Views from the Bridge: The Commercial Disputes newsletter- February 2024

The latest views, news and legal updates from Howard Kennedy's Commercial Dispute Resolution team.
February 2024

"View of London Bridge from North.

Spotlight on:

Challenge Accepted? Or, will the proposed reforms to the Arbitration Act 1996 prevent unfounded challenges to arbitration awards?

A recent Commercial Court judgment rejecting the challenge to a London-seated arbitration award under both sections 67 and 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996, in which Howard Kennedy acted for the successful respondent, offers a good opportunity to consider whether the proposed reforms in the Amendment Bill to the AA 1996 will achieve their objective in this area. Duncan Bagshaw and Sanchita Agrawal share their thoughts.

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Legal updates and insights:

"Deliberate concealment": Section 32 of the Limitation Act 1980 in focus in the Supreme court and Privy Council

Two decisions, one from the English Supreme Court and the other from the Privy Council, have provided new clarity to the way in which "deliberate concealment" should be interpreted and applied for the purposes of the English Limitation Act. 

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AI and arbitration: should the updated Arbitration Act be addressing issues around AI?

As AI becomes an ever-increasing presence in the legal sphere, there is much to consider in connection with its use within dispute resolution. In this article Rebecca Wyke and Heba Ahmad consider whether proposed amendments to the Arbitration Act 1996, which are intended to modernise arbitration law in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, sufficiently takes account of the use of AI. 

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Sport & Media Update: Geo-blocking Regulation in the spotlight

In a recent vote, the European Parliament decided against expanding the Geo-Blocking Regulation to include audio-visual content. Ron Khujneri and Joel Leigh consider the reasons for the decision, the reassurance it provides to the audio-visual industry and the impact for UK businesses specifically. 

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Insolvency Corner:

The Body Shop goes bust, but is there a scent of recovery in the air? A look at the economic landscape

With the recent news that established UK High Street presence, The Body Shop, has entered administration and will be closing hundreds of shops, Josh Page and Hannah Hooper take a look at the insolvency statistics and the wider economic outlook. 

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Why Businesses Fail: Culture is the essence of all business success, and it has a ripple effect

In this article prepared for external publication The Circle Line, Vernon Dennis, Head of Restructuring and Insolvency at Howard Kennedy discusses how his years of experience have led him to the conclusion that ESG, and specifically good business culture, is key to business success. 

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The Aftermath of Adler's Appeal - Where does the Court of Appeal decision leave us?

For the first time the Court of Appeal has considered the court sanctioning of a restructuring plan.  The decision in Re AGPS BondCo PLC (or 'Adler') is also the first time that a sanctioned plan has been retrospectively set aside. Rebecca Stratton considers the decision.

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And now for something completely different:

You may well have heard about Heston Blumenthal's 'Meat Fruit', you may even have tried it. This is a dish he created that does an incredibly convincing impression of a mandarin (complete with stalk and leaf) but is in fact essentially a savoury chicken liver parfait. So, what does chicken liver parfait have to do with the latest scam exploiting the lack of verification checks and investigative powers at Companies House? In both cases, all is not quite as it may first appear. As recently reported by the BBC, a new fraud scam has been hitting restauranteurs in the UK. The companies targeted are connected to restaurants including those run by the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Alexis Gauthier. 

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