The Court of Appeal has set the bar high with respect to the duties that surveyors owe to their clients – even when they believe that their retainer has been terminated due to non payment of a bill. This bar could lead to more professional negligence claims against surveyors and other professionals.
The developer claimant in Point West London Limited v Mivan Limited  found itself in the unfortunate position of trying to argue that a settlement agreement it had entered did not include a full and final settlement of its claim. It wanted a second bite at the cherry and so sought a declaration from the High Court that it was entitled to do so.
By now one would have expected that every part of Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules would have been examined by the court. However, in the case of PHI Group Limited v Robert West Consulting Limited  the Court of Appeal was required to consider the effect of a purported Part 36 offer which failed to specify a period of not less than 21 days within which the defendant would be liable for the claimant’s costs if the offer was accepted.
The tale of the out of date ketchup and the £84,000 mousse…
The recent case of Compass Group UK and Ireland Limited (t/a Medirest) v Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust  provides a useful reminder of duties to co-operate in good faith in long term services contracts.
In a recent article we considered mediation and the court’s ability to impose sanctions against a party it considered had unreasonably refused to mediate. In the recent case of Swain Mason v Mills & Reeve  the Court of Appeal has considered the question again and in this case overruled the trial judge’s decision to penalise the successful party for refusing to mediate.
Tenants failure to pay full rent when exercising a break clause was fatal
In a previous article the potential dangers of exercising break clauses in leases were highlighted. The court has looked at this area again in PCE Investors Limited v Cancer Research UK , a case which highlights another trap for the unwary.
In the current economic climate break clauses are proving fertile territory for disputes, tenants are relying on them to escape leases entered into when times were better and landlords are challenging their exercise to try and keep tenants locked into leases.
Head tenant unable to refuse its sub-tenant’s right to a new lease
Landlords acquiring interests in commercial property with mid to long term plans to occupy the premises for their own use need to be aware of the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the Act”) when there is a tenant protected under the Act in occupation. This is still the case when the landlord is itself a tenant, and not the freeholder.
In a recent article we commented on the Court’s decision in the case of Westbrook Dolphin Square Limited and Friends Life Limited . Westbrook appealed the judge’s decision which struck out proceedings it had brought against Friends Life.