Costs – Indemnity costs. The Chancery Division held that the present case was not one where it was appropriate to limit the liability of a company (ChapelGate), which had funded an unsuccessful claimant, to the overall maximum of the funding that had been provided to the claimant, because of the application of the decision of the Court of Appeal in Arkin v Borchard Lines Ltd  3 All ER 613. The court ordered that ChapelGate should pay each of the defendants' costs of the proceedings incurred after ChapelGate and the claimant had entered into their funding agreement, to be assessed on the indemnity basis if not agreed.
Family Proceedings – Fact Finding. Following a fact finding hearing within care proceedings relating to four children, the judge had made findings that the father had 'failed to protect' the youngest child (J) by failing to inform various medical professionals that J was no longer suffering from seizures or apnoea. Consequently, the judge held that J had received medication and oxygen which he no longer required. In allowing the father's appeal against those findings, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the findings not only contradicted the available evidence but also contradicted the findings the judge had made in his substantive judgment.
Injunction – Quia timet action. The proceedings concerned the claimant landowners' application for a permanent injunction against the first defendant tenant and his second defendant son, to restrain them from interfering with their rights under various tenancy agreements. Neither of the conditions for the grant of a quia timet injunction had been satisfied and no injunction would be granted as final relief. Accordingly, the Chancery Division dismissed the claimants' application for a permanent injunction. The court also provided guidance on the approach to the construction of a reservation in favour of a landlord.
Air traffic – Airport. There was no evidential basis for the legitimate expectation alleged by the claimants, that the defendant Secretary of State would select their proposal for an extension of the current Heathrow northern runway so that it could effectively operate as two separate runways, if he found it to be the most suitable scheme. The Division Court, in dismissing the claimants' application for judicial review, further dismissed their competition law claim, as the Secretary of State had not placed any material reliance upon the risk that the claimants were not owners/operators of Heathrow and would not implement their scheme.
Air traffic – Airport. The defendant Secretary of State's designation concerning a third runway at Heathrow had not been unlawful by not treating proposals for a second runway at Gatwick as an alternative for the purposes of art 6(3) and (4) of Council Directive (EEC) 92/43, had not breached art 5(1) and (2) of Directive (EC) 2001/42, or by reason of the Secretary of State not carrying out the required statutory consultation with an open mind. Accordingly, the Divisional Court dismissed the claimants' application for judicial review of the decision.
Conflict of laws – Jurisdiction. The claimant sustained a fracture dislocation to her cervical spine while in a pool at a hotel in Mallorca, which was operated by the first defendant (the hotel). She brought a claim against the hotel's insurer (which was the second defendant) and the hotel, under the Recast Brussels Regulation 1215/2012. The Queen's Bench Division granted the hotel relief from sanctions to challenge its jurisdiction to determine the claim. However, the court dismissed the application challenging its jurisdiction, holding that, on the ordinary reading of reg 13(3) of the Regulation, the existence of the claim against the hotel's insurer permitted an additional, related, claim against the hotel (as the insured). The court ruled that it was bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in Hoteles Pinero Canarias SL v Keefe All ER (D) 213 (Jun), which held that there was no linguistic or purposive ground for requiring that there be some kind of policy dispute between insurer and insured for reg 13(3) of the Regulation to bite. Further, and among other things, the court held that there was nothing in regs 17 or 18 of the Regulation (which enabled a 'consumer' to bring proceedings' against the other party to the contract in the courts of the consumer's domicile, providing that the counterparty had directed its commercial activities to that member state) to say that that consumer had to be the one who had actually concluded the contract. It held that a person who had contracted through an agent had still 'concluded' a contact. Accordingly, the court ruled that the claimant, whose friend had made the group booking for the holiday to Mallorca, qualified as a consumer and that the court had jurisdiction over the claim under regs 17 and 18 of the Regulation also.
Landlord and tenant – Leases. As the order of the district judge had not complied with s 138 of the County Courts Act 1984, the forfeiture proceedings were invalid and therefore the flat owner had a reasonable prospect of success at trial. Further, in dismissing the landlord's appeal, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, gave guidance on what counted as 'success at trial' in relation to forfeiture proceedings.
Divorce – Financial provision. Following a Russian divorce on the husband's petition, the wife successfully applied, pursuant to s 13 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, for leave to apply for financial relief in England and Wales, contending that the husband was vastly wealthier than had been reflected in the Russian proceedings. The Family Division held that it had jurisdiction to grant permission given that the husband had been habitually resident in the UK for several years, and that, on the facts, the wife had demonstrated that there was a substantial ground for the court to grant leave. Among other things, the court considered that there was merit in the wife's argument that the Russian process had not involved the sort of full and frank disclosure which would justify placing very significant weight on the Russian ruling, so as to seriously undermine the solidity of the wife's application.
Company – Merger. Two applications for the sanction, under reg 16 of the Companies (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2007, SI 2007/2974, of two linked cross-border mergers of companies within the Interoute group of companies were granted. The Companies Court decided that: (i) the formal requirements under reg 16(1) had been met; and (ii) the test set out in Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd, Re EWHC 3576 (Ch), regarding whether the courts had a discretion regarding the approval of a merger, had been satisfied.
