Cases by Area of Law

R (Cornwall County Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire and Somerset Council’s

(2015) UKSC 46

Barrister: David Fletcher
Area of Law: Administrative Law 
Summary: This landmark ruling by the Supreme Court gives important guidance to local authorities responsible for care for the disabled as to the allocation of financial responsibility where disabled persons lacking mental capacity are placed out of county, and as to the proper interpretation of ‘ordinary residence’. David acted for Somerset Council, whose interpretation of ‘ordinary residence’ was accepted by the Supreme Court.

For a more detailed discussion about this case: Landmark ruling on funding for the disabled

Torbay council v M, F Re A B C

[2015] EWFC B218 (17 November 2015)

Barrister: Lucy Reed 
Area of Law: Children
Summary: Lucy acted for the mother in these care proceedings.

View judgment: Torbay council v M, F Re A B C [2015] EWFC B218

R (on the application of Valley Wood Resources) v Exeter City Council

[2015] Admin Court

Barrister: Roy Light
Area of Law: Licensing
Summary: The Defendant, Exeter City Council, in 2