• Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

    New Perspectives on Legal Cases: A Fresh Take on Recent Court Rulings

    ByEmma Wolukau-Wanambwa

    Nov 21, 2023
    New Perspectives on Legal Cases: A Fresh Take on Recent Court Rulings

    Sanctions: Litasco SA v Der Mond Oil and Gas Africa SA

    In a recent court ruling, Litasco SA v Der Mond Oil and Gas Africa SA, the judge rejected Der Mond’s defense to non-payment, which included a claim that Litasco was controlled by President Putin and therefore payment would contravene sanctions regulations. The judge awarded Litasco summary judgment, stating that there was no evidence of President Putin’s de facto control over Litasco. Furthermore, the court emphasized that the sanctions regulations do not prevent the court from entering a money judgment in favor of a sanctioned party. This ruling highlights the importance of clear evidence and adherence to sanctions regulations in contractual disputes.

    Landlord and tenant: FSV Freeholders Ltd v SGL 1 Ltd

    In a dispute over the validity of notices served by a freehold owner to tenants, the court held that the notices were indeed valid. The notices provided details specific to each tenant’s building within the estate, which aligned with the tenants’ right of first refusal. The court emphasized that providing details of the principal terms for the sale of the entire plot of land would be unhelpful to the tenants. This ruling reinforces the necessity of clear communication and compliance with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 in landlord-tenant relationships.

    Maritime – General average: Star Axe I LLC v Royal and Sun Alliance Luxembourg SA and others

    The Commercial Court interpreted the standard Congenbill 1994 form and determined that the applicable rules were the York-Antwerp Rules 2016, dismissing the argument that these rules were new rather than modifications of the 1994 rules. The court held that the 2004 and 2016 rules were modifications as they were produced by the same body, aimed at the same purpose, and contained similar provisions with some changes. This interpretation aligns with the commercial purpose of ensuring that general average keeps pace with developments in shipborne commerce.

    Good faith: Phones 4U Ltd (In Administration) v EE Ltd and others

    In a case concerning the duty of good faith, the English court rejected the argument that EE breached its duty to Phones 4U. The court emphasized that the good faith clause should be understood in the context of the specific agreement and rejected the notion that it was a relational contract. Despite the long-term nature of the contract and the cooperation required, the competitive aspect between the parties undermined the relational nature of the agreement. This ruling underscores the importance of considering the specific context and terms of an agreement when evaluating the duty of good faith.

    Maritime: Frangou v Frangos

    The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the claimant in a case involving the purchase of a loss-making vessel and a subsequent agreement for the defendant to reimburse any losses. The court held that the defendant’s liability to reimburse was not conditional on the claimant retaining sole beneficial interest in the vessel or limited to a specific time frame. The court based its decision on the interpretation of the contract, taking into account the defendant’s financial debt and the claimant’s rescue efforts. This ruling emphasizes the significance of carefully analyzing contract terms and the surrounding circumstances in interpreting liability.


    Q: Can court judgments be made in favor of sanctioned parties?
    A: Yes, court judgments can be made in favor of sanctioned parties, as long as there is no evidence of direct control by sanctioned individuals or entities and the transaction does not violate sanctions regulations.

    Q: How should landlords serve notices to tenants regarding their right of first refusal?
    A: Landlords should serve notices to tenants as required by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, providing details specific to the building or estate in which the tenant’s property is located.

    Q: How are modifications of rules determined in legal cases?
    A: Modifications of rules are typically determined based on factors such as the producing body, the aligned purpose, and the presence of similar provisions with some changes.

    Q: Is the duty of good faith always applicable in long-term contracts?
    A: The duty of good faith may not always be applicable in long-term contracts when there are competitive aspects between the parties that negate the relational nature of the agreement.

    Q: Is liability to reimburse in a contract time-limited?
    A: The time limit for liability to reimburse in a contract depends on the specific terms and conditions outlined in the agreement, which may or may not impose a time constraint on the party responsible for reimbursement.