Licence – Licence to occupy premises. In relation to the licence of a property granted by a private landlord's agent to the respondent local authority, the requirements of Sch 1, para 6b of the Housing Act 1985 were satisfied by the provision for vacant possession on not less than 14 days' notice. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division dismissed the applicant's appeal against the decision that her agreement with the authority for occupation of the licensed property was not an agreement that attracted the security of tenure provisions of the Housing Act 1985.
Town and country planning – Development. A planning inspector had misinterpreted and misapplied relevant policies of the development plan when allowing the appellant developer's appeal against the local authority's refusal to grant permission for the development of dwellings on land in Kent. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appellant developer's appeal against the quashing of the inspectors' decision.
Right of way – Private right of way. The claimants succeeded in a dispute concerning the rights of way over land that they had purchased from the defendants. The Chancery Division held that, on the evidence, the claimants had rights of way over the two relevant drives. An injunction was not required, and existing cross-undertakings would remain in force until further order, but would be discharged in three months after the handing-down of the judgment.
Pensions ombudsman – Jurisdiction. The appellant had complained to the pensions ombudsman on the issue of interest payable on late payments of pension benefits, pursuant to reg 94 of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997 (the 1997 regulations). The pensions ombudsman had misdirected himself that he had had jurisdiction to determine the due date, under reg 94 of the 1997 regulations, for the first payment to the appellant from a pension scheme, and also when the appellant had retired from that scheme. Accordingly, the Chancery Division held, among other things, that the appellant's appeal on the ground that the ombudsman had erred in law, succeeded.
Contempt of court – Appeal. Even where satisfactory arrangements had been put in place for the care of a young child for whom a defendant was the sole carer, the court had to recognise the effect of sentence on the relationship between the mother and child. A greater reduction ought to have been given in the appellant's sentence to reflect the problems that her imprisonment was clearly causing and the distress arising from those problems for both herself and her son. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, reduced the sentence imposed on the appellant for three breaches of freezing orders, from nine months to six months for the first and second findings of contempt.
Trust and trustee – Breach of trust. The appeals related to various findings made by the judge in proceedings arising from a fraud in which the first appellant company, Group Seven, had been defrauded of €100m by, among others, ETS. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held, among other things, that the judge's undisputed primary findings created an irresistible inference that the second respondent accountant had clearly suspected (if indeed he had not actually known) that the €100m had not been ETS', and that he had consciously decided to refrain from taking any step to confirm the true state of affairs for fear of what he might discover. Accordingly, the court allowed the appeal of the first appellant and others, and held that the second respondent, and the first respondent for whom he worked, were liable for dishonest assistance.
Loan – Loan agreement. The Chancery Division considered the entitlement of certain noteholders to money in respect of an incentive collateral management fee that was alleged to have fallen due as a result of the noteholders voting to redeem the notes. The court held that, on the true construction of the collateral management agreement that governed the notes, the noteholders were entitled to the money.
Compulsory purchase – Costs. The proceedings related to an award of costs made in favour of the respondent rail operator in connection with the appellants' claim for compensation for compulsory purchase. The very modest success the appellants had achieved in the claim was not enough to displace the finding that the respondent was truly the successful party in the reference when viewed as a whole. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appellants' claim against an award of 80% of the respondent's costs incurred prior to the respondent's sealed offer.
Divorce – Procedure. The Queen's Proctor succeeded, in part, in his application to set aside decrees nisi and absolute of divorce in four different cases, on the ground that the decrees were null and void due to their non-compliance with s 3(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The Family Court, in allowing the application in respect of three of the four cases, ruled that Butler v Butler (Queen's Proctor intervening) 1 FLR 114 (which held that, where a petition had been issued in breach of MCA 1973 s 3, it was null and void and that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain it) had been correctly decided and had to be followed.
Pension – Pension scheme. The appellant policewoman's appeal against the refusal of the respondent Chief Constable of West Yorkshire succeeded, in a dispute concerning the assessment of disabilities suffered by the appellant in her work, and her entitlement to a disability pension. The Crown Court held that a report carried out by a doctor (I) in 2017 replaced an earlier report from 1984. That carried with it the financial effects that flowed from treating I's report as if it had been the relevant report at the earlier date.
Pension – Pension scheme - Unauthorised pension scheme. It had been just and reasonable for the Revenue and Customs Commissioners to impose an unauthorised payments surcharge on the taxpayer in circumstances where she had entered into a scheme which had involved the investment of the scheme's funds, at the taxpayer's direction, in preference shares of a finance company as part of an arrangement providing for a loan to the taxpayer from a third party lender. Accordingly, the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the imposition of the surcharge, deciding that the purpose of the scheme had been to circumvent the rules which otherwise applied to the restrictions on the use of an individual's pension funds which were not ordinarily available until the age of 55 and that the taxpayer's belief that the scheme had not contravened pension's legislation had not been based upon reasonable grounds.