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Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

Twenty Essex
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

Twenty Essex
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

01/10/2021

Designers, breach of confidence, conspiracy and exemplary damages

Salt Ship Design AS v Prysmian Powerlink SRL [2021] EWHC 2633 (Comm)

 

Michael Ashcroft QC, instructed by HFW (Alistair Feeney), acted for the successful claimant designer in this litigation concerning the design and construction of an advanced cable lay vessel. The judge rejected the claimant’s ‘plain vanilla’ contract claim, but found that there were breaches by the defendant of contractual and equitable duties of confidence and that the defendant engaged in a conspiracy to use unlawful means with Vard Design AS, a rival designer.

The wrongdoing involved the defendant and Vard Design AS collaborating together in the use of the claimant’s design so as to produce an alternative, similar design. In a carefully reasoned judgment, the judge held that the defendant’s conduct was “sufficiently high handed or egregious” to, potentially at least, justify a punitive response by way of an award of exemplary damages. However, he deferred further consideration of this issue pending an assessment and determination of the other remedies available to the claimant for breach of confidence. The judge stated that, if the claimant is in due course awarded the approximately €5 million saving that the defendant gained as a result of its decision to proceed with a rival design, this would have “a very material bearing on the court’s willingness to make an award of exemplary damages”, and noted that there were also outstanding issues regarding injunctive relief.

 

Read the full judgment

Relevant members
Michael Ashcroft QC
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