8th January 2024

The Lawyer Top 20 Cases, released today, includes matters with the most significant sums in dispute as well as disputes involving high profile parties or issues. Three cases involving members of 4 Pump Court are featured, with proceedings set to be heard in 2024.

1. AerCap Ireland v AIG Europe and others

This is a complex insurance dispute over foreign aircraft stuck in Russia. The implementation of sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine meant that aircraft leased to Russia by foreign businesses remained in the Federation. Over the course of several heated court exchanges, airplane companies are expected to take on their insurers for the loss of the aircraft. These take place across two key dates, with the first matter concerning a jurisdiction application that could affect over 70 different claims. The defendants, which are reinsurers of operator policies, claim the trial should take place in Russia, while the claimants believe a fairer trial is likely in the England and Wales courts. The second larger trial, brought by lessors under contingent and possessed policies, will be heard in October. This takes six claims into account, including those brought by AerCap Ireland, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Falcon 2019-1 Aircraft 3, Merx Aviation Servicing and KDAC Aircraft Trading 2. However, if the February jurisdiction challenge fails, more parties could participate in this bumper 12-week hearing.

Companies defending the claims throughout the year include:

For the defendants, the HAR insurers (Convex Insurance) or AXA- Nigel Tozzi KC and James Hatt instructed by DACB

For the defendants, the war risk insurers (Syndicate 3010 at Lloyds) Andrew Neish KC, Kate Livesey and Rangan Chatterjee, instructed by HFW

2. IBM UK v LzLabs and others

A liability trial brought by tech giant IBM against LzLabs and its associated companies. With parallel litigation also taking place in the Texas courts, this claim is being taken very seriously by IBM, which is suing for breach of contract. It believes that since 2013, when IBM licensed its mainframe software to LzLabs subsdiary Winsopia, the defendant group has reverse-engineered the IBM system to create its own product. It is alleged that the LzLabs software enables customers to take applications developed for IBM mainframe computers and run them without the need for source code changes. LzLabs denies the terms were breached, claiming instead that the information provided to it was not restricted by the terms of the IBM contract.

For the claimants, IBM UK
Matthew Lavy KC, Laura Wright, Alex Taylor and Jacob Haddad, instructed by instructed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

3. Shepherd Construction v Kingspan and others

A landmark construction and cladding dispute worth almost £70m will head to trial in the Technology & Construction Court this October. Shepherd Construction, a UK-based construction company, was engaged as the main contractor for the Northern Quarter mixed-use development in Colindale, London. Its claim centres around numerous issues with the construction of the external wall systems of the buildings, particularly the use of insulation alleged to be non-compliant with building regulations.

The 12-party case will be one of the first to consider the new cause of action against cladding manufacturers under s149 of the Building Safety Act and will have a large effect on the legal principles surrounding fire safety issues.

For the claimant, Shepherd Construction
Sean Brannigan KC and Luke Wygas, instructed by Mayer Brown

For the defendant, Kingspan
Rachel Ansell KC, Jonathan Lewis KC and Elliott Cook, instructed by Fenwick Elliott

For the defendant, Bickerdike Allen Partners
Peter Oliver, instructed by Keoghs

For the defendant, Drytech Facades
Lynne McCafferty KC and Daniel Churcher, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Olswang


View The Lawyer Top 20 Cases here: https://www.thelawyer.com/

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