January 2012: London Litigation Update

In This Issue:

- Liquidator Ordered to Disclose Documents to Creditor for Use in Arbitration

In Sunwing Vacation Inc v. E-Clear (UK) plc [2011] EWHC 1544 (Ch), 3 June 2011, the U.K. High Court of Justice Chancery Division considered whether Section 155(1) of the 1986 Insolvency Act, which requires the disclosure of an insolvent company’s papers to its creditors, also required the disclosure of documents to a creditor for use in a separate arbitration against a third party. The applicants, Sunwing Vacations Inc. and Vacances Sunwing Inc. (collectively “Sunwing”) applied for an order against E-Clear (UK) plc (E-Clear), a company in voluntary liquidation of which they were creditors, and E-Clear’s liquidators for the disclosure of documents for use in arbitration proceedings in Germany. The German arbitration involved claims by Sunwing that relate to E-Clear’s debt to Sunwing...

- Sovereign Immunity

Could an affiliate of a New York-based hedge fund seize Argentina’s assets in Britain using a $284 million U.S. court judgment it had against the South American nation? In NML Capital v Argentina, the U.K. Supreme Court held that the hedge fund was entitled to do so...

- Common Sense and Contract Interpretation

In Rainy Sky SA v. Kookmin Bank [2011] UKSC 50, The U.K. Supreme Court recently gave important guidance on the English courts’ approach to contractual interpretation. The fundamental rule under English law is that the purpose of contractual interpretation is to determine what the parties meant by the language they used. This is an objective enquiry – it involves ascertaining how a reasonable person, with all of the background knowledge available to the parties at the time of the contract, would construe the document...

- Lucasfilm v Ainsworth [2011] UKSC 39 (the ‘Stormtrooper Helmet’ case)

England’s highest Court has held that Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets are not “sculptures,” much to the chagrin of Lucasfilm. In doing so, it also found that an action for copyright infringement based on activity outside the EU (in this case the United States) could be brought in England against someone residing in the United Kingdom over whom the English courts have personal jurisdiction...

Please see full issue below for more information.

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