EXP v Barker: The legal cost of a conflicted expert witness

Ellen Forester

A recent Court of Appeal decision in England and Wales acts as a reminder of the importance of ensuring that your instructed expert is independent and  that any conflicts of interests are addressed at the outset.   The Northern Ireland Court Practice Direction No 1 of 2015 outlines the duty of expert witnesses in the ...

HOW DO I HANDLE IT?

Patricia Rooney

For July 2017, we have asked the employment team to provide practical answers to unusual, sensitive or complex work related queries. We call this feature “how do I handle it?”   The articles are aimed at HR professionals and other managers who may need to deal from time to time with the less common place ...

How to successfully succession plan in a family business

Grant Edwards

What of your legacy? You, and perhaps your predecessors, have fought the odds to build a successful business. Have you considered whether it will be in the right hands to protect your legacy and/or to provide an income for your family in the future? Evidence shows that only 25% of family businesses survive to the ...

Queen’s Speech confirms whiplash reforms and court modernisation

Clare Heaney

On 21 June 2017, the Queen’s speech confirmed that legislation will be introduced to modernise the courts system in England and Wales, and to help reduce motor insurance premiums. The Queen announced the Government’s legislative programme for the next two years, and among the 27 bills, eight of which dealt with Brexit, a Civil Liability ...

Cleverly drafted side letter: No penalty kick

Niamh Laverty

Side letters are commonly used by landlords to side step the terms of a lease and confer a temporary personal concession to a tenant. However the recent case of Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited EWCH 350 has highlighted that landlords can find themselves scoring an own goal.   What are Penalty ...

Northern Ireland Exports – figures and considerations

Paul Eastwood

HMRC recently released the figures showing the UK’s import and export trade in the year ending 2017 and the data makes for interesting, and positive, reading. Northern Ireland’s exports for the year came to £7.8 billion, being a 12% increase on the previous year. The Republic of Ireland accounted for almost a third of that ...

Fraudulent claims; Hayward’s claim goes Wayward: Case Analysis of Hayward v Zurich Insurance Co PLC [2016] UKSC48

Kathy McGillie

The recent 2016 case of Hayward v Zurich Insurance Co PLC UKSC48 considered whether an insurer can use the law of misrepresentation to successfully appeal a personal injury settlement, where there had been a suspicion of fraud. In 2003, the Appellant’s Zurich, Mr Hayward’s employer’s insurer settled a personal injury claim suffered in the ...

Shareholder disputes and valuation issues

Raymond Duddy

Background Imagine a company with four shareholders: A, B, C and D.  They work together to build a successful business over a number of years, but then fall out.  The fall out is terminal and shareholders A and B decide they will have to exit the company. Happily, the company has taken legal advice and ...

Looking East – Export Opportunities in the wake of Brexit

Ciara Lagan

On Wednesday 29th March 2017 Theresa May officially triggered the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. And so we brace ourselves for what lies ahead and contend with the uncertainty of what a post Brexit Northern Ireland will mean. Such uncertainty makes it prudent for local businesses to seek out potential opportunities. China, in particular, presents ...

Make a clean break – Partitions render break clause ineffective

Amanda Byrnes

Break clauses within commercial leases can be an area of contention should ambiguity seep into the drafting or in the event conditions attaching to the break are not precisely complied with.  A break clause affords either one or both parties a mechanism to exit the lease on a set date or dates, usually years ahead ...