Ian Mccann

Ian.McCann@legalstudio.co.uk

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SPECIALIST

I studied law for a bus pass (as there were two Sixth Form Colleges where I lived, and I only got to travel to the better one for free if it had a course that the other didn’t. That course was AS Level Law). However, having started studying it, I couldn’t stop and I qualified as a Solicitor in September 2008.

My practice includes banking and finance litigation, IT and Technology disputes and breach of contract/debt recovery work. I also have experience of on-site investigation and enquiry work, including a multibillion-dollar fraud investigation in the Middle East. However, no matter what the case’s subject matter or size, my job is to fix problems quickly, pragmatically and commercially in my client’s best interests.

My area of expertise is in Commercial Litigation. I’ve dealt with business-critical issues for FTSE 100 companies, SME’s and private individuals alike. As well as litigating, I have an in-depth understanding of alternative dispute resolution and I always provide clients with early pro-active advice on how to quickly resolve disputes in a pragmatic and commercial way. I’ve also spent time working in the financial services industry, providing me with a unique perspective and insight into this area. In addition, I have developed substantial knowledge of the practicalities of undertaking E-Disclosure exercises as well as vital experience of how to undertake this complicated and costly exercise effectively.

I trained in the City at what was (at the time) the world’s largest law firm. During that training I was seconded to the Court of Appeal as Lady Justice Arden’s Judicial Assistant. This gave me a real insight into what good client service looked like and what actually happens in court. I subsequently moved to a regional firm in Leeds and, after a spell in financial services, set up the Commercial Litigation function at a Tier 1 Legal 500 boutique practice in Yorkshire before moving to Legal Studio.

I’ve always thought that there was a better way to deliver legal services. For me, that meant doing things fundamentally differently; focussing not on targets, spreadsheets or ‘pleasing’ the equity partners but on creating a better and more rewarding environment for lawyers to work in to empower them to deliver the service that their clients actually want. Matt and Legal Studio were committed to doing just that and so joining, even though it was an embryonic start-up, was an easy decision. I was really lucky that Matt and I shared a vision and saw skills in each other that complemented and improved on what Legal Studio could become. Therefore, shortly after joining, I became a shareholder and director and we’ve been growing Legal Studio together ever since.

Legal Studio is the first place I’ve worked where everyone genuinely wants to be there! The people here are engaged with what they do and care about how they do it. That means we’ve got an ego and hierarchy free workplace. That, coupled with genuine autonomy over how you work and how you service your client’s needs, means we’ve got a team of focussed, self-accountable professionals who want to do their best and support their colleagues to do their best. You don’t get that at other law firms.

Between family life (my wife and I have two young children, one of whom, like me, is on the Autistic Spectrum) and running Legal Studio I don’t get much time for hobbies these days! That said, I’m a huge motorsport fan; attending modern and classic race meetings where I can, and am partial to the odd Sci-Fi boxset or Jack Reacher novel now and then.

 

Ian McCann Client Testimonials

“He has a real skill for identifying the essential points in a mass of detail.”
Lady Justice Arden

Ian McCann Client Testimonials

"I thought your talk was very interesting. I would never have thought that someone could talk about contracts and make it interesting and most of all easy to understand and relate to"
Trish Craven. Annex Solutions Limited

Ian's Latest Blogs

Frustration
 
There’s been a lot of discussion recently, about contracts and what happens, or could happen, with them in the current climate. One of the phases that keeps coming up is ‘ooh, that contract might be frustrated’. This doesn’t mean that it’s fed up, but that the parties are legally excused from their performance obligations under it.
 
So, what is frustration and when does it occur?
 
Well, the case law on frustration started in 1863 and involved a Music Hall, “fireworks and full illuminations, Grecian statues, tight rope performances and air gun shooting” or rather the lack thereof as the Music hall burned down. But don’t worry, we’re not going into detail on that.
 
We’re going to look at pens.
 
A practical example: Geoff, the Journal and the Pens.
 
Imagine you’ve entered into a contract regarding pens. The terms of the contract govern the supply and maintenance of pens to be used by Geoff for writing in his one of a kind irreplaceable bespoke personal journal. For which Geoff pays a hansom fee. Now, several things could go wrong during the course of this contract. Lets’ consider some examples:
 
  • A pen runs out of ink. This is to be expected at some point as, frankly, pens do run out of ink. The contract ought to cover this and deal with who is responsible for finding new ink, who pays for it and how long Geoff can be left waiting for the new ink to arrive as well as, if no new ink turns up, who can terminate the contract and what happens if they do. Running out of ink whilst annoying, isn’t a frustrating event for the contract; or
 
  • The price of pens increases. It’s therefore commercially unattractive to stay in the contract. Well, again that’s annoying and should have been dealt with in the contract. But it isn’t frustration; or
 
  • The supplier of the pens buys them in from a third party, doesn’t get them delivered to them on time and they are late supplying them to Geoff. That’s the supplier’s problem and it’s problem alone. It’s not a frustration of the contract; or
 
  • The pens don’t write as well as they usually do in Geoff’s one of a kind irreplaceable journal. This isn’t frustration. The supplier knew about the specific requirements of Geoff at the time they entered the contract, so they can’t rely on this as an event of frustration.
 
