Last Updated May 15, 2019

Law and Practice

Authors



Signature Litigation LLP has offices in London, Paris and Gibraltar specialising in complex, high-value, multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. The firm has no transactional practice, and seeks to minimise the constraints posed by commercial and legal conflicts of interest. Its lawyers have trained and previously worked at other top-tier UK, US and international law firms. Its multi-award winning team has advised on some of the most significant and complex disputes in recent legal history, spanning a range of sectors including banking and financial services, energy and natural resources, pension, private equity, trusts and insurance.

There are three distinct legal jurisdictions within the UK. These are England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Both England and Wales and Northern Ireland are common law jurisdictions, while Scotland has a mixed legal system which contains elements of civil law as well as common law. The UK Parliament (located in Westminster, London) has jurisdiction to legislate in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in respect of certain reserved and excepted matters (for example, defence), but otherwise each of these nations has effectively been granted autonomy in respect of legislating for all other matters. The differences between the three legal jurisdictions are outside the scope of this chapter, and the following material focuses on the legal regime in England and Wales and the English courts, as this is the regime that is most commonly featured in commercial contracts.

At its most basic, the legal regime in England and Wales has three elements:

  • primary legislation in the form of Acts of Parliament;
  • secondary legislation in the form of statutory instruments which allow the provisions of Acts of Parliament to be brought into force (or altered without Parliament needing to pass a new Act); and
  • the residual common law.

If statutory legislation has been enacted in a particular area and provides a complete answer to the point at issue, the English courts are bound to follow the statute. However, to the extent that this is not the case, the primary residual source of law is the common law, which arises as a precedent based on the reasoning of earlier judicial decisions. The English courts are primarily adversarial in nature and the parties put forward their position both by way of written submissions and oral argument.       

Signature Litigation LLP

138 Fetter Lane
London
EC4A 1BT

+44 0 20 3818 3500

+44 0 20 3818 3501

info@signaturelitigation.com www.signaturelitigation.com
Author Business Card

Authors



Signature Litigation LLP has offices in London, Paris and Gibraltar specialising in complex, high-value, multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. The firm has no transactional practice, and seeks to minimise the constraints posed by commercial and legal conflicts of interest. Its lawyers have trained and previously worked at other top-tier UK, US and international law firms. Its multi-award winning team has advised on some of the most significant and complex disputes in recent legal history, spanning a range of sectors including banking and financial services, energy and natural resources, pension, private equity, trusts and insurance.

{{searchBoxHeader}}

Select Topic(s)

loading ...
{{topic.title}}

Please select at least one chapter and one topic to use the compare functionality.