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When trust breaks down: shareholder disputes in owner-managed and family companies

When things are running smoothly owner-managed and family-run companies can make for particularly fulfilling working environments. But close-knit workplaces, where the relationships extend beyond pure commercial ties, are also particularly vulnerable to disputes between shareholders quickly escalating and entrenching. However, by being aware of some of the most common issues that can arise and seeking resolution as soon as possible, it can be possible to nip any problems in the bud.

The Correct Approach to Causation in Broker Negligence Claims

The case of Dalamd Limited v Butterworth Spengler Commercial Limited [2018] EWHC 2558 (Comm) deals with the sadly not uncommon scenario where an insurer declines cover under a policy and the insured, almost inevitably, looks for someone to blame. Often the spotlight falls on the insurance broker either with regard to the placing of the risk or the handling of the claims process. 

Anti-oral variation clauses are in fact worth the paper they’re written on….

In 2016 the Court of Appeal ruled that written contracts could be varied orally notwithstanding a clause that expressly prevents or restricts it (an ‘anti-oral variation clause’). However, earlier this year the issue came before the Supreme Court and the decision was overturned.

Unhappy with your litigation solicitor? Factors to consider when choosing your new dispute resolution lawyer and transferring your case.

At Loney Stewart Holland our specialism in bringing and defending solicitor professional negligence cases has given us substantial first-hand experience of the practical issues arising from a breakdown in the solicitor client relationship. 

Do I Have to Mediate?

If you are involved in litigation, you may well have been advised to consider attempting to resolve the dispute by mediation. The Court rules require parties to consider alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, and indeed solicitors have a duty to advise their clients about it.

Damages For Late Payment Of Insurance Claims - The Enterprise Act 2016

It has long been an oddity of English Law that an insured has no right to claim damages for late payment of sums due under an insurance contract.  This arises from a historical legal fiction whereby the claims payments themselves are considered to be damages for breach of contract by an insurer and the law does not permit the recovery of damages for losses suffered by the late payment of damages.  The only claim that an insured has is for interest on the late payment.  That was only ever at the discretion of the Court and so often irrecoverable in practice if a claim was settled prior to Court proceedings.

Misuse of Confidential Information: Actual Use of Information Crucial to a Claim for Damages

The High Court recently considered a claim by an investment management company against two former employees for copying and retaining the company’s confidential information. The Claimant sought £15m in damages, representing what it considered to be the value of the confidential information, but was awarded a mere £2, as it had not based its case on actual use of the information.

Professionals’ Duty of Care to Clients: The Importance of the Retainer

Last month the High Court in Denning v Greenhalgh Financial Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 143 (QB) considered the scope of the duty of care owed by a professional to its client. In striking out the claim against a pensions advisor the Court provided a useful reminder of the “signal importance” of the retainer and the limited circumstances in which the Court might be willing to extend a professional’s duty beyond those terms.  

Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance: How Many Limits of Indemnity?

AIG Europe Limited v Woodman & Others [2017] UKSC 18

The Supreme Court has today finally put to bed the long running AIG solicitors' insurance claims aggregation saga. Market wisdom has broadly prevailed on the principles and the confusing qualifications introduced by the High Court and Court of Appeal have gone. However the Court did decide that insurers will only be partially successful on the agreed facts in that separate limits of indemnity were available for each of the two developments, which demonstrates once again how fact sensitive liability cap issues are.

We have vast experience in implementing strategies for insurers and insureds facing multiple claims and are always available for an informal initial discussion.  Please contact Richard Loney if you would like to know more.



Versloot & Collateral Lies: 3 months on....

In Versloot Dredging BV & anor v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG & ors [2016] UKSC 45 the Supreme Court considered whether the use of ‘fraudulent devices’ (or ‘collateral lies’ to use the Court’s preferred terminology) should operate to forfeit an otherwise perfectly legitimate claim under an insurance policy.  The Supreme Court found by majority (Lord Mance dissenting) that it should not.

Court Confirms Part 36 Offers Reject Earlier Without Prejudice Offers

In the recent case of DB UK Bank Limited (t/a DB Mortgages) -v- Jacobs Solicitors [2016] EWHC 1614 (Ch) the High Court confirmed that making an offer under Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules has the effect of rejecting an earlier common law offer, meaning it is no longer capable of acceptance.

Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 in force – Claimants finally given powerful new rights when seeking recovery from insolvent policyholders’ liability insurers


The long delayed Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 came into force from the beginning of August 2016 with the intention of making it quicker, easier and more certain for Claimants seeking recovery from the liability insurers of insolvent policyholders who have caused them loss.

The Enforceability of Contractual Clauses Restricting Variation

In two recent cases, the Court of Appeal has considered the law regarding the enforceability of contractual clauses that purport to restrict the way in which the contract can be varied. These types of clauses are common, and often require any variation to be made in writing. There had previously been mixed decisions from the Court on the issue and we now have a useful analysis and clarity on previously inconsistent judicial approaches.

Insurance Act 2015: Remedies for Non-Disclosure

The Insurance Act 2015 heralds the long-awaited reform of insurance contract law.  It represents a number of significant changes to the rights and remedies of insurers and policyholders and impact on the role and duties of commercial brokers.  In this article we consider changes to the remedies available to insurers in circumstances where it contends that the insured has breached its duty of fair presentation.