However, if:
 
  • After 6 months of supply the government bans the use of pens and makes possession or supply of them illegal that is a frustrating event and the parties can be released from their obligations under the contract ;or
 
  • Geoff dies (sorry Geoff) that’s a frustrating event and Geoff’s Estate doesn’t have to pay to buy pens nor does the supplier have to supply them to Geoff’s estate; or
 
  • Geoff’s one of a kind irreplaceable journal is completely destroyed (through no fault of Geoff or the supplier) then that would be a frustrating event.
 
Essential elements of Frustration
 
These are all rather silly and very simplistic examples, but generally speaking, a frustrating event is an event which:
 
  • Happens after the contract has been formed;
 
  • Attacks the fundamental purpose of the contract;
 
  • Is completely beyond what was expected by the parties when they entered into the contract;
 
  • Is neither of the contracting party’s faults; and
 
  • Makes performing the contract from that point on impossible, illegal or radically different from what was expected by the parties when they entered into the contract.
 
What is the effect of frustration?
 
If a contract is frustrated, then the parties are excused from their future performance of it (in this case the supply and maintenance of pens or payment for them). In certain circumstances you can get back sums you’ve already paid over before the frustrating event happens or be entitled to charge a ‘just sum’ if you couldn’t perform the whole of your obligations but did do something.
 
Other options
 
Even if your contract is not frustrated, there may still be terms in it that you can turn to your advantage. These may include:
 
  • The right to vary the price you have to pay, or the volume/ timing of supplies you have to make;
 
  • The right to request changes to the services that you have to provide;
 
  • The ability to temporarily take over services that you have outsourced;
 
  • The right to give notice of termination on the contract.
 
So, if recent events have left you thinking about what to do about your obligations under your contracts of if your customers have started to question whether they can cancel do get in touch with the team at Legal Studio as a review of your contract will help you to understand your legal options and the strength of your negotiating position with your customers and suppliers.
 
P.s sorry again Geoff.
 
2020 36 26
Ian Mccann
At Legal Studio Solicitors, flexible working and remote working aren't the future. They're the present.

Our firm and it’s systems were designed to be flexible and agile. So, whilst Covid-19 means we have to make some practical changes, we’re still 'open', available and working to assist current and prospective clients with their legal issues

Yes, we're replacing face to face meetings with calls and video conferencing. Yes, we’ve got the majority of the team working remotely/from home.

And, yes, the welfare, physical and mental health of our team is paramount and we’ll take the steps necessary in the future to protect them.

But, no, we aren’t closed.

So, if you need legal support at this difficult time please get in touch. We’re looking forward to helping you.
 
2020 29 17
Ian Mccann
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 require compliance from 1st April 2018.
 
Do you know what they are?
Have you complied with them?
Do you risk facing financial penalties for non-compliance?
 

The Regulations apply to:

  • Domestic PR property which is legally required to have an EPC and which is let on an assured tenancy, regulated tenancy, or an agricultural tenancy; and,
  • Non-domestic PR property that has not been granted for:
  • A term certain not exceeding 6 months (unless a provision exists for renewing the term or extending it beyond 6 months, or, at the time it is granted, the tenant has been in occupation for a continuous period of more than 12 months); or,
  • A term certain of 99 years or more.
 

Unless subject to an exemption, the landlord of a property with EPS rating of less than E must not:

 
  • Grant a new tenancy of the property on or after 1st April 2018 (including any lease renewals, extensions or new lettings); or,
  • Continue to let the property on or after 1st April 2020 (domestic PR property) and on or after 1st April 2023 (non-domestic PR property).
 

Exemptions that will last 5 years and should be registered on the PRS Exemptions Register include:

 
  • Third party consent is refused or granted subject to conditions (e.g. from the local authority, current tenant, freeholder, planning or listed building consent); and,
  • Property devaluation (where the landlord has obtained a report from an independent surveyor who is on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the measures would reduce the market value of the property, or the building it forms part of, by more than 5%).
 
There is also a temporary 6-month exemption when a landlord has only recently become a landlord. 

 

Enforcement authorities are:

 
  • The local authority for a domestic PR property; and,
  • A local weights and measures authority for non-domestic PR property.
 
They may serve a notice on the landlord imposing financial penalties. The authority may also publish details of the breach on the national PRS Exemptions Register.

 

Financial penalties (domestic):

  • Breach less than 3 months, <£2,000
  • Breach more than 3 months £2,000<
  • Registered false or misleading information on PRS Exemptions Register, <£1,000
  • Failed to comply with compliance notice <£2,000



Financial penalties (non-domestic):

  • Breach less than 3 months, <£5,000 or <10% of the rateable value of the property (whichever is greater) subject to a maximum of £50,000
  • Breach more than 3 months, <£10,000 or <20% of the rateable value of the property (whichever is greater) subject to a maximum of £150,000
  • Registered false or misleading information on PRS Exemptions Register, <£5,000
  • Failed to comply with compliance notice <£5,000
 
 
2018 00 06
Ian Mccann