Issue Spotting in New Matters - A Refresher for Trainees and Junior Associates

In today’s legal world it is very easy for trainees and junior associates to find themselves so dedicated to one or two large cases that their skills for dealing with new fact patterns and spotting new issues gain some rust.  In this highly-interactive 2-hour seminar (designed at the request of a large law firm), you will be provided with a refresher on how to approach a new case, including issue spotting, checklists, and avoiding professional negligence claims.

Insurance Update

The talk reviews a number of recent insurance cases and seeks to forecast some of the issues that may arise in the near future for insurance practitioners. 

Limitation Clauses, Exclusion Clauses and Basis Clauses in Financial Transactions and Mis-selling Litigation

A discussion of the current state of the law in relation to limitation clauses and basis clauses as they are used in complex financial transactions, and the practical consequences of such provisions in misselling litigation (both commercial and retail).


An update on the principles of litigation privilege in light of the recent decisions in Bilta (UK) Limited v RBS and Mecuria Energy Europe Trading Limited [2017] EWHC 3535,  SFO v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 2006, WH Holding Limited v E20 Stadium LLP [2018] EWHC 2784 and Sothebys v Mark Weiss Limited [2018] EWHC 3179 (Comm). The talk focuses on internal company investigations of wrongdoing once litigation is anticipated, and the extent to which these investigations may result in the creation of documents which are not protected by privilege.


An exploration of the steps clients can take to protect themselves against potentially rogue employees, and to enforce their rights when something goes wrong. The talk also delves into greater detail on topical issues including negotiating damages and defamation.

Note: The Privilege and Confidentiality talks can be arranged as a combined talk upon request.

Penalties and Indemnities

The talk reviews two aspects of the recent decision in GPP Big Field LLP v Solar EPC Solutions SL [2018] EWHC 2866 (Comm).  First, we analyse how the law in relation to penalty clauses is to be applied following the Supreme Court decision in Cavendish Square v El Makdessi and consider what might constitute a “legitimate interest” in contractual enforcement. Second, we review the distinction between contracts of indemnity and guarantee and highlight the important ruling in GPP Big Field LLP that the rule in Holme v Brunskill does not apply to indemnities.

The European Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive Explained: The Novo Banco Case

The talk provides a description of the European regime for the rescue of banks and financial institutions in difficulties as illustrated by the decision of the Supreme Court in Goldman Sachs and Others v Novo Banco [2018] UKSC 34.

Cyberlibel: Seventy Thirty Limited v Burki

The talk provides a brief overview of the law applying to business libel and, in particular, statements published online, and then focuses on the case of Seventy Thirty Limited v Burki, a claim concerning negative reviews of the company published on review websites. 

Dishonest assistance/Unconscionable receipt

A talk which provides an update on the current law regarding dishonest assistance and unconscionable receipt with a focus on claims against banks.

Public International Law and Investor – State Arbitration: A Short Primer

The talk is intended to provide an overview of an area of practice that is steadily growing. Investor-state arbitrations provide an important route by which private individuals can challenge state actions. The circumstances in which such arbitration can be commenced and their particular characteristics are matters we all need to be aware of.

Bitcoins and Block Chains: what they are, how they work, why they matter

This talk addresses what Bitcoins are and how they work, including a (non-technical) review of how transactions are digitally signed and how the block chain is maintained. Advantages and risks: finality, reliability, confidentiality and fraud are also discussed in the talk, along with legal issues, particularly in the areas of property rights, security, insolvency and financial regulation, and other practical commercial applications, such as asset registration and smart contracts.

Everything you need to know about International Arbitration - Part 1

It is the first in a series of talks by the international arbitration practice group and is intended as an introduction for those who have had little or no experience of international arbitration. The overall aim is to identify the “unknown unknown” differences, which could lead the litigator/domestic arbitration practitioner astray when venturing into the world of international arbitration.

Contract Law Update

An overview of some interesting decisions over the past year, including MacInnes v Gross [2017] EWHC 46, Global Asset Capital Inc v Aabar Block SARL [2017] EWCA Civ 37 and Blue v Ashley [2017] EWHC 1928 (Comm) (all dealing with contract formation), Irish Bank v Camden Market [2017] EWCA Civ 7 (on implied terms), Astor Management v Atalaya [2017] EWHC 425 Comm (construction) and Fulton Shipping v Globalia [2017] UKSC 43 (assessment of damages).

Recent Developments in Tracing and Unjust Enrichment

The talk considers three recent appellate cases which establish an important change of approach to the requirements for tracing and unjust enrichment. In Relfo v Varsani, the Court of Appeal allowed for the first time a claimant to trace "backwards" and recover funds transferred to the defendant before the fraud had taken place. This relaxation of the rules for tracing was confirmed by the Privy Council in Brazil v Durant. In Bank of Cyprus v Menelaou, the Supreme Court made an analogous development in the law of unjust enrichment, holding that a direct transfer of funds was not necessary to establish liability. These decisions are of considerable practical relevance, given the difficulty for claimants in "following the money" in international fraud claims and enforcement proceedings.

A Smorgasbord on Contractual Interpretation

The talk covers a range of recent decisions relevant to contractual interpretation. Previously the talk has encompassed two main themes: first, the efficacy of standard boiler plate terms, considering Globe Motors v Lucas Varity Steering [2016] EWCA Civ 396 and LSREF III v Wright Ltd [2016] EWHC 466; and second, the circumstances in which the court will imply a contract between parties from conduct, in light of Vos LJ’s judgment in Heis v MF Global UK Services [2016] EWCA Civ 569. We also addressed the Supreme Court case of BNY Mellon v LBG [2016] UKSC 29.

Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42 – The New Illegality Defence

This talk explains the Supreme Court’s restatement of the law on illegality in Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42. Beginning with an overview of the history of the illegality principle in English law, it considers the implications of the new proportionality test, particularly in the context of Unjust Enrichment.

Training Talk on International Sanctions

A training seminar, which describes the anatomy of the international sanctions regime with a specific focus on EU sanctions.  It is structured around an interactive review of a sample EU Regulation, and is intended to train solicitors to advise in relation to those provisions most commonly found in sanctions regulations.

Claims against Banks / Interest Rate Mis-selling

An examination of swaps and similar mis-selling claims against banks and financial institutions, examining the underlying principles, common themes and recent case-law.

Good Faith in Commercial Contracts

The talk considers the ongoing judicial reaction to Yam Seng v ITC, including a recent Supreme Court decision, Braganza v BP Shipping, and addresses the extent to which English law is moving towards an implied duty of good faith in commercial contracts.  This is of considerable practical relevance, given the increasing trend for claimants to plead duties of good faith and co-operation in the context of, for example, long-term financing arrangements between a lender and a company or agreements to supply essential stock for businesses.

Termination Clauses and Repudiatory Breach

This talk deals with the circumstances in which a contract may be terminated for breach, either on the basis of common law repudiation or on the basis of an express term permitting termination for breach, including in particular termination on the ground of delay. It also deals with the form of a termination notice, and remedies following termination.


A practical introduction to commercial arbitration. The talk covers key topics likely to be of interest to solicitors more used to acting for clients involved in litigation before the English courts. Among other things, the talk covers the key elements of an arbitration agreement; ways in which arbitral procedure tends to differ from that in the English courts; the interim remedies available in an arbitration; and means of challenging and enforcing arbitral awards.

Securities Litigation English Style

A seminar examining the RBS Rights litigation, the procedural pitfalls of group litigation and the un-answered questions regarding s.90 FSMA.

Valuer Negligence

This talk covers the issue of limitation in the context of lenders’ claims against valuers and, in particular, the vexed question of how a borrower’s covenant is to be valued following the seminal decision of the House of Lords in the case of Nykredit Mortgage Bank Plc v Edward Erdman Group Limited (No 2). There are a number of important lessons for lenders arising out of the case of Bridging Loan Limited v Toombs [2017] EWCA Civ 205. The talk also covers the issue of substitution of parties after the end of a limitation period  under CPR 17.4 and CPR 19.4 and the difference between a mistake as to identity versus a mistake as to liability in this context. The case of GE Money Home Lending Ltd v HC Wolton & Sons Ltd [2010] EWHC 1011 (Ch) is an illustration of the importance of addressing this matter carefully before any claim is issued.

Damages for Breach of Business Sale Agreements

An introduction to the principles applicable to the assessment of damages for misrepresentation and breach of warranty in connection with the sale and purchase of businesses and companies. This talk covers the differences between tort and contract damages, the principles applicable to both types of assessment and the impact of express indemnities.

Preparing Witness Statements for Large Trials and Arbitration

Taking judicial pronouncements on memory, hindsight & wishful thinking as a starting point (example: “Above all, it is important to avoid the fallacy of supposing that, because a witness has confidence in his or her recollection and is honest, evidence based on that recollection provides any reliable guide to the truth”), the talk offers practical guidance covering: what is the point of witness statements?, preparing for and handling proofing and drafting sessions with the trial/arbitration in mind, tactical considerations, use of contemporaneous documents, and approaches to drafting.

Contract Damages Update

An update on recent contract law developments, which can be adapted to preferred topics or fields.

Contract Damages in an Hour

An introduction to the basic principles of contract damages including as developed in recent Supreme Court decisions.

Legal Causation, Mitigation and the Date of Assessment of Damages

An exploration of the important legal principles of causation and mitigation, and their interaction with the question of the correct date for assessment of damages, in the light of recent Supreme Court developments.

Remoteness and Loss of a Chance

A discussion of two complex legal principles that affect a claimant’s entitlement to damages, illustrated by recent cases.

Actions Talk

An interactive seminar which examines the legal and procedural difficulties of a prospectus claim as shown by the RBS Rights litigation with insights as to how to manage large scale litigation and the difficult issues arising from multi-lead group litigation.

RBS Rights Litigation, Specifically on Privilege

A seminar examining the impact of the RBS the SFO v ENRC decisions on legal advice privilege, problems for practitioners and potential solutions.

Privilege – A Refresher

A seminar providing a refresher of the main issues in the law of legal professional privilege, with particular reference to the RBS Rights Issue decision (on privilege in corporate investigations) and the perils of inadvertent disclosure.

Contractual Interpretation, and Update on Wood v Capita and Taurus Petroleum.  RZ - FSMA S 90 and FSMA S 90A (Securities Claims, which is the Cause of Action for the RBS Rights Litigation and Tesco Litigation). 

A round-up of topical banking law issues – on contractual construction, how the pendulum swings between literal construction and business common sense; on the nuts and bolts of a securities claim under s90 or s90A FSMA, and the uncharted waters of the standard of reliance and measure of damages available for a s90A claim; and what does the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Taurus Petroleum tell us about the situs of debts, third party debt orders and receiverships.”

S90& 90A of FSMA

A new golden age of securities litigation? An examination of the types of securities litigation claims which may be brought, their respective benefits and problems including questions of evidence and quantum.

Transactions in Trouble

The seminar examines the legal history, and current approach, to construction of commercial contracts. In particular, it examines the ever-growing tension as between the ‘natural meaning’ and ‘commercial purpose’ approaches to interpretation in the context of recent case law and academic discussion. The seminar examines implications of the recent developments for practitioners and gives guidance on how best to avoid and approach litigation concerning commercial contracts.