Six key developments in 2013

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In this article we consider six of the most important developments in English commercial law to have occurred in 2013.

Exclusion clauses

Probably the most significant case in the perennially troublesome area of exclusion clauses was Kudos Catering (UK) Limited v Manchester Central Convention Complex Limited, in which a party sought to rely upon an exclusion clause to exclude its liability for loss of profits in relation to a repudiatory breach of contract. We examine the case and its implications here.

Late payment of invoices

New legislation governing the late payment of invoices came into force earlier in the year. In an earlier briefing we summarised the new legislation and advised what businesses should be doing to take advantage of it.

Social media

The growth of social media continues to present challenges for the law, particularly in the areas of employment law and intellectual property law. One issue that has come to the fore in the last few months is who owns social media contacts. We discuss this increasingly important issue here.

Good faith

2013 has been a roller coaster year for the concept of good faith in commercial contracts with a surprising number of (sometimes apparently contradictory) cases exploring the extent to which parties to a contract owe a duty of good faith to one another. We consider the issue here.


Businesses that deal with consumers need to start getting ready for the Consumer Rights Bill next year by reviewing their standard wording on, for instance, cancellation rights and refunds and returns. Businesses should also check that they are compliant with the legislation on excessive surcharges, which came into force on 6 April 2013 and which we examined here.

Legal professional privilege

In January the Supreme Court considered whether legal professional privilege – which protects the advice given to lawyers by their clients from disclosure – applies to other professions. In a decision which has important ramifications for all those instructing professional advisers, the Court answered the question in the negative. Further analysis is provided here