Local authority – Land. It was a fallacy to say that the defendant local authority's decision had included approval for it to extend a lease over a stadium to 250 years, under which no rent was payable to the authority, as it elided the single element of the transaction (which the authority could achieve on its own) with its ultimate effect (which it could not). The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the claimants' appeal, further, held that the claimants had not provided any evidence of a rival value for the land transfer.
Arbitration – Award. The part of an arbitration award, declaring that the first claimant was the beneficial owner of the shares in a bank purchased with his or the second claimant's US$75m, was affected by serious irregularity, within s 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Accordingly, the Commercial Court, in allowing the claimants' application, set aside that part, together with the affected reasoning.
Town and country planning – Enforcement notice. The inspector appointed by the defendant Secretary of State had clearly been satisfied that buildings on the site had been 'new buildings' – not new buildings and original buildings – which had not, in whole or in part, been lawful. Therefore, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the claimant's appeal, held that, as the judge had concluded, the inspector had not erred in law.
Competition – Merger. The Companies Court allowed in part an application to approve two parts of a merger. The court held that the second part of the merger would be approved. However, the jurisdictional requirement in reg 16(1)(b) of the Companies (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2007 SI 2007/2974 had not been satisfied in respect of the first part of the merger, and the court could not make an order approving its completion.
Medical practitioner – Disciplinary proceedings. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal's decision to proceed with disciplinary proceedings in the respondent's absence had been unimpeachable. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the appellant General Medical Council's appeal, held that the judge had failed to apply the relevant principles and, as a result, she had come to demonstrably the wrong conclusion in allowing the respondent's appeal against the tribunal's decision which had resulted in his erasure from the register.
The Lord Ordinary had not erred in holding that a decision, taken by the trustee under the trust deed in accordance with his fiduciary duty, that a distribution of a debtor's estate was final, had to be regarded as definitive. Accordingly, the Supreme Court dismissed the appellant trustee's appeal that related to whether he was entitled to property that had been discovered after his and the second respondent debtor's discharge.
Order – Amendment. The second to the seventh defendants' application to amend an order requiring them to forward a transcript of a judgment to the Revenue and Customs Commissioners (HMRC), together with an explanation as to the tax treatment of the monies received on behalf of trusts of two properties (para 7), was dismissed. The Chancery Division ruled that the amendment sought, which was to replace the named defendants with the name of the first defendant, was not appropriate where para 7 could have been complied with in its original form and where it was clear that the first defendant had no intention of complying with it. The court also dismissed an application to set aside further orders which essentially required compliance with para 7.
Scotland – 'Brexit'. The UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, as a whole, would not be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament because it did not relate to reserved matters, within the meaning of s 29(2)(b) of the Scotland Act 1998. The Supreme Court so ruled, among other things, in a reference by the applicant Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland as to whether the Scottish Parliament had the power to legislate for the continuity of laws relating to devolved matters in Scotland which were presently the subject of EU law, but which would cease to have effect after the UK had withdrawn from the EU.
Financial services – Financial Conduct Authority - Regulation. It was well established that when considering an application for a matter to be determined as a preliminary ruling, there were certain key principles to be considered. In the light of those principles, the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber)(the tribunal) dismissed the applicant's application for a direction that the determination as to whether the Financial Conduct Authority's (the FCA's) action against him was time-barred should be heard as a preliminary hearing in the course of a reference he had made to the tribunal regarding the Decision Notice (the DN) made against him. The tribunal further dismissed the applicant's applications for a direction that publication by the FCA of the DN should be prohibited.
Guarantee – Construction. The judge had not erred in his decision to dismiss the taxpayer's application to set aside a statutory demand based on a judgment debt obtained by the Revenue and Customs Commissioners (HMRC) in relation to the taxpayer's indebtedness to HMRC under a guarantee. Consequently, the Chancery Division dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the judge's decision, deciding, among other things, that, on its true construction, the clause at issue did not prevent HMRC from enforcing a judgment obtained for the payment of the relevant part debt.
Police – Disclosure of information. The regime for the collection and retention of data concerning reports of matters which might amount to the commission of a crime by a minor did not breach art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it was not in accordance with the law. The Divisional Court, in dismissing the claimant's application for judicial review of the defendant Chief Constable's refusal to delete crime records as a result of the claimant's alleged involvement in three sexting incidents when he was 14 or 15, further dismissed the submission that the recording and maintenance of the two crime reports had been disproportionate.
