Dispute resolution

UK Litigation Brief | April 2024

Published on 17th Apr 2024

Welcome to the latest edition of Osborne Clarke's Litigation Brief

Service outside the jurisdiction

English courts appear to have slightly relaxed the rules on extending time for service out of the jurisdiction in some cases.

Although claimants get slightly longer to serve claim forms on defendants who are outside the jurisdiction (and have not nominated English solicitors to accept service on their behalf) – six months rather than four months for service within the jurisdiction – that is sometimes still not enough time.

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Enthusiasm for remote hearings appears to be falling away

During lockdown, the English courts adapted well to fully remote hearings. However, we may be starting to see a return to in-person hearings as the default position – in the English Commercial Court at least.

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Court of Appeal considers how standard Ts and Cs can be incorporated into a contract for goods or services made online

The rules for incorporating terms and conditions into a contract pre-date the digital area. Broadly, Ts and Cs do not have to be read by the other side: they just need to be aware that there is writing (even if they do not know that that writing contains Ts and Cs).

The party with the relevant Ts and Cs must do what is reasonably sufficient to bring them to the attention of the other party. In the consumer space, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (and before that, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999) attempts to address unfairness to the weaker party.

Parker-Grennan v Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd is the first case in which the Court of Appeal has considered how incorporation works when a contract for goods or services is made online (and where, often, customers click "I accept" (a procedure known as "click-wrap"), without reading the Ts and Cs, as they cannot proceed with the sale if they do not click).

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Court of Appeal considers whether directors can still be held liable for civil contempt in respect of orders made against their companies

This issue arose because of a change a few years ago in the English Civil Procedure Rules.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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