Commercial Litigation UK

  • February 23, 2024

    HIV Status Can't Shield Worker After 4-Month Absence

    A Scottish government worker has failed to prove that he was fired because of his disabilities, after a tribunal ruled that he left his bosses with few options after he was absent for 148 days during a probationary period.

  • February 23, 2024

    'Dry January' Campaign Launcher Can't Trademark Name

    A British nonprofit organization has failed to register a trademark for "Dry January," after the country's intellectual property officials ruled that it simply described non-alcoholic drinks and had become too widely used to become exclusive.

  • February 23, 2024

    EasyGroup Hits Dead End In 'EasyTaxi' TM Battle

    EasyGroup Ltd. has lost its fight to keep a trademark for "easyTaxi" after a European Union intellectual property authority concluded that the brand is merely descriptive and "devoid of distinctive character."

  • February 23, 2024

    Philips Patent Gets Brushed Off On Appeal

    Philips has failed to patent a method for tracking the movement of a toothbrush inside the mouth after European officials ruled that the amendments proposed by the Dutch electronics giant extended beyond its original application against the rules.

  • February 23, 2024

    Russian Tycoon Can Take Sanctions Case To UK's Top Court

    An oligarch can take his attempt to halt a $850 million fraud claim brought by two Kremlin-backed banks to the U.K.'s highest court after it granted him permission to challenge a decision allowing the case to proceed despite one of the lenders being under British sanctions.

  • February 23, 2024

    New Rules Aim To Widen Nonparties' Access To Court Docs

    Proposed changes to civil court rules would significantly broaden nonparties' access to documents including witness statements, expert reports and written arguments, further strengthening the principle of open justice that applies in English courts.

  • February 23, 2024

    Lawyers Question UK's Sanction Muscle 2 Years After Invasion

    A lack of enforcement over suspected sanctions breaches two years on from Russia's invasion of Ukraine has left lingering doubts about the effectiveness of the U.K.'s response — even though prosecutors recently opened the first such criminal case, legal experts say.

  • February 23, 2024

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    This past week in London has seen Tesco target competing retailer Lidl with a copyright claim as they battle in the Court of Appeal over the design of Tesco’s Clubcard, the directors of a taxi business sue the creator of an AI route mapping app for professional negligence, Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers tackle an aviation claim by an Irish investment company, and Robert Bull hit with a general commercial contracts claim by Hancock Finance.

  • February 23, 2024

    UK Gov't Backs Plans To Expand Scope Of Anti-SLAPP Laws

    The U.K. government added its backing on Friday to legislation that will prevent corrupt elites from making spurious legal claims to gag journalists and silence critics, expanding on similar rules introduced into law last year.

  • February 23, 2024

    Ex-Telecoms Execs Deny Knowledge Of Bribery In £11M Sale

    Three former directors of a telecommunications company allege that a cloud-technology business owes them more than £1.5 million ($1.9 million) left unpaid after it bought their business, while denying claims that they failed to disclose ongoing legal disputes that subsequently devalued the shares.

  • February 23, 2024

    Ex-Bevan Brittan Solicitor Stuck Off Over Antisemitic Tweets

    A former lawyer with Bevan Brittan LLP who sent abusive and antisemitic tweets about prominent U.K. figures, including a well-known barrister, was struck off by a tribunal on Friday.

  • February 23, 2024

    Fox Williams Beats £30M Game Show IP Negligence Claim

    Fox Williams won its bid Friday to strike out a media company's case that the law firm bungled its game show copyright claim and caused it to lose out on £30 million ($38 million), as a court ruled that the claim was "hopeless."

  • February 23, 2024

    Transgender Judge Hopes To Return 'When Hate Subsides'

    Britain's only transgender judge said on Friday that she hopes to return to public office "when hate subsides" after she resigned over concerns that she risked politicizing the judiciary if she remained on the bench. 

  • February 22, 2024

    Spain Allowed To Reclaim Illegal Aid Given To Ship Buyers

    Spain can reclaim the financial benefits given to beneficiaries of a tax scheme that gave illegal state aid to purchasers of ships built in Spanish shipyards, the European Union's General Court has ruled.

