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The latest legal articles and publications from Mills & Reeve.

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Importing from China: Legal recourse if things go wrong

Mark Davison and Jonathan Christy discuss how businesses can protect themselves from legal issues when importing from China so they can get the best out of the market relationship.

Mark Davison

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 13:54:42 GMT+01:00

Court sanctions administration sale

The company concerned owned a group of gold mining companies in Eastern Russia, whose gold was sold mostly to the Russian domestic market. It went into administration after it was crippled by the sanctions imposed following the war in Ukraine.

Lino Di Lorenzo

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 11:42:59 GMT+01:00

Restructuring plan does not compromise guarantee debt

A landlord of a Virgin Active Gym premises issued an application for summary judgment against two guarantors of the lease obligations. As is well known, Virgin Active proposed a restructuring plan in 2021, which was approved by the relevant majorities and sanctioned by the court.

Neil Smyth

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 11:30:31 GMT+01:00

Consideration of whether the Recast EIR applied

This case considered the effect of the transitional provisions as contained in Article 67(3) of the Withdrawal Agreement governing the continued effect post-31 December 2000 of the Recast European Insolvency Regulation (EU 2015/848) (Recast EIR). Article 67(3)(c) is to the effect that the Recast EIR continues to apply provided that “main” proceedings were opened before 31 December 2020.

Morgan Bowen

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 11:17:10 GMT+01:00

Property held on trust by foreign company passed bona vacantia upon dissolution

The current occupier of a property, and the trustees in bankruptcy of the trustee company’s ultimate shareholder, sought vesting orders in their favour.

Jacob Walker

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 11:10:56 GMT+01:00

Privilege in insolvency applications

Mr Yurov applied for his own bankruptcy in early 2020. His trustees subsequently made an application under section 366 of the IA1986 for access to the bank statements for bank accounts that were held in Mrs Yurova’s sole name. In the witness statement in support of the application, the trustees referred to legal advice which suggested that, under Russian law, 50% of the balances in Mrs Yurova’s bank accounts belonged to the bankrupt.

Catherine Noble

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 11:03:41 GMT+01:00

Assignment void for lacking authority

Prior to entering administration, London Oil and Gas Ltd (LOG) had lent monies to Atlantic Petroleum (AP). LOG in turn borrowed monies from London Capital & Finance PLC (LCF) and owed LCF c.£122m. LPE Support Limited (LPE) also borrowed £18m from LCF.

Tim Evans

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 10:56:16 GMT+01:00

A round-up of recent litigation cases - September 2022

Here are some recent litigation cases that may be of interest.

Miranda Whiteley

Fri, 30 Sep 2022 15:40:24 GMT+01:00

The ‘nutrient neutrality’ issue

In recent years, nutrient pollution (particularly from nitrogen and phosphorous) has become a significant problem affecting a range of river and other freshwater habitats and estuaries. The concern is that increased nutrient levels in excess of safe thresholds that come from new developments find their ways into local watercourses and have a profound impact on the water quality in a wider catchment area.

Christine de Ferrars Green

Thu, 29 Sep 2022 15:35:09 GMT+01:00

Ten myths about without prejudice privilege

Arguments about whether without prejudice privilege applies, often caused by inappropriate labelling of correspondence, can lead to costly satellite litigation. Recently, there has been concern about professional ethics and the improper use of the label. Test your knowledge with our ten common myths or misunderstandings about this confusing concept.

Miranda Whiteley

Thu, 29 Sep 2022 11:10:05 GMT+01:00

Interim injunctions – a refresher

For businesses and individuals, sometimes the severity of harm being done to you requires an application for urgent injunctive relief, before any underlying claim has been determined. This article is based on Mills & Reeve’s extensive recent experience in both seeking and resisting interim injunctions in different sectors. It highlights some of the key issues for parties potentially involved in such cases.

Simon Pedley

Tue, 27 Sep 2022 16:20:13 GMT+01:00

The UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry

Public inquiries are used most commonly to look into issues of national importance. The Covid Inquiry will create debate, interest and will no doubt be controversial. This article looks at some of the broader issues relating to public inquiries and what we may expect to see over the next few months, if not years.

Katrina McCrory

Tue, 27 Sep 2022 12:01:50 GMT+01:00

I’ve been served with a Request for Arbitration. What should I do?

Arbitration is a contract-based dispute resolution mechanism, an alternative to court. A Request for Arbitration is what one party, the Claimant, sends to the other side to commence this process. If you have been served with a Request for Arbitration and do not have lawyers on board, there are certain technical points you should check before you respond to the other side which can give you an advantage if you do not want to go through the arbitration process.

Mark Davison

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 10:36:05 GMT+01:00

The FCA's general information gathering powers: five FAQs

While the FCA has wide-ranging powers under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) (and other legislation) to gather information and documents, regulated firms on the receiving end of FCA requests often find them difficult to navigate in practice.

Rachel McDonnell

Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:59:05 GMT+01:00

FCA focus: financial promotions for buy now pay later agreements

The FCA has written to firms asking them to review their financial promotions used to sell buy now pay later (BNPL) agreements to ensure they meet regulatory requirements.

Rachel McDonnell

Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:51:20 GMT+01:00

Hague Convention 2019: Coming to a jurisdiction near you?

On 29 August 2022, the EU and Ukraine deposited instruments to respectively accede and ratify the Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters 2019 (Hague 2019).  Hague 2019 will come into force in the EU and Ukraine on 1 September 2023. 

