Claim form - Service - Defective service – . The respondent and its solicitors had not been under a duty to notify the appellants that their purported service of the claim had been ineffective. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had been right to find that a Master had erred in finding that the respondent's solicitor's conduct in failing to inform the appellants that its service had been ineffective had outweighed the appellants' mistake .
Arbitration – Award. The claimant company's challenge to the findings of an arbitration tribunal succeeded. The Commercial Court held that there had been a breach of the requirement to act fairly and impartially as between the parties, giving each party a reasonable opportunity of putting his case and dealing with that of his opponents, as set out in 33 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
European Union – Electronic communications networks and services. Article 2(c) of Directive (EC) 2002/21, as amended by Directive (EC) 2009/140 should be interpreted as meaning that a web-based email service which did not itself provide internet access, such as the Gmail service provided by Google LLC, did not consist wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks and therefore did not constitute an 'electronic communications service' within the meaning of that provision. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in a preliminary ruling in proceedings between Google LLC and Germany concerning a finding that Google's Gmail email service constituted a telecommunications service and ordering it, as a consequence, to comply with its obligation to register, failure to do so would give rise to a penalty payment.
Minor – Child abduction. The mother's application for an order to return the child (MA) to the jurisdiction of England and Wales from Ghana succeeded. The Family Division held that, applying settled law to the facts, it retained jurisdiction to make orders in relation to MA and that it was in his best interests for the court to order his return. It further held that, in circumstances where the case involved a non-Convention country, it was in MA's best interests to make him a ward of the court. In so ruling, the court considered the relevant principles concerning applications for an order for the summary return of a child to the jurisdiction of England and Wales from a non-Convention country.
Negligence – Causation. A brain injury, which the claimant HGV transporter driver had allegedly sustained in the course of his employment with the defendant company while securing a vehicle on to the top deck of a trailer, had not been caused by any sudden drop of the trailer deck, as contended. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division, in dismissing the claim, held that no question of negligence on the part of the defendant arose.
Chattel – Delivery up. The claimant company was, in respect of certain chattel fixtures, as with other chattels, liable in damages, at the rates which would have been payable under the relevant licences, pending any delivery up. The Chancery Division so ruled, among other things, in a counterclaim by which the defendants sought arrears of licence fees and damages in respect of a considerable quantity of valuable chattels and fixtures, relating to the historic contents of a stately home, which had been licensed to the claimant under a number of licence agreements.
European Union – Trade marks. The Fourth Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office had failed to strike a balance between the parties' interests within the meaning of the relevant caselaw and, accordingly, had committed a manifest error of assessment when considering the applicant company's appeal against the Opposition Division's decision to uphold the intervener company's opposition to the applicant's application for registration of the word sign 'VOGUE' as an EU trade mark. Consequently, the General Court of the European Union upheld the applicant's action for annulment of the Board's decision.
Extradition – Private and family life. It could not be said that the judge's balancing exercise in relation to rights under art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been wrong. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the appellant's appeal against the order for his extradition to Poland pursuant to an accusation warrant for four offences of fraud, refused to admit further evidence as fresh evidence, because it would not assist in the determination of the appeal.
Company – Insolvency. The claimant liquidators' application for orders to recover certain sums in the administration of a company succeeded in part. The Chancery Division held that, among other things, it would not be appropriate to make a validation order with regard to certain direct debit payments, as sought by the respondent members' association. Further, the respondent had not shown that it was unjust to allow the liquidators' application for restitution to succeed with regard to the direct debit payments.
Immigration - Deportation - Deportation of criminals – . The respondent Jamaican national's appeal against a deportation order had been correctly allowed by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that proper focus had been given on the likely harm to the respondent's son, who had had emotional and psychological damage, if the respondent had been deported.
Insolvency - Bankruptcy - Bankrupt's estate – . The applicant trustees in bankruptcy sought declarations that proceeds from the sales of three properties held by the respondent daughter of the bankrupt formed part of the bankrupt's estate. The Business and Property Court, dismissing the application, held that, whilst the bankrupt had advanced an initial payment and acted as guarantor, he had merely acted to facilitate the mortgage of the properties for the respondent, those properties being in her name and the mortgage instalments being paid by her from the proceeds of rents received, with the result that the respondent had not held the properties as bare trustee for the bankrupt on resulting trust principles.
