In court this week: Brexit, betting and (anti)bodies

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Starting today, The Lawyer will be previewing the biggest, most critical cases coming through the English courts on a weekly basis.

Today (Monday 14 January) marks the new term in the English courts and this week sees major cases involving Brexit, betting and anti-bodies.

But before all of that, the High Court welcomes a new judge to its bench as Blackstone Chambers’ silk Nathalie Lieven QC is sworn in following Mrs Justice Pauffley’s retirement.

Lieven has been a deputy High Court judge since 2016 and her promotion to the bench in full was confirmed on 20 December. She will not be the sole High Court arrival in 2019 as the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary says that it is likely another appointment will be made “in the coming months”.

On to the cases.

Sports fans the country over should be keeping a close eye on Racing Partnership Limited & Arena Racing Group v Done Brothers Ltd & Sports Information Systems with the outcome being potentially devastating for televised sports.

Racing Partnership and Arena are challenging the legality of televised pundits commentating on live screens which they can see but are obscured to the public with shows like Sky’s Gillette Soccer Saturday carving out a formidable reputation with this formula for the last 27 years.

Should the Done Brothers – arguably best known for founding the betting chain BetFred – lose, it could spell the end for this format of sports broadcasting in horse racing, football and beyond.

The claimants have turned to Blackstone Chambers’ Ian Mill QC and Tom Cleaver QC, instructed by K&L Gates partner John Mangin who will be facing Blackstone Chambers’ colleague Michael Bloch QC and Brick Court Chambers’ Craig Morrison, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang partner Dan Tench.

This morning also sees the beginning of a 14-day hearing for Allen & Overy client American pharmaceutical business Eli Lilly.

The US business is seeking clarification over the status of a patent for its anti-IL-17 drug Taltz which is used in the treatment of psoriasis. Eli Lilly is taking on fellow American company and biotech business Genentech which has turned to IP boutique Marks & Clerk partner Mike Gilbert. His clients include some of the biggest names in this tranche of litigation, having represented Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Roche to name just three.

The matchup between arguably the magic circle’s best IP practice and the boutique is bound to be a fascinating contest, not least as the practice looks to reshape itself following Nicola Dagg’s departure to Kirkland & Ellis in May last year.

Before her departure, Dagg was co-leading on the Eli Lilly case. The outcome of this litigation will provide a much clearer indication of how the partners now acting on it – Mark Heaney, Neville Cordell and Mark Ridgway – will carry the practice without her.

Staying in the magic circle, Clifford Chance is instructing barristers from Wilberforce and Brick Court in a key Brexit dispute over a lease’s break clause.

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) v European Medicines Agency (EMA) kicks off today with CWG trying to prevent the EMA from breaking its long-term lease early, having only signed a contract until 2039 five years ago.

The EMA argues that it did not foresee Brexit becoming a reality upon signing the tenancy contract. CWG has taken issues with the EMA’s intention to relocate to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam and is determined to make the EMA honour its contract.

Clifford Chance director of property litigation Ben Hatton has instructed Brick Court’s Lord Anderson KBE QC and Zahra Al-Rikabi, and Wilberforce Chambers’ Joanne Wicks QC to take on DLA Piper partner Peter Fletcher and his counsel team of Wilberforce Chambers’ Jonathan Seitler QC and Emer Murphy, and Blackstone Chambers’ Tom de la Mare QC and James Segan.

Early this week also sees Fountain Court and One Essex Court doing what they’ve built their names on by acting on big-ticket banking litigation. This time, One Essex Court’s Alain Choo-Choy QC leads Fountain Court’s Laura John and Max Kasriel, as well as Blackstone Chambers’ Robert Weekes, instructed by Memery Crystal partner Mark Whelan who are bringing a case against French bank Natixis. Their client, financial services business Marex Spectron, has been in a long-running battle against the French bank with the latest installment of this commercial court claim set for a three-week hearing.

The 2015-called prodigy Kasriel finds himself on another of the week’s major upcoming cases and a pertinent one following the chaos at Gatwick just before Christmas.

Blanche v easyJet was heard at first instance last April with the airline gaining a decision in its favour over its duty to pay compensation over delayed flights. The judge found that certain air traffic control decisions would amount to ‘extraordinary circumstances’, leaving the airline in the clear for paying out compensation.

The case has progressed to the Court of Appeal where Fountain Court’s John Taylor QC and Ben Lynch, instructed by Bott & Co partner Paul Hinchcliffe, will face their chambers’ colleagues Akhil Shah QC and Kasriel, and Norton Rose Fulbright partner Robert Springthorpe.

The post In court this week: Brexit, betting and (anti)bodies appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal insight, benchmarking data and jobs.

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