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Alan Kenny

Focusing on high value, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional matters, Alan Kenny advises companies, banks, institutions, and high-net-worth individuals on all stages of dispute avoidance and resolution.

Alan has notable experience of high profile and complex commercial litigation, competition litigation, and class actions. He acts for clients in a broad range of industries with particular experience in financial services, technology, fast moving consumer goods, commodities, and media.

Alan has represented clients in:

  • Pre-action negotiations;
  • Mediation;
  • Commercial litigation before the English High Court and Court of Appeal (and internationally with local counsel);
  • Competition litigation, including class action proceedings before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal;
  • International arbitration and trade association arbitration under a variety of rules, including LCIA, HKIAC, SCAI, LMAA, GAFTA and FOSFA;
  • Responding to enquiries from – and defending enforcement proceedings brought by – regulators in the UK and internationally;
  • Bringing competition-related complaints to the European Commission, leading to investigations and dawn raids;
  • Proceedings to obtain emergency and interim relief, including: security, vessel and container arrest, freezing orders, disclosure orders, Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust orders, delivery up of passport orders, search orders, committal orders, and anti-suit injunctions;
  • Settlement negotiations;
  • Proceedings to enforce judgments; and
  • Proceedings to compel UK-based third parties to produce evidence under the Hague Convention for use in foreign proceedings.

Alan is a contributing editor of the International Comparative Legal Guide to Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Alan’s recent pro bono work includes:

  • Advising an international development charity working to combat poverty and climate change, to settle disputes with distributors relating to its projects to provide access to solar power in Malawi and Zambia.
  • Representing a charity that provides young people with opportunities to explore orchestral music, obtaining a judgment and third party debt orders to successfully recover payments made to a catering company for services that were not provided.
  • Representing a vulnerable, single-parent immigrant family facing deportation to obtain rights of residence and access to public funds and pursue UK citizenship.
  • Representing a charity that works with vulnerable women and children to remove defamatory statements relating to the charity and its staff from third party websites, search engine result pages, and other media.

Opt-out collective actions (i.e. US-style class actions) can only be brought in the UK as competition law claims.  Periodic proposals  to legislate to expand this regime to consumer law claims have so far faltered.  However, this is now back on the Parliamentary agenda.  Several members of the House of Lords have indicated their support for expanding the regime to allow consumers and small businesses to bring opt-out collective actions for breaches of consumer law, and potentially on other bases.

If implemented, this expansion would be very significant and would allow for many new types of class actions in the UK.  Tech companies are already prime targets as defendants to competition-related opt-out class actions.  An expansion of the regime to allow actions for breaches of consumer law, as well as competition law, would only increase their exposure further.

As there is now limited time for legislation to be passed to effect such changes before the UK Parliament is dissolved in advance of an upcoming general election, this may be an issue for the next Parliament.  It will therefore be important to assess what the UK’s main parties say on this – and any manifesto commitments – in the run-up to the election.Continue Reading UK Opt-Out Class Actions for Non-Competition Claims back on Parliamentary Agenda

In Penhallurick v MD5 Ltd [2021] EWHC 293 (IPEC) the Court held that the copyright in various literary works relating to software Mr. Penhallurick created during his tenure with former employer MD5 belonged to MD5. The Court found that the works were created in the course of Mr. Penhallurick’s employment with the result that MD5 was deemed the owner of the works (under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988), despite the fact that some of the work was done from Mr. Penhallurick’s home, outside normal office hours and using his own computer.
Continue Reading UK Court Rules on Copyright over Software Developed Whilst Working at Home