Success for James Malam in long running partnership dispute

October 17, 2017

James Malam, instructed by Steel & Switalskis, has obtained judgment in a long running partnership dispute, reported recently as Liddle v. Liddle [2017] EWHC 2261 (Ch). The dispute centred around the proper interpretation of the partnership deed and the mechanism by which an outgoing partner was to be bought out by those continuing; in particular the parties disagreed as to whether liability to pay, and the acceleration clause making due and payable all instalments if one payment was late, applied notwithstanding the parties had not yet agreed the amount of the purchase price. As a consequence of this judgment James’ clients are entitled to be paid the purchase price (c.£3.3m) immediately, rather than over 10 years, and are entitled to some £500,000 more in interest than the continuing partners admitted.

The court accepted James’ argument that on their proper interpretation the provisions of the deed regarding liability to pay were plain and that there was no scope to read those obligations as suspended until agreement was reached as to the amount of the purchase price.

The judgment is available here.