Sentence – Health and safety offence. The defendant would be fined £6,500 following his conviction for an offence contrary to s 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, of failing to take reasonable care, as the safety officer, in respect of the arrangements for admission to the Hillsborough Stadium. The Preston Crown Court found that the offence had been at least one of the direct causes of the crush at the turnstiles outside the grounds, but not a direct cause of the crush on the terraces inside the grounds, that had resulted in the death of 96 spectators and injury to many more.
Practice – Summary judgment. The defendant company's application for summary judgment succeeded, in a claim concerning foreign exchange transactions entered into by the claimant company. The Commercial Court held that there was no real prospect that a claim that the defendant had been obliged to make a retrospective alteration to the price of certain transactions would succeed in tort, and there was no other compelling reason for a trial.
Liquidator – Members' voluntary winding up. The liquidator of the Edgware Constitutional Club Ltd (the club) applied for a declaration as to the legality of certain past and proposed distributions of the club's surplus assets to its members, on a members' voluntary winding up. The defendant Association of Conservative Clubs Ltd (ACCL), which was affiliated to the club, challenged the proposed distributions, contending that ACCL was entitled to the surplus assets. The Companies Court, in granting the liquidator's application, held, among other things, that the club's rules, together with s 107 of the Insolvency Act 1986, indicated that the liquidator was compelled to distribute any surplus in the club's assets to its members. Accordingly, the court sanctioned the past and proposed distributions to the club's members, and the payment of the proper expenses of the liquidation.
Pension – Pension scheme. The Pensions Regulator had correctly imposed financial penalties on each of the applicants in their capacity as trustees of an occupational pension scheme in relation to failures by the trustees to complete the necessary triannual valuations for the scheme, as required in accordance with the statutory duty imposed under s 224 of the Pensions Act 2004, Consequently, the Upper Tribunal (Tax Chamber), to which the applicants had referred the matter, dismissed the references.
Trade mark – Validity. The Chancery Division held that the hearing officer had made errors of principle in reaching his decision, in a case concerning the respondent's application for the word mark 'GAP 360' in respect of various services in classes 35, 36, 39 and 41. The application, in all of the classes applied for, was sufficiently similar to the applicant clothing retailer's earlier trade marks, such that there was a likelihood of confusion within the meaning of s 5(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Prosecution – Director of Public Prosecutions. The defendant Director of Public Prosecution's decision not to prosecute S for manslaughter for the death of the deceased on the basis that the evidential sufficiency test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors was not met had not been wrong in law. Accordingly, the Divisional Court dismissed the claimant mother of the deceased's application for judicial review of the decision not to prosecute.
Employment – Equality of treatment. The Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago had been entitled to find that the experience which ten comparators had gained before the appellant had been assured that temporary appointment to a position would not accelerate them to a permanent position had been sufficient to justify their appointment to the office on a permanent basis before the appellant. Accordingly, the Privy Council dismissed the appellant's appeal.
Contract – Construction. There was a great deal to be said for the view that the words used in a purchase and assumption agreement for the appellant bank's purchase of certain assets and the assumption of certain liabilities of the respondent's former employer had included the bank's liability to the respondent. However, the Privy Council humbly advise Her Majesty that the case had to be remitted to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, as there had been no evidence directed towards that issue.
Coroner – Inquest. The 1966 coroner's inquisition into the death of a 14-year-old girl, finding that S had murdered her, would be quashed and a fresh inquest ordered, as it was necessary and desirable in the interests of justice. The Divisional Court found that fresh evidence might reasonably lead to the conclusion that the substantial truth about how the deceased had met her death had not been revealed and the public interest had not been significantly vitiated by the lapse of 53 years.
Family proceedings – Orders in family proceedings. A reporting restrictions order made by a judge in regard to information already in the public domain was wrong and the wrong arose from procedural irregularities. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, accordingly allowed the journalists' appeal against the order and made a fresh reporting restriction order in accordance with the terms of a draft.
Contract – Rectification. As the parties' common intention, demonstrated by the communications between them and continuing up to the execution of the share sale and purchase agreement, had not been given effect in the share sale and purchase agreement and the disclosure letter, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed an appeal against a decision to rectify the documents in order to give full effect to the common intention of the parties.
