Patrick Bracher (ZA)

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Burden of proof in actions against ship owner for loss of cargo and the principles of bailment (UK)

England’s highest court finally, after over four centuries of reported decisions on the issue, definitively held that the burden of proof lies on the carrier where cargo owners sue a ship owner for loss or damage to cargo. If the carrier could and should have taken precautions which would have prevented some inherent characteristic of … Continue reading

Repudiation of a contract

Where the purchase price of imported sugar included the import duty and the purchase price had to be reduced if the duty was reduced, the persistent claim by the seller for the unreduced amount was a repudiation and led to the lawful cancellation of the sugar contract. Payment of the sugar contract was to be … Continue reading

Acceptance of settlement offer must be unconditional

The Supreme Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the principle that where a party alleges that a compromise (settlement) has been effected in an exchange of correspondence it must be proved that the offer of compromise was accepted. The acceptance must be absolute, unconditional and identical with the offer. Otherwise there is no consensus and no … Continue reading

Fraud as a defence to payment under a guarantee

The guarantor in Raubex Construction (Pty) Ltd v Bryte Insurance Company alleged that payment under a guarantee was not due because of fraud on the part of the beneficiary. A mere error, misunderstanding or oversight, however unreasonable, does not amount to fraud and is insufficient to show that the contentions of the beneficiary are deliberately … Continue reading

Business rescue application does not terminate provisional liquidation

An application for business rescue does not terminate the office of provisional liquidators nor does it result in the assets and management of the company in liquidation re-vesting in the directors of the company. Where a company had been liquidated, an application was made for business rescue in GCC Engineering v Lawrence Maroos. Although section 131(6) … Continue reading

Interpretation of statutes must be consistent with the Constitution

The Constitutional Court has reminded us in the context of mineral rights that a statutory provision must be interpreted in accordance with the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights (s 39(2)) and consistently with the Constitution and consistently with international law (s 233), and the courts must apply customary law when that law is … Continue reading

UK regulator to drop general counsel from accountability

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority intends to drop plans to hold heads of legal departments at banks and insurance firms responsible for ignoring misconduct because it would hamper lawyers from giving independent legal advice. General counsels will be excluded from the new accountability regime for senior managers. Binding legal counsel to the accountability provisions would … Continue reading

The elements of defamation

The Johannesburg High Court discussed the balance between the constitutional right to freedom of expression and the required respect for inherent dignity ‘to all human beings’. The defendant in Mostert v Nash argued the allegedly defamatory statements made about the plaintiff were true and in the public interest. It is for the defendant in a … Continue reading

Insurance regulation in 20 Asia Pacific countries

In January 2019, Norton Rose Fulbright published ‘Ten things to know’ about insurance regulation in 20 Asia Pacific countries. The guide is hosted on our free subscription premium content site, the Institute, as an interactive map featuring the 20 jurisdictions. It covers the following countries for those interested in investing or doing business with insurers … Continue reading

CyRiM warns of up to $193 billion cyber risk – Insurers beware!

The Cyber Risk Management (CyRiM) Report 2019 shows that the economic damage to the world from a concerted global cyber-attack propagated by malicious email could range between $85 billion (least severe) to $193 billion (most severe). Retail at least could suffer the highest total economic loss globally ($15 billion), followed by healthcare ($10 billion) and manufacturing ($9 billion). It … Continue reading

Power station damaged by shocked squirrel is excluded

Where a squirrel found its way onto a power station’s electrical transformer triggering an electrical arc that killed the squirrel and caused damage to the municipality’s property of $213 524, the court denied the municipality all-risks insurance cover because of an exclusion for ‘loss caused by arcing or by electrical currents other than lightning’. The court … Continue reading

Draft Expropriation Bill published

On 21 December 2018 the government published their Draft Expropriation Bill 2019 for comment by 21 February 2019. As the laws will affect all of us you should read it and consider commenting. The Bill only relates to registered rights and will therefore mainly affect land rights and mineral rights. The government has said that the law … Continue reading
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