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Disputes

Disputes

Whether it’s algebra or shipping law – always double check the little details

Waiting on our food at our Italian-American diner of choice, my son’s attention turned to the entertainment on his placemat. The dot-to-dot and spot the difference passing without incident, he enlisted my help with the maths challenge. The problem was as follows:

X + X + X = 30
X + Y + Y = 20
Y + X + X + Z + Z = 29
X + Y x Z = ?

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Burness admin

New Penalty Surcharge: Safety Fines to Increase by 7.5% in Scotland

Regulations coming into force in Scotland on 25 November 2019 will require convicted offenders including organisations, who receive a court fine, to contribute towards the cost of supporting victims of crime by paying an additional financial penalty into the Victim Surcharge Fund (“the Fund”). 

The surcharge will be applied automatically at the time of sentencing and is linked to the level of fine imposed. The minimum surcharge is £10 (for fines up to £200) but for larger penalties (fines over £10,000) the surcharge is a fixed 7.5%.

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St Andrews Gowns Won’t Fly South This Winter

A rare decision on the operation of jurisdiction rules between England and Scotland has just been issued by the Court of Session in Edinburgh. In it The University of St Andrews was found to be entitled to pursue proceedings in Scotland against a company alleged to have infringed its trade marks in student gowns. In his written opinion (which can be accessed here), Lord Doherty rejected arguments made by Student Gowns Limited, that the case should be heard in England.

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The Shame Game

Nobody wants to be shamed in public. Especially if the audience includes your client and peers. Yet, this is the risk we run every time we issue a “cease and desist” letter on behalf of a client. The problem seems to arise most commonly when enforcing trade marks but claims of patent and copyright infringement are not without their own risk.

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Shanks v Unilever - A win for inventors in the Supreme Court

Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated judgment in a long-running legal saga between Unilever and a now former employee called Professor Shanks.  The case concerned Prof. Shanks’ claim for compensation for an invention created by him whilst employed by Unilever.

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Burness admin

Notices in Commercial Leases – a welcome clarification for landlords and tenants

Over 100 years after an Act came in, we finally have some clarity.

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The “New” Future for Compensation - The Scottish “Discount” Rate

In the personal injury world, it has long been agreed that it is necessary to vary compensation for future losses to reflect the fact that recipients would invest their money and receive a return on that investment. The question has always been:

What is a fair discount rate and how do we determine that?

Scotland’s answer was introduced earlier this year in the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Act 2019, which created a new mechanism for determining the discount rate in Scotland.

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Another One Bytes the Dust: a commercial litigator’s view of Thomas Cook’s collapse

Journalists might have expected to enjoy a slow news day, increasingly rare in the Brexit era, while awaiting the Supreme Court’s judgement on the prorogation of Parliament. 

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Dilapidations – coffee sweetener as a measure of loss

Coffee sweetener as a measure of loss? Honestly? Well…

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Commercial Litigation Strategy: Lessons from BoJo vs Bercow and the Scottish Courts

There’s a well-known military saying about battle plans: “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. I prefer Mike Tyson’s glorious re-imagining of it for the boxing ring: “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. As I tweeted recently, Boris Johnson is discovering that this remains as true as it ever was. And from the outside it seems that he’s getting punched in the face a lot.

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