Mental health - Persons who lack capacity - Inability to make decisions – . The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, whilst the Court of Protection had been entitled to declare that the appellant had lacked capacity to consent to sexual relations, a cross-appeal by the local authority would be allowed because a declaration that the appellant had had capacity to decide where she resided was in direct conflict to further declarations that she lacked capacity to make decisions as to persons with whom she had contact, had not had capacity to consent to sexual relations and that she had not had capacity to make decisions about her care.
Contract – Construction. The claimant company's claims for rectification of an agreement with the defendant or implication of a term into the agreement failed. The Commercial Court further held that the information which the claimant held was not confidential and any use of the information by the defendant would not be a breach of confidence.
Extradition – Extradition hearing. In approached the task of weighing the public interest in extradition against the effect that extradition to Poland would have on the appellant's rights under art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the judge erred in treating the appellant's offending as serious. The Administrative Court found that the offence of defrauding women to a total cost of £305 although not trivial, was not a serious case of fraud and was unlikely to attract a custodial sentence according to domestic standards.
Extradition – Discharge. The appellant judicial authority's appeal against the respondent's discharge from extradition for spitting and kicking a police officer would be allowed, as the judge had been wrong for the reasons that he had given to discharge the respondent. However, the Administrative Court discharged the respondent from insulting a police officer because it was not an offence, without more, to insult a police officer in England and Wales.
Injunction – Interim. The claimant's application for an injunction against the defendants succeeded in part, in a dispute concerning the ownership of the deceased's farm and business after his death. The Chancery Division held that it was appropriate to make an injunction preventing the defendants from trespassing on the claimant's land, and restraining the defendants or anyone authorised by them from disposing of any items or equipment on the claimant's farm or his land without the consent of the claimant or the court. However, an interim injunction would not be granted with regard to alleged harassment.
Negligence – Medical negligence. A claim, alleging that the claimant's brain injury had been caused by negligence in his mother's antenatal care at the defendant's hospital, was dismissed. The Queen's Bench Division held that, applying settled principles to the facts of the case, the claimant had not proved any breach of duty on the part of the defendant, because, among other things, it had been reasonable for the doctor to have diagnosed, as she had, that the claimant's mother had been in threatened pre-term labour and, accordingly, to prescribe a tocolytic drug.
Confidential information – Injunction. On the facts, there was no reason to depart from the default rule that privileged material should not be used or disclosed by an accidental recipient. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division granted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) an injunction, restraining the intended defendant (R) from, among other things, using, publishing or disclosing an email, including a complaint, a photograph and legal advice, which had been sent to him in error. The court ruled that ASA would be likely to satisfy a trial court that, apart from the photograph (in respect of which no confidentiality was alleged), the information in the email and its attachments was confidential in nature, that it had come to the R's attention under circumstances importing a duty of confidence and that his disclosure, publication, or use, of that information would represent a breach of confidence.
Human rights – Freedom of expression. The defendant television company was found liable in damages to the claimants for intruding into their private life after it broadcast a programme which featured the eviction of the claimants from their rented home. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had been correct to find the defendant liable, and that he had also correctly determined the quantum of damages awarded to the claimants, at £10,000 each.
Road traffic – Dangerous driving. The appeal concerned whether the prosecution had acted with reasonable diligence in fulfilling the obligation, in s 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, either to serve the defendant with a summons within 14 days of the offence, or to send notice of the possibility of the prosecution within 14 days of the offence to the driver or to the registered keeper of the vehicle. The defendant, who was convicted of dangerous driving, had not been warned, at the relevant time, of the possibility of a prosecution, because the notice of intended prosecution had been sent to the address of the previous owner of the vehicle, which was the registered keeper's address as it had appeared on the DVLA database. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the defendant's appeal against a conviction, held that the police had been entitled to conclude that the information the DVLA had provided had been accurate, given they had not been alerted to the real possibility of an error, and that, on the facts, the recorder had been entitled to conclude that the prosecution had acted with reasonable diligence.