Commercial Litigation Update April 2018

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Commercial Litigation Update - April 2018

Published 12 April 2018

Welcome to the April issue of the DAC Beachcroft Dublin Commercial Litigation update.

We have prepared guidance and commentary on recent developments together with some helpful updates which we hope will be of interest to practitioners.

Work underway on Review of the Administration of Civil Justice 

The deadline has now passed for the receipt of submissions by the expert group which has been formed to review the administration of civil justice in the Irish legal system. The group, chaired by High Court President, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, will examine a wide range of issues with a view to modernising practice and procedure within the courts system. Reducing the costs of litigation, removing outdated practices, promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution and the possibility of making court documents (including pleadings and legal submissions) available online are some of the matters which will now be examined by the group. It will also consider recommending reforms to the current rules for discovery. The group will now examine the submissions received and will in due course report its findings to the Minister for Justice. As yet, no date has been announced for the publication of any reports or recommendations by the group.

Mediation Act 2017 now in operation

The provisions of the Mediation Act 2017 ("the Act"), signed into law last autumn, commenced operation on 30 January last. The Act, which is intended to promote the option of mediation as an alternative to the issue of court proceedings, places new obligations on solicitors to furnish information to their clients about the potential for resolving legal disputes by mediation. The Act’s provisions will apply generally to all legal disputes other than arbitrations, employment law matters, judicial review, and certain other specified exclusions.

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Concurrent wrongdoers - the importance of joining all relevant parties to proceedings

The recent ruling in the High Court case of Kehoe v RTE saw the jury in that case calculating the apportionment of liability between two parties, a rare occurrence in defamation actions in this jurisdiction.

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High Court rules that Defendant must submit data access request as part of making discovery to Plaintiff

In Susquehanna International Group Limited v Daniel Needham [2017] IEHC 706, the High Court considered the novel question of whether an individual should be required to make discovery of documents which he or she can obtain through making a data subject access request.

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Irish Farmers’ Association to pay former General Secretary €350,000 in settlement of defamation case

The Irish Farmers’ Association (“IFA”) recently confirmed that it has settled the two sets of High Court proceedings instituted against it by its former general secretary, Pat Smith. As part of the settlement, the IFA is to make a payment of €1.9 million (in addition to legal costs) to Mr. Smith, €350,000 of which is in settlement of defamation proceedings and the remaining €1.55 million of which relates to Mr. Smith’s breach of contract claim. 

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Authors

Julie-Anne Binchy

Julie-Anne Binchy

Dublin

+353 (0) 123 19636

Lisa Broderick

Lisa Broderick

Dublin

+353 (0) 1 231 9683

Rowena McCormack

Rowena McCormack

Dublin

+353 (0)1 231 9628

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