Medical practitioner – Disciplinary committee. The appellant osteopath failed in his appeal against a decision of the professional conduct committee of the General Osteopathic Council (the panel) to strike him off the Register of Osteopaths for unacceptable professional conduct, concerning his sexual activity with a patient. The Administrative Court held that, in such cases which struck at the heart of the trust put into the profession by the public, the protection of the reputation of the profession meant that less regard would be had to personal mitigation, and that once the case had fallen into the realm of an inappropriate sexual relationship between an osteopath and his patient, the sanction of removal from the register had been within the reasonable band of sanctions available to the panel. The court further held that the panel's reasoning, albeit succinct, had been adequate in explaining to the appellant and the public why it had decided to take the course which it had, and that the panel's decision was not flawed.
Family proceedings – Care proceedings. The present was a case where the inability of the local authority to demonstrate facts which crossed the threshold was obvious, such that the authority's application for permission to withdraw had to succeed. The Family Court held that the balance of the evidence viewed in its totality and on its broad panorama made it obvious threshold could not be established.
Judicial review – local planning policy. In dismissing an application for judicial review of the decision of the planning committee of the defendant local authority, The Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court, held, that the decision to provide specialist care accommodation for other vulnerable groups in addition to the elderly had been correctly made after considering sufficient evidence. Further, the relevant policy had been correctly interpreted.
Mental health – Court of Protection. The applicant (HCCG) proposed an extensive package of care for AJ (a 24-year-old man with autism and learning disabilities) at his family home, with most of the financial arrangements managed by a third party broker. The Court of Protection held that, notwithstanding the dissatisfaction of AJ's parents, HCCG's proposals were in AJ's best interests, and that, while the arrangements would include the deprivation of AJ's liberty, it was appropriate to authorise that for a review period of 12 months.
Pension – Pension scheme. Inflation-linked annual increases to the pensions of members of a scheme could not have been validly granted pursuant to any enabling powers contained in subsequent deed and rules which had retrospective effect. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the defendant principal employer's appeal, held that the claimant trustees had failed to explain how the mere introduction of the deed and rules, and their back-dating, could have brought about the deemed exercise by the trustees of any enabling powers which, had they been in place at the relevant time, might have validated the steps taken.
Trust and trustee – Creation of trust. The Chancery Division made rulings in a dispute concerning the ownership of the property of S, who was deceased. It held that, at the time of his death, the property had belonged beneficially to S, and after his death to his estate, and therefore its proceeds of sale presently so belonged. The defendants were trustees, and held those proceeds on trust for the claimants as personal representatives of that estate. Further, that conclusion was not affected by the concepts of illegality and public policy.
Income tax – Annual tax on enveloped dwellings. The taxpayer company had been not been carrying on a 'property development trade' as defined in s 138(4) of the Finance Act 2013 and had not been holding the relevant property for the purposes of that trade. Consequently, it was not entitled to relief from the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED). Accordingly, the First-tier Tax Tribunal dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the Revenue and Customs Commissioners' decision to impose the ATED on the taxpayer.
Company – Oppression. Section 272 of the Bahamian Companies Act 1992 did not have the effect of continuing any liability of the appellant directors under s 280 because they had not been under any such liability when their company had been removed from the register. Accordingly, the Privy Council allowed the appellants' appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision that the appellants' failure to pay a judgment order had amounted to a liability for unfair and oppressive conduct that had continued after the removal of their company from the register of companies.
Company – Winding-up petition. The petitioner's appeal against the chief registrar's order, dismissing its winding-up petition, with no provision for its costs, was allowed. The petitioner had alleged that the respondent company had failed to repay a loan. The company had disputed the alleged debt, but had later paid it, and both parties had agreed that the petition should be dismissed. The Chancery Division held that, it had been wrong in principle for the chief registrar to deny the petitioner its costs, in circumstances where there had been a dispute and where there had been arguments on either side. The court held that, on the facts, the petition had been justified and that the ordinary order should be made, namely that the company should pay the petitioner's costs of the petition.