by reference

The High Court has held that, while the claimant’s standard terms were incorporated by reference into a signed contract, a term that required the defendant to pay cancellation fees was not incorporated as it was onerous and the claimant had not done enough to draw the defendant’s attention to it: Blu-Sky Solutions Ltd v Be … Read more

High Court grants summary judgment in claim for rent accrued during periods of Covid closure, rejecting defences based on implied terms and “failure of basis”

The High Court has granted summary judgment to the landlord of commercial premises in a claim for arrears of rent and service charges due since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic: London Trocadero (2015) LP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd [2021] EWHC 2591 (Ch). This case is another example of the court’s approach to applying legal … Read more

Commercial litigation podcast series – Episode 10: General update

In this 10th episode of our series of commercial litigation update podcasts, we give an update on recent developments relating to privilege, the disclosure pilot, representative actions, and two recent Supreme Court decisions on liquidated damages and lawful act economic duress respectively. This episode is hosted by Anna Pertoldi, a partner in our litigation team, … Read more

High Court finds settlement agreement released unknown fraud claims despite absence of express words covering fraud

The High Court has interpreted the contractual release in a settlement agreement as extending to unknown claims based on dishonesty and fraud, despite the terms of the release not expressly referring to such claims. The claimant was therefore precluded from pursuing further claims alleging deliberate wrongdoing following the receipt of what it said was new … Read more

High Court draws adverse inferences from failure to call relevant witness, and finds default interest clause to be an unenforceable penalty

The High Court has rejected a claim for misrepresentation, finding that although a fraudulent misrepresentation had been made, it had not induced the claimant to enter into the transaction: Ahuja Investments Ltd v Victorygame Ltd [2021] EWHC 2382 (Ch). The court’s finding as to (lack of) inducement was based in large part on the claimant’s … Read more

High Court finds acceleration clause is susceptible to rule on penalties, but declines to apply the rule as the amounts in question were payable in any event under a separate clause

In a recent judgment, the High Court held that a clause in a settlement agreement requiring immediate payment of all outstanding amounts in the event of a late payment (an acceleration clause) was capable of falling within the penalty doctrine, but an obligation to pay a daily sum accruing pro rata on any outstanding amounts … Read more

High Court finds buyer not entitled to reject off-spec oil

A recent High Court decision has given a helpful analysis of the consequences that follow from delivering off-specification oil: Galtrade Limited v BP Oil International Limited [2021] EWHC 1796 (Comm). The underlying facts of the case come up quite often in practice, although reported decisions are less frequent. A seller delivered off-spec hydrocarbons (in this … Read more

High Court finds clause in supplier’s standard terms and conditions was unreasonable for purposes of Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

In a recent decision, the High Court found that a supplier’s standard terms and conditions had been incorporated by reference into the contract, but an exclusion clause in those terms and conditions failed to satisfy the requirement of reasonableness under s.11 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (“UCTA”): Phoenix Interior Design Ltd v Henley … Read more