March 2013 Archive

Can an executor of a will be removed?

If an executor has been appointed under the terms of a deceased’s will it may be possible to remove the executor even if they have not acted inappropriately. In order to be successful with such a claim, the court will expect there to be ‘special circumstances’ so as to allow it to consider using its discretion to remove the executor. The recent case of Khan v Crossland [2011] highlights the court’s approach to ‘special circumstances’.

Break clause conditions need to be considered carefully

Several recent cases emphasise the need for the utmost care when exercising a lease break option. It is difficult for a landlord in the current climate to achieve the onerous conditions he used to be able to achieve - such as compliance with lease covenants – in lease break clauses. Tenants have a good bargaining power in break clause negotiation, under current market conditions. A tenant signing up to, say, a six year lease with a break option after three years no doubt expects to have the right to walk away after the third year, if serving notice, without having to surmount obstacles before doing so.

Supply chain contracts and the risk of exchange rate fluctuations

International supply chain contracts have the added risk of exchange rate fluctuations. A recent Court of Appeal decision underlines the importance of dealing expressly with this issue in the contract. In the case of Proctor & Gamble v Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA (2012) the court refused to imply a term for the benefit of the buyer who was adversely affected by variations to the euro/sterling exchange rate.

Data protection - Sony fined £250,000 for data security breach

In April 2011, a group of hackers attacked part of the PlayStation Platform compromising the personal information of millions of Sony customers, including their names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, account passwords and in some cases, credit card details. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office determined that Sony had committed a serious breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Mutual exchange - before and after the Localism Act

The Localism Act has created a new mechanism for mutual exchange to protect certain ‘life-time tenants’ following the introduction of fixed term tenancies. Mutual exchange is the mechanism by which tenants can swap properties without having to make a separate application to their Landlord. In a mutual exchange tenants not only swap properties but also step into each other’s shoes. If Tenant A has a different tenancy agreement from Tenant B, he will be obliged to comply with the differing terms of Tenant B’s agreement and vice versa. Section 158 of the Localism Act creates a new mechanism for mutual exchanges based on the granting of new tenancies.
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