Goodwin Insights July 01, 2021

Foreword

On behalf of the new and expanding Goodwin London litigation team I am delighted to welcome you to our first ever ‘Litigation Insights’: a series of quarterly updates on important and interesting developments for the dispute resolution community in England.

The last year has obviously been a time of great uncertainty and change that has and will continue to throw up issues that require resolution. As we chart a path forward there is certainly a sense, as indicated in the number of claims being issued, that the London courts will be in demand as a forum for the resolution of these disputes.

The courts have done an admirable job of adapting quickly to the demands of remote hearings and trials demonstrating the importance of investment in technology to ensure the smooth running of justice in order for London to maintain its position as the destination of choice for the resolution of international disputes. There are a number of benefits that have been uncovered by the forced use of technology and it is important that the disputes community embraces these into the future.

This is especially so as we emerge post-transition from the European Union into a new era and a new regime for the consideration of jurisdictional and enforcement issues. As this edition goes to press the European Commission has indicated that it does not consider that the UK should be allowed to accede to the Lugano Convention. It remains to be seen whether this is a question of politics and views may change, but for now we must fall back on the Hague Convention and the various bilateral agreements that exist with our friends on the continent. Expect some jurisdictional challenges!

On the case front we have seen a few decisions that demonstrate the importance of accurate drafting of dispute resolution clauses when it comes to providing for arbitration and also an interesting decision in the Phones 4U v Deutsche Telekom case which demonstrates that the courts will not accept attempts to circumvent disclosure obligations wherever possible.

We would very much welcome your thoughts on the issues we cover and particularly if there are areas that you would like us to cover in future editions. Finally, a reminder that the team are always delighted to deliver sessions on any topics of interest for in-house teams, large and small. If you would like us to do so, please do get in touch.