Mark Davison

Wed, 14 Sep 2022 14:22:45 GMT+01:00

Annulment of bankruptcy order refused

In a recent appeal, the court upheld the decision of a district judge refusing to annul a bankruptcy order under section 282(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Jacob Walker

Tue, 13 Sep 2022 15:42:40 GMT+01:00

First use of cram up power in restructuring plan

Court sanctions a restructuring plan for an SME involving a “cram up” of HMRC.

Morgan Bowen

Tue, 13 Sep 2022 10:24:59 GMT+01:00

Data privacy issues in health research

Data privacy remains a huge topic in the life sciences sector given the sheer volume of personal data that is involved in any type of research using health data of individuals.

Stephanie Caird

Mon, 12 Sep 2022 11:04:01 GMT+01:00

Joint administrators of the Arcadia Group released from liability

The joint administrators of AGL Realisations Limited were administrators for 19 companies in the Arcadia Group. When they entered administration, nine of the companies were expected to be solvent. However, in April 2022, the companies moved into creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL) and the applicants became the joint liquidators of the companies.

Catherine Noble

Thu, 8 Sep 2022 15:05:55 GMT+01:00

Latest decision on hotel room leasing

The latest decision on the failure of a hotel development where investors were purportedly granted long leases over hotel rooms in return for investment has taken place in Northern Ireland.

Neil Smyth

Thu, 8 Sep 2022 14:52:40 GMT+01:00

Administrator breach of duty claim dismissed

The administrators were appointed over two property development companies owning high-value properties in Primrose Hill, London. The properties were sold for c.£62m resulting in the first-ranking secured lender being largely repaid. The applicants were a lower ranking secured lender.

Tim Evans

Thu, 8 Sep 2022 14:39:49 GMT+01:00

Claims against former joint administrators dismissed on appeal

In August 2013, Barclays appointed administrators over three companies (including Rhino Enterprises Properties Limited) following an unsatisfied demand they had served. The joint administrators investigated possible claims against Barclays including a mis-selling claim, but opted not to pursue those and instead sold some of the company’s properties to pay creditors. They then left office and obtained their releases after the companies successfully implemented CVAs.

Lino Di Lorenzo

Thu, 8 Sep 2022 14:11:12 GMT+01:00

The healthy homes bill

On 15 July 2022, the Healthy Homes Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords. 

Thomas Hurley

Thu, 8 Sep 2022 10:51:28 GMT+01:00

The National Security and Investment Act and its impact on life sciences dealmaking

The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (the NSI Act) came into force in January 2022. It affects a wide range of potential transactions, from M&A to IP licensing. The legislation gives wide scope to Government in taking steps to stop transactions on national security grounds. Although extensive guidance is available indicating how the legislation will be applied, until a bank of prior decisions has been built up it is difficult for businesses to understand how their proposed deals might be affected. We are now beginning to see some transactions going through the process, shedding some light on the likely approach that will be taken.

Nathalie Jacoby-Danesh

Fri, 2 Sep 2022 14:43:16 GMT+01:00

Good underwriting enables insurers to avoid a claim

This article outlines the outcome of the decision in the case of Jones v Zurich Insurance.  

Neusha Mazaher

Thu, 1 Sep 2022 14:15:06 GMT+01:00

Introducer and Finder Fee Agreements: Are you protected?

Introduction Agreements, Finder’s Fee Agreements and Intermediary Agreements are a common occurrence especially where businesses are looking for a larger pool of potential parties to engage with or are seeking to rely on someone’s expertise to secure what they are looking for.

Mark Davison

Thu, 25 Aug 2022 15:13:16 GMT+01:00

What to do suspect your business is being defrauded by someone you have a commercial relationship with

In the first article in our “What to do if…” series, where we provide a how to guide to common dispute-based issues faced by businesses, we consider what to do if you suspect your business is being defrauded.

Sarah Jacobs

Wed, 24 Aug 2022 15:49:45 GMT+01:00

Delay in unfair prejudice proceedings

Section 944 of the Companies Act 2006 serves to protect minority shareholders in circumstances where the affairs of a company are being conducted in a manner which is unfairly prejudicial to their interests. The most common remedy is an order for the purchase of the minority shareholding.

Steve Allen

Tue, 23 Aug 2022 11:36:24 GMT+01:00

Proposed changes to UK data protection and digital information laws

An overview of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill as at August 2022.

Robert Renfree

Fri, 19 Aug 2022 09:44:59 GMT+01:00

Getting from A to B - are electric vehicles the only option?

With the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK set to come into force in 2030 (with hybrid cars banned just five years later) there has understandably been a lot of focus on the role electric vehicles will play in the future of mobility and sustainability – and the impact of them on development strategy and real estate investment.

Graham Collier

Thu, 18 Aug 2022 12:18:32 GMT+01:00

Five principles for ICSs on health scrutiny and oversight

Hot on the heels of the updated public involvement participation guidance for NHS organisations planning service changes comes new guidance on health overview and scrutiny committee principles for the new statutory system-level bodies.

Samuel Lindsay

Fri, 12 Aug 2022 15:32:02 GMT+01:00

What is an employee ownership trust?

John Khan explores what an employee ownership trust is, why it's beneficial and, if necessary, how to go about setting up an employee-ownership trust.

John Kahn

Fri, 12 Aug 2022 12:07:58 GMT+01:00

Biodiversity net gain

We are starting to see more activity in the marketplace as landowners and land managers make ready for the preparation and delivery of off-site biodiversity gain sites, through agreements with developers, the offering of off-set units and investment in creating habitat enhancements.

Christine de Ferrars Green

Wed, 10 Aug 2022 15:00:04 GMT+01:00