Commercial Litigation Update June 2017

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Commercial Litigation Update June 2017

Published 8 June 2017

Welcome to the June issue of the DAC Beachcroft Dublin Commercial Litigation e-zine. We have prepared guidance on recent developments and gathered some helpful updates which we hope will be of interest to practitioners.

 

Irish Courts rule that Third Party Litigation Funding Agreements are Unlawful

In a pivotal ruling last week in Persona Digital Telephony Limited and anor v The Minister for Public Enterprise and others, the Irish Supreme Court unequivocally stated that third party litigation funding remains unlawful in Ireland.

Background

In Persona, the plaintiffs had entered into an agreement with Harbor Fund III, LP (an off-shore funding partnership) ("Harbor Fund"), whereby Harbor Fund would fund the legal action taken by plaintiffs in return for a share in any award made by the court to the plaintiffs.

The Supreme Court appeal involved an appeal by the plaintiffs against an earlier High Court ruling in which the court refused to grant a declaration that the litigation funding agreement between the plaintiffs and Harbor Fund was not an abuse of process and/or contrary to the doctrines of maintenance and champerty. 

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Olympic Year for Data Protection in Ireland

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner ("ODPC") recently released its 2016 Annual Report in which it described 2016 as an "Olympic year" for the field of data protection law.

2016 saw a number of significant developments in the data protection sphere in Ireland and internationally, most notably, the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") (which comes into effect in May 2018); the introduction of the Privacy Shield, following the strike down of the Safe Harbor principles in late 2015; and the ODPC seeking a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") in respect of standard contractual clauses (model clauses) in the Schrems case (for a summary of this case, see our previous articles.

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Practice Direction HC 71

New order for payment on account pending taxation of costs

Practitioners should be aware that since 24 April 2017, it is possible to seek an order directing payment of a reasonable sum on account of costs pending the taxation of such costs.

Such orders may be made in all cases where there is no dispute as to the liability for the payment of costs and in any other case which a judge deems appropriate.

It is a requirement to obtain such an order, that the solicitor for the successful party must undertake that in the event of taxation realising a smaller sum than that directed to be paid on account, such overpayment will be repaid.

To see practice direction, click here.

 

Civil justice system in Ireland set to undergo major review and reform

The President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly will chair a newly established group, to review and reform the administration of civil justice in the State. The Group is to report to the Minister for Justice and Equality within two years.

The remit of the review will take into account the body of work and range of initiatives already developed, such as the 2010 Law Reform Commission Report on Consolidation and Reform of the courts and the legal costs provisions of the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015.

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Authors

Rowena McCormack

Rowena McCormack

Dublin

+353 (0)1 231 9628

Lisa Broderick

Lisa Broderick

Dublin

+353 (0) 1 231 9683

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