Ashfords' In House Legal Bulletin - September 2019

This month's bulletin brings you our update on the potential impact that the post-Grenfell building safety consultation could have on developers and landlords, as well as two recent cases from the Court of Appeal relating to rectification of contract terms, the distinction between exception and force majeure clauses and further clarification on the principle of compensatory damages.

Building safety consultation – and how it could affect you

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government released a consultation seeking views on a new building safety regime. Read the consultation here.

Last year Dame Judith Hackitt, the former chairman of the Health and Safety Executive, was given the task of reviewing the building safety system and suggesting how it can be improved. This recent consultation was an extension of Dame Judith Hackitt’s findings.

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The Court of Appeal makes no exception: force majeure and compensatory damages

In the recent case of Classic Maritime Inc v Limbungan Makmur Sdn Bhd [2019] EWCA Civ 1102 the Court of Appeal explored the distinction between exception and force majeure clauses, whilst also providing clarity on the principle of compensatory damages. 

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Rectification: the Court of Appeal restates the law on common mistake

The Court of Appeal has recently clarified the test to be applied in deciding whether the written terms of a contract may be rectified.

FSHC Group Holdings Limited (‘Holdings’) was the holding company of the Four Seasons Health Care Group, which provides elderly care services. In 2012, a private equity investment fund acquired a controlling interest in the group. The acquisition finance included a shareholder loan made by Holdings, which was intended to be subordinate to loan notes issued by other companies in the group. To effect the subordination, Holdings was required to assign its interest in the shareholder loan, so that it would not receive any repayment until other creditors had been paid. By oversight, however, no such assignment was executed.

To read more click here

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