Sale of land – Failure to complete purchase. The claimant sellers had been entitled to rescind a contract for the sale of a property for failure, by the defendant buyer, to complete, in circumstances where, at the date of the exchange of contracts, the defendant had not had a firm offer of finance for the property and a previous (provisional) finance offer had, subsequently, been reduced, resulting in a shortfall, and where the defendant had unsuccessfully sought an extension of the completion date to 30 September 2015. The defendant had argued that the claimants had not been entitled to rescind the contract, because they had not been ready, willing and able to complete when they had served the notice to complete, since, at that time, they had not been in a position to assign the copyright in the plans and reports connected to the property, as required by cl 18.1 of the contract. The Chancery Division held, in favour of the claimants, that the defendant had waived its rights to insist on assignments of the relevant rights under cl 18.1, rather than the licences offered by the claimants, and that the claimants had been ready, willing and able to comply with cl 18.1 at the time when notice to complete had been served. The court further held that the defendant had not been hindered from completing by any breach of contract by the claimants in relation to access to the property in question. The defendant's counterclaim for breach of contract was dismissed.
Contract – Enforceability. The relevant provisions of the parties' agreement amounted to an agreement to agree and were, consequently, unenforceable. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the claimant's appeal, further held that the judge had been correct in his conclusion that the claimant did not have an enforceable right to provide the consultancy services during any further period to be reasonably agreed between the claimant and the defendant.
Negligence – Duty to take care. The defendant employer had breached its duty of care by failing sufficiently to risk assess the task of cleaning and tipping a tipper truck trailer, and also by failing to implement and enforce safe systems of work in respect of those tasks. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division allowed the claimant's claim arising from his injury when cleaning out the trailer within the vicinity of high voltage overhead power lines, but reduced damages by 25% to take account of the claimant's contributory negligence.
Mental health – Persons who lack capacity. The applicant was successful in its application for the authorisation of medical treatment for the first respondent. The first respondent was suffering from sepsis, secondary to a large necrotic infected Grade 4 sacral pressure sore that was unable to heal due to constant contamination by faeces which in turn was caused by incontinence. The Court of Protection permitted the insertion of a colostomy bag to prevent further infection, as any risks associated with the procedure were outweighed by the risk of death in the absence of treatment.
Road traffic – Regulation of traffic. The traffic authority's duty of securing the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of traffic, as set out in s 122 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, was not given primacy but was a qualified duty which had to be read with the factors in s 122(2) of that Act. Having considered all the relevant factors, the Administrative Court dismissed the claimant organisation's application to quash, wholly or in part, the defendant local authority's traffic regulation order on the basis that none of the grounds relied on by the claimant were made out.
Execution – Stay. The appellant company's appeal against a stay of execution failed. The stay had been imposed along with judgment in favour of the appellant, in an action to enforce the decision of an adjudicator in a construction dispute. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had been entitled to come to the view that he had done and, in the exercise of his discretion, to grant a stay of execution.
Rates – Non-domestic rates. There was no evidential basis for the judge's factual finding that the appellant's charitable objects had been changed after and in response to a letter, but there was for her conclusion that adverts had appeared in the local press on six occasions and she had given sufficient reasons for rejecting the claimant's evidence. The Administrative Court further held that, in determining that properties had not been used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes with respect to non-domestic rates, the judge had not erred in law.
Judge – Appeal. A judge who had presided at an aborted trial ought to have recused himself from sitting on an appeal against conviction, following their conviction on the same charges at a further trial. The Privy Council, in allowing the appellants' appeals, held that the judge's decisions would lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there had been a real possibility that he had pre-judged issues which fell for consideration on the appeal and that the appellants had not had the appearance of a fresh tribunal of three judges to consider their appeals.
Extradition – Appeal. The errors in the judgment on the claimant's extradition to Bulgaria had the cumulative effect that the reasons simply could not be considered as addressing the true and actual facts of the case at all, and the decision was tantamount to a nullity. As the Administrative Court could only allow the appeal if the case could only have been properly decided against extradition, it granted the claimant's application for judicial review, while stressing that the judgment and decision were no warrant or precedent for the incursion of judicial review into the field of extradition.