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Marks and Spencer loses case against BNP Paribas


M&S lost a battle with the Court of Appeal on Wednesday as it attempted to reclaim £1.1m in rent from BNP Paribas, its former London office landlord.  

Marks & Spencer exercised a break clause in their tenancy agreement with BNP Paribas in July 2011, six months in advance of the end of their lease. Despite this, the company was forced to pay a full quarter’s rent for the period between December 2011 and the lease’s end, regardless of having already paid a contractual break premium. 

In 2013 the high Court ruled in favour of M&S, but this was reversed when BNP Paribas, the landlord, took the case to the Court of Appeal. 

On Wednesday Five Supreme Court judges unanimously dismissed the case, stating that there was no clause obliging BNP Paribas to return apportioned rent. 

The British retailer is “naturally disappointed with the outcome” but has accepted the decision. 

The British company has had an unfortunate year. Fashion sales at Marks and Spencer have plummeted, accentuated in recent months by unseasonably warm weather. For the six months ending 26 September 2015, general retail merchandise sales were down 1.2%. 

Published on Wednesday 02 December by Philip Gallagher

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