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Nicholas Woolf & Co has published the first edition of its new magazine, containing articles written by members of the firm on important contemporary legal matters.

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A bankruptcy order set aside for want of purpose

To many, the decision of HHJ Hodge QC in Lock v Aylesbury Vale District Council [2018] EWHC 2015 (Ch) may seem a little strange. In that case, the Council had presented a bankruptcy petition on Ms Lock in respect of £8,067-odd unpaid council tax. At first instance, the District Judge made a bankruptcy order, which was appealed by Ms Lock on the basis that she had absolutely no assets to satisfy any liability in bankruptcy. This, she said, meant that a bankruptcy order would serve no useful purpose and would not benefit the Council.

The Judge on appeal agreed with Ms Lock, and the bankruptcy order was set aside.

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The final cry of the litigant relying on offended conscience

There can often be a disconnect between the way in which certain terms are used in everyday life, and the way in which they are used in a legal context. This means that people may believe that they are protected in certain circumstances in any event, and therefore it does not matter if they are not expressly provided for in the contract. It comes as an unpleasant shock to subsequently find out that, although it may seem unfair, there is no legal remedy available.

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It’s Not My Fault – Allocate Risks Or Gamble With Litigation


The case of Tullow Ghana Limited v Seadrill Ghana Operations Limited [2018] EWHC 1640 (Comm) highlights the difficulties that a person may face if they do not comprehensively allocate foreseeable risks in their contracts.

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Out Of Time – The Race Begins, But You Aren’t In It

It is often tempting to bury your head in the sand with the prospect of Court proceedings. If you receive a letter from another person claiming money from you, it is easy to ignore it; particularly if the claim appears hugely overstated, or (in your opinion) destined to failure. Even when matters progress and formal Court proceedings issued, many people fail to take the required initial steps to deal with the claim; being filing and serving an Acknowledgement of Service and/or a Defence. This is what happened in the recent TCC case of McDonald and McDonald v D&F Contracts Limited [2018] EWHC 1600 (“McDonald”).

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Two Data Protection Horror Stories to Keep You Awake At Night

This article has been published in the Summer 2018 edition of Solo - the journal of the Sole Practitioners Group.

I am sure that we have all been struggling with the joys of GDPR, worrying about does our privacy policy come up to scratch, have we checked our suppliers are compliant, have we destroyed/deleted all the material we should, have we relied on the appropriate exceptions in particular categories, have we got the correct consents and did we remember to amend our client care letters etc?

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Formalities in Contracts Must Be Adhered To

This article has been published in the Summer 2018 edition of Solo - the journal of the Sole Practitioners Group.

As Lord Sumption stated in the first paragraph of his leading Supreme Court judgment, the case of Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd [2018] UKSC 24 was one of those exceptional cases in which fundamental issues of the law of contract are considered.

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Implying Terms Into Leases And Other Contracts

When entering into a commercial relationship, we generally hope that we are contracting with reasonable people. Because of this, it is often tempting to think that any gaps in a contract can be sorted out later if a problem arises. However, with money on the line even the most reasonable parties may dig their heels in and deny liability. The result is that, as in JN Hipwell & Son v Szurek [2018] EWCA Civ 674  (“the Szurek case”), a claim worth £22,750 may need to be resolved through litigation in which the costs inevitably far exceed the value of the claim.

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