Commercial Contract

Supreme Court clarifies the position on penalty clauses
05/11/2015
The Supreme Court has given two important judgements on the interpretation of penalty clauses. Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi concerning restrictive covenants and Parking Eye Limited v Beavis concerning parking penalties. Courts will now be concerned with whether the clause in question imposes a detriment on the contract breaker "out of all proportion to any legitimate interest of the innocent party". In determining this, the Courts will now consider the wider commercial context of a transaction. Even if the amount required by a clause bears no relationship to the...
An Outline of Hotel Purchases
09/06/2015
Hotel developments and purchases have been in the news recently which would indicate a thriving Northern Ireland tourism and leisure industry. But what exactly is involved in such a purchase and what issues should any potential Seller or Buyer be aware of? During the past few weeks the Commercial and Property teams in O’Reilly Stewart have acted in the purchase of Windsor House in Belfast by the Hastings Hotel Group who plan on turning the building into a new hotel, while on the north coast we acted in the purchase of The York Inn which was bought from Receivers by an unnamed business....
Football Transfers – The Legalities
01/09/2014
With ‘Transfer Deadline’ day once again upon us, it is perhaps fitting to look at the legalities of the player transfer system and how it operates within the framework of EU law, with concerns having been raised regarding the employment rights of professional footballers compared to those in other professions. FIFPro, the international players’ union who represent over 65,000 professional footballers, recently criticised the football transfer policy, announcing a series of challenges aimed at reforming the global transfer system and ‘the current economic make-up...
Suarez World Cup Incident – Highlighting the Legalities in Sport
04/07/2014
The recent Luis Suarez biting incident has brought attention to legal issues in the world of sport which, given the huge sums of money involved, can often be at the centre of very complicated litigation. On Tuesday 24th June 2014 during Uruguay’s World Cup group match against Italy, Suarez was involved in an incident with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in which he seemed to bite the shoulder of Chiellini. Suarez was subsequently charged with misconduct by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee and was issued with a 9 match ban for international matches and banned from all football related...
Prest v Petrodel Resources - Piercing the Corporate Veil?
08/07/2013
The Supreme Court in England and Wales has unanimously allowed an appeal by Yasmin Prest, restoring the original decision that her ex-husband’s companies must transfer assets to Ms Prest as part of a divorce settlement.  The significance of this decision is that on divorce, husbands or wives will not be able to withhold assets from their spouse where they have previously transferred them into companies to deliberately conceal them from being part of any settlement. It is important to note that the Court’s reasoning behind their Judgment was different to the original...
Early Case Assessment
27/06/2013
  Increasing litigation, heightened focus on regulatory compliance and risk management are all placing pressure on commercial businesses and their in-house lawyers.  Therefore, the importance of handling investigations and disputes efficiently cannot be underestimated. Document and data review, the traditional linear approach to case management, are time consuming and often result in advisors examining and analysing the same set of documents, with large periods of time being spent before the case can be properly assessed and any decision made. In-house lawyers and general counsel...