  • February 22, 2024

    NatWest Settles £60M VAT Fraud Case Ahead Of Retrial

    NatWest Markets PLC and liquidators for several defunct trading companies have settled a £60 million ($75.9 million) dispute over whether the bank is liable for a huge value-added tax fraud scheme ahead of a retrial.

  • February 22, 2024

    Transneft Ordered To Halt Bid To Block $14B Conspiracy Claim

    The world's largest oil pipeline company has been ordered by a London court to pause its legal action trying to force an imprisoned Russian oligarch to drop his $13.8 billion claim alleging his business empire was unlawfully seized in a sprawling Russian state conspiracy.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fired Fund Exec Gets Deposit Order Axed In Harassment Feud

    A tribunal was too quick to impose a deposit order and decide that a compliance chief is unlikely to succeed in his £2 million ($2.53 million) claim that an investment fund unfairly axed him after a member of its legal and compliance departments accused him of sexual harassment, an appeals judge has ruled.

  • February 22, 2024

    HD Hyundai Loses TM Appeal Over Abstract Rival Sign

    An American company can register an "abstract" trademark after European intellectual property officials ruled that it was not similar to HD Hyundai's earlier marks, as consumers would only see vertical bars rather than a word.

  • February 22, 2024

    Hospital Forced Chef To Quit By Not Sharing COVID Measures

    A tribunal has ruled that a U.K. mental healthcare business forced a hospital chef to quit by repeatedly ignoring his requests for a COVID-19 risk assessment when it asked him to return to work during the outbreak.

  • February 22, 2024

    Sony Loses Bid To Stop Hendrix Bandmates' Copyright Trial

    Sony Music lost another attempt on Thursday to avoid facing a copyright challenge in England over music royalties from Jimi Hendrix's band, with a London judge saying the estates of his bandmates have an arguable case over IP rights for music streaming services.

  • February 22, 2024

    Britvic Sues Slushie Machine Biz Over Tango Ice Blast TM

    Soft drinks giant Britvic has sued a U.K. slushie machine business for allegedly infringing the copyright for its Tango Ice Blast drinks by mimicking the branding for its own drinks machines.

  • February 22, 2024

    Cypriot Companies Can't Halt Halloumi Registration

    A group of cheese-makers have failed to prevent the registration of "Halloumi" as a protected designation of origin, with a European court ruling that the application did not depart from previous national standards about its ingredients.

  • February 22, 2024

    Amy Winehouse's Friends Deny Selling Her Personal Items

    Two "very close friends" of Amy Winehouse have denied putting the property of the dead singer up for auction in their names, telling a London court that the £732,000 ($924,000) claim by her father does not show that the pieces belong to him.

  • February 22, 2024

    ECJ Told Personal Data Can Be Sold In Enforcement Cases

    An adviser to the EU's top court wrote Thursday that selling a database containing personal information without the subjects' consent does not breach the bloc's privacy rules if it's carried out in the context of enforcement proceedings.

  • February 22, 2024

    I'm Victim Of Morgan Stanley's Abuse, Ex-Frasers CEO Says

    Former Frasers chief executive Mike Ashley told a London court on Thursday that he was "a victim of Morgan Stanley's abuse" as he claims that the bank was motivated by "snobbery" when it hit the retail group with a margin call of almost $1 billion.

Expert Analysis

  • How Boards Can Mitigate Privacy, Cybersecurity And AI Risks

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    In 2023, data privacy, cybersecurity and AI persist as prominent C-suite concerns as regulators stepped up enforcement, and organizations must develop a plan for handling these risks, in particular those with a global footprint, say lawyers at Latham.

  • The Year In FRAND: What To Know Heading Into 2024

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    In 2023, there were eight significant developments concerning the fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory patent licensing regime that undergirds technical standardization, say Tom Millikan and Kevin Zeck at Perkins Coie.

  • The Outlook For UK Restructuring Plans At Home And Abroad

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    The U.K. continues to be a center for large-cap, cross-border restructurings, though its competitive edge over the EU in this regard may narrow, while small and medium-sized enterprises are already likely to avoid costly formal processes by reaching out to their secured lenders for restructuring solutions, say Paul Keddie and Timothy Bromley-White at Macfarlanes.

  • Foreign Assets Ruling Suggests New Tax Avoidance Approach

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    The U.K. Supreme Court's recent ruling in His Majesty's Revenue & Customs v. Fisher, which found that the scope of the transfer of foreign assets is narrow, highlights that the days of rampant tax avoidance have been left behind, and that the need for wide-ranging and uncertain tax legislation is lessening, says James Austen at Collyer Bristow.

  • Class Action-Style Claims Are On The Horizon In 2024

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    Following the implementation of an EU directive enabling consumers to bring actions for collective redress, 2024 will likely see the first serious swathe of class action-style cases in Europe, particularly in areas such as cyber exposures, ESG and product liability, says Henning Schaloske at Clyde & Co.

  • Cos. Must Monitor Sanctions Regime As Law Remains Unclear

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    While recent U.K. government guidance and an English High Court's decision in Litasco v. Der Mond Oil, finding that a company is sanctioned when a designated individual is exercising control over it, both address sanctions control issues, disarray in the law remains, highlighting that practitioners should keep reviewing their exposure to the sanctions regime, say lawyers at K&L Gates.

  • The Top 7 Global ESG Litigation Trends In 2023

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    To date, ESG litigation across the world can largely be divided into seven forms, but these patterns will continue developing, including a rise in cases against private and state actors, a more complex regulatory environment affecting multinational companies, and an increase in nongovernmental organization activity, say Sophie Lamb and Aleksandra Dulska at Latham.

  • Proposed Amendment Would Transform UK Collective Actions

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    If the recently proposed amendment to the Digital Markets Bill is enacted, the U.K.'s collective action landscape will undergo a seismic change that will likely have significant consequences for consumer-facing businesses, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • EU GDPR Ruling Reiterates Relative Nature Of 'Personal Data'

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    The Court of Justice of the European Union recently confirmed in Gesamtverband v. Scania that vehicle identification number data can be processed under the General Data Protection Regulation, illustrating that the same dataset may be considered "personal data" for one party, but not another, which suggests a less expansive definition of the term, say lawyers at Van Bael.

  • Employment Law Changes May Increase Litigation In 2024

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    As we enter 2024, significant employment law updates include changes to holiday pay, gender equality and flexible working, but the sector must deal with the unintended consequences of some of these changes, likely leading to increased litigation in the coming year, says Louise Taft at Jurit.

  • How 'Copyleft' Licenses May Affect Generative AI Output

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    Open-source software and the copyleft licenses that support it, whereby derivative works must be made available for others to use and modify, have been a boon to the development of artificial intelligence, but could lead to issues for coders who use AI to help write code and may find their resulting work exposed, says William Dearn at HLK.

  • UK Compulsory Mediation Ruling Still Leaves Courts Leeway

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    An English Court of Appeal recently issued a landmark decision in Churchill v. Merthyr Tydfil County, stating that courts can compel parties to engage in alternative dispute resolution, but the decision does not dictate how courts should exercise this power, which litigants will likely welcome, say lawyers at Herbert Smith.

  • Russia Ruling Shows UK's Robust Jurisdiction Approach

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    An English High Court's recent decision to grant an anti-suit injunction in the Russia-related dispute Renaissance Securities v. Chlodwig Enterprises clearly illustrates that obtaining an injunction will likely be more straightforward when the seat is in England compared to when it is abroad, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • EU Rejection Of Booking.com Deal Veers From Past Practice

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    The European Commission's recent prohibition of Booking's purchase of Etraveli based on ecosystem theories of harm reveals a lower bar for prohibiting nonhorizontal mergers, and may mean increased merger scrutiny for companies with entrenched market positions in digital markets, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • PPI Ruling Spells Trouble For Financial Services Firms

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    The Supreme Court's recent decision in Canada Square v. Potter, which found that the claimant's missold payment protection insurance claim was not time-barred, is bad news for affected financial services firms, as there is now certainty over the law on the postponement of limitation periods, rendering hidden commission claims viable, say Ian Skinner and Chris Webber at Squire Patton.

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