Practice – Pre-trial or post judgment relief. In an application for permisison to appeal which was dismissed as it was out of time, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, set out a best practice for following CPR 52 for parties wishing to seek permission to appeal from a lower court and the appeal court. The court held that there was value in the court summarising the effect of the authorities and the procedure, which was to be considered good practice though not mandatory.
Local government – Housing. On the claimant's application for judicial review of the defendant local authority's decision that it did not have power to provide the claimant with accommodation, the Administrative Court dismissed the application on the basis that: (i) the authority's decision not to provide accommodation under the Care Act 2014 was lawful; (ii) the authority would not be able to provide accommodation to the claimant under s 1 of the Localism Act 2011; and (iii) the claimant was excluded from such provision pursuant to Sch 3 to the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 on the ground that such support was not necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights or his EU rights.
Negligence – Duty to take care. The defendant executive agency of the Department of Transport had doubts which it had decided to investigate about the age or identify of a registered historic vehicle which it knew had been advertised for sale. However, no duty of care was owed by the defendant to prospective purchasers to inform the seller of its concerns. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant vehicle purchaser's appeal against the decision that he could not recover financial loss of £150,000 arising from the fall in value of a vehicle no longer classified as historic.
Estoppel – Proprietary estoppel. There were a number of serious difficulties with the judge's approach to the first defendant's equity and with the regime which he had put in place to implement it, such that his order could not stand. However, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the first claimant's challenge to the judge's findings of fact, namely, that the first defendant had been promised a farm and business.
Police – Disclosure of information. In response to the respondents' submissions regarding the current scheme of disclosure under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, as amended, and the Police Act 1997, as amended, and the corresponding legislation in Northern Ireland, the Supreme Court held that, they were in accordance with the law for the purposes of art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and, that the categories employed in that scheme were not disproportionate, subject to two exceptions, namely the multiple conviction rule and warnings and reprimands administered to young offenders. Against that background, the Supreme Court dismissed: (i) the appeal brought by the Secretary of State (Northern Ireland) in the case of LG; and (ii) the appeals brought by the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the cases of P and G. However, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal, Civil Division's judgment in W's case on the basis that it was legitimate to include assault occasioning harm among the offences which were sufficiently serious to require disclosure.
Practice – Disclosure and inspection of documents. The collateral purpose rule under CPR 31.22 related to documents already disclosed and produced, not to the preceding process of disclosure and production, and it was based on different policy considerations. The Financial List ruled that none of the objections to the disclosure of documents (including third party material) which the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had provided to the defendant, Tesco plc, had been such as to warrant an order preventing their production in proceedings brought by the claimants for compensation concerning losses allegedly suffered due to Tesco plc's alleged false accounting. The documents had been provided to Tesco plc for the purpose of negotiations about a deferred prosecution agreement eventually concluded between the SFO and Tesco plc's subsidiary in 2017. The court ruled that, in circumstances where disclosure and production were sought from an existing party to the proceedings, the test of necessity, expressly retained in CPR 31.17(3)(c), and the test in CPR 31.22 (concerning restrictions on collateral use), did not apply. It held that the question was whether, in the particular circumstance, the objective of dealing with the case justly and at proportionate cost could be achieved without disclosure of the relevant documents, and that, on the facts, it would not be just to deny the claimants production of the documents, which were likely to be of considerable litigious advantage to them.
Family proceedings – Costs. There had been no, let alone any serious, procedural or other irregularities which undermined the judge's decision to assess the costs arising from financial remedy proceedings summarily. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appellant husband's appeal against the judge's decision that the husband should pay the respondent wife £30,000 as a contribution towards her costs of £127,000.
Contract – Breach of contract. The Queen's Bench Division found that while the defendant had been in breach of contract by unlawfully terminating the claimant's membership of the defendant's organisation, the claimant had failed to show a causative link between the loss of her membership and her failure to progress or any loss of opportunities for earning.
Injunction – Interim. Damages would not be an adequate remedy and the balance of convenience was firmly in favour of the defendant Revenue and Customs Commissioners. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division dismissed the claimants' application for injunctive relief in relation to the seizures of very substantial material from their premises by the defendant, pursuant to search warrants.
Town and country planning – Development in green belt – Refusal of planning permission. Court of Session: Allowing an appeal against a decision of the Scottish Ministers, dismissing an appeal against Stirling Council's decision to refuse planning permission for a development in the green belt comprising, inter alia, 600 housing units, the court held that the respondents had failed to take into account a relevant consideration and had purported to take into account an irrelevant one, notably in connection with the outcome of a local development plan process which had occurred between the date of a reporter's recommendation to the respondents and their decision, which was taken about a year later.
Environmental protection – Waste on land – Knowingly permitting controlled waste to be deposited on land – Restoration costs. Court of Session: Dismissing an action in which the pursuer, who had leased a site to two directors of a waste management company who subsequently pled guilty to a charge of keeping controlled waste at the site in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment and harm to human health, sought to impose liability on the defenders, one of about 38 third-party users of the company's services, for the whole restoration costs in relation to the site, averring that in March 2011 they entered into an arrangement with the company for the disposal of their waste, which subsisted until they ceased to deliver waste to the site in June 2012, the court held that the pursuer had failed to aver a relevant case that the defenders 'knowingly permitted' unlawful deposits of waste on the site, and in any event his case was largely extinguished by the operation of prescription.
European Union – Value added tax. Articles 17(2), (3) and (5) and 19(1) of Sixth Council Directive (EC) 77/388 and arts 168, 169 and 173 to 175 of Council Directive (EC) 2006/112 should be interpreted as meaning that, in relation to the expenditure borne by a branch registered in a member state, which was used, exclusively, both for transactions subject to VAT and for transactions exempt from that tax, carried out by the principal establishment of that branch established in another member state, it was necessary to apply a deductible proportion resulting from a fraction the denominator of which was formed by the turnover, exclusive of VAT, made up of those transactions alone and the numerator of which was formed by the taxed transactions in respect of which VAT which would also be deductible if they had been carried out in the member state in which that branch was registered, including where that right to deduct stemmed from the exercise of an option, effected by that branch, consisting in making the transactions carried out in that state subject to VAT. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in proceedings brought by Morgan Stanley & Co International plc concerning the deduction of VAT paid by its Paris branch.
Practice – Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. An application for, essentially, the staying of an obligation to provide disclosure in the context of a freezing order, pending the future determination of an application concerning a possible distribution of funds from a trust to an individual against whom the freezing order had been made (Mrs A), was not one to which the court could accede. The Commercial Court, in dismissing Mrs A's application for more time to give further disclosure of assets, applied the principle that an unresolved application to discharge a freezing order was no reason to excuse or delay full compliance with orders as to disclosure of assets that had otherwise been determined to be proper in the circumstances of the case.
Confidential information – Disclosure. The first and second claimant companies and the third claimant individual's application for an order for source disclosure against the defendant newspaper would not be allowed on the basis that the defendant had made concessions and an undertaking to formalise those by amendments to the defence. However, the Queen's Bench Division, did not dismiss the application. It held that it would keep the issue under review in the light of developments in the case.
Damages – Personal. Both the judge and the Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas had erred in their application of the UK Government Actuary's Department, Actuarial Tables for use in Personal Injury and Fatal Accident Cases, 7th ed (2011) (the Ogden tables) and, as a result, had made an entirely erroneous estimate of the appropriate level of damages. Accordingly, the Privy Council advised Her Majesty that the appellant's appeal should be allowed, the award of $93,238.96 in respect of loss of future earnings quashed and an award of $650,043.21 substituted against the respondents.
Employment – Discrimination. The employment tribunal (ET) had not erred in the way that it had approached the burden of proof in relation to the direct race discrimination claim brought by the respondent employee against the appellant employer. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the employer's appeal against the decision of the employment appeal tribunal and restored the finding of the ET, that there had been no direct discrimination against the employee with respect to recruitment to any of the relevant posts.
Competition – Competition Appeal Tribunal. The appellant's appeal against a decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the CAT) was dismissed. The proceedings concerned an agreement by which the appellant had agreed to subscribe to an online portal for estate agents. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the CAT had not erred in finding that the rules of the portal had not infringed competition law.
Bank – Regulation of financial services. Santander UK plc and Abbey National Treasury Services plc succeeded in their application to the court for the sanction of a ring-fencing transfer scheme, under Pt VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Chancery Division held that, in all the circumstances, and in line with the answers given by the skilled person to the statutory question and the assessment of the Regulators, there was no reason to refuse sanction of the scheme.
Housing – Local authority. In enforcing a possession order against the appellant tenant, the respondent council landlord had complied with its duty at the relevant times in relation to s 149 of the Equality Act 2010. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the tenant's appeal against an order whereby the judge dismissed the tenant's appeal from an order refusing his application to suspend a warrant for possession.
Passport – United Kingdom passport. While the issue of a previous passport was powerful evidence and might sometimes be determinative, the questions on whether the claimant had been entitled to be issued with the previous passport and whether she was the person to whom it had been issued had to be investigated. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claimant's claim, further held that the defendant Secretary of State's policy on use and change of names had not been rigidly applied.