Reforms to Brussels Regulation now finalised

On 6 December the Council of EU Justice Ministers adopted proposed reforms to Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Brussels Regulation). The changes had been proposed by… Read more

No property right in the contents of an e-mail

A commercial deal has gone wrong.  Not only has this caused contractual issues but regulatory authorities are now investigating.  Crucial information which would help you is in the hands of someone who used to work for your company, in his… Read more

Our new Practical Guide to Mediation

Herbert Smith Freehills has published a simple guide to the mediation process and what to expect on the day, including a useful flow chart: Practical Guide to Mediation. It is intended principally for non-legal attendees/client representatives and outlines a typical template for a… Read more

No strict liability for accidental fire damage

In the case of Stannard v Gore [2012] EWCA Civ 1248 decided on 4 October 2012, the Court of Appeal considered the basis of liability for damage arising from a fire started on one person's land and escaping to another's. The central… Read more

Government response to proposal for a Common European Sales Law

The Government Response to the European Commission's proposal for a Common European Sales Law ("CESL"), which was published on Tuesday (13 November), has concluded that there are fundamental flaws in both the principle and the practical operation of the CESL.  The… Read more

Supreme Court hearing on jurisdiction issues in VTB Capital

Starting today, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal against the Court of Appeal's judgment in VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corporation and others [2012] EWCA Civ 808). Herbert Smith Freehills is acting for the appellant, VTB, having been instructed at… Read more

Supreme Court hearing in Prudential starts today

The Supreme Court is set to hear Prudential's appeal against the Court of Appeal's much-publicised decision from October 2010 which confirmed that legal professional privilege did not extend to advice on tax law given by accountants, or anyone other than members of the… Read more

Commercial Court upholds “no set-off” clause

In a recent decision, the Commercial Court granted summary judgment on a seller's claim for approximately US$12 million as the price due under a commercial supply contract. The court found that a "no set-off" clause in the seller's standard terms… Read more

Launch of our new ADR blog: “ADR notes”

We have today launched Herbert Smith Freehills' new "ADR notes" blog, which you can find at or via the link in the "HSF blogs" tab in the top menu. ADR notes contains posts on the latest legal and practice developments in relation to mediation,… Read more

50% cap on contingency fees for commercial cases

The government has given further details of its plans to introduce contingency fees, or “damages based agreements” (DBAs), for civil litigation. It has said that in non-personal injury claims (excluding employment tribunal cases) there will be a 50% cap on… Read more

Our new firm: Herbert Smith Freehills

Today has seen the launch of our newly merged firm, which combines the market leading practices of legacy firms Herbert Smith and Freehills. The new firm has 2,800 lawyers, including 460 partners, across 20 offices in Australasia, EMEA, the UK… Read more

Herbert Smith New York opens today

Our New York office opens for business today, 4 September 2012. The office will initially operate as Herbert Smith New York. On 1 October 2012, the official launch date of our merger with leading Australian firm Freehills, it will become part of… Read more

Working party recommends no cap on contingency fees for commercial cases

The working party set up to consider fundamental issues relating to the planned introduction of contingency fees, or “damages based agreements” (DBAs), published its report and recommendations on Friday (3 August). The key recommendations affecting commercial clients are: There should not be a cap… Read more

Endeavours obligations in long term contracts: article published

The Court of Appeal decision in Limited v Blackpool Airport Limited [2012] EWCA Civ 417 illustrates the particular complications that can arise with endeavours obligations in the context of a long term contract. Caroline Kehoe and Joanne Keillor have published an… Read more

Strict approach to witness protection orders

The High Court has refused to order that the identities of certain witnesses should be protected and that their evidence should be heard in private: Cherney v Deripaska [2012] EWHC 1781 (Comm). The court accepted that it had the power to make… Read more

Court statistics for 2011

The Ministry of Justice has published its Judicial and Court Statistics for 2011. These show an increase in claims in the Commercial Court and Technology and Construction Court, reverting to 2009 levels after a fall in 2010, but a slight… Read more