Quantum v Quantum – the drama continues

Quantum Advisory Ltd v Quantum Actuarial LLP [2023] EWHC 1338 (Ch)

My article on Quantum Advisory Ltd v Quantum Actuarial LLP [2023] EWHC 1338 (Ch) was published today on Lexis®PSL. You can read my article titled ‘No declaration but ‘judicial guidance’—no duty of good faith (Quantum Advisory Ltd v Quantum Actuarial LLP)‘ if you click the link but you will need a subscription.

In essence, there are two key things to take from this judgment. First, the High Court did not agree that there was an implied duty of good faith in the disputed clause. It was not needed to make sense of the commercial agreement between the parties nor was it so obvious to be implied into the services agreement.

The second, and far more interesting in my view, is that the High Court declined to make declarations. Instead, His Honour Judge Jarman KC (sitting as a High Court judge) gave ‘judicial guidance’. What on earth is that? Well, essentially, the court took the view that the granting of declarations in relation to the disputed clause was just going to lead to more litigation between these parties. That is probably right because this is the fifth reported decision (that I know of) between these parties. Further, HHJ Jarman KC adjudicated that declarations were not the only way of resolving the dispute between the parties. This is where ‘judicial guidance’ comes into the mix.

Every practitioner knows the value of having a judge dish out some judicial wisdom. Often parties are at loggerheads with limited progress until a judge starts to give his or her opinion. That often greases the wheels of reasonableness and gets them moving again. Honestly, this feels a lot like early neutral evaluation but in a reported High Court decision so clearly is not without prejudice.

Will we see more of ‘judicial guidance’? I don’t know but what I do know is that the High Court is getting fed up with the drama between Quantum Advisory and Quantum Actuarial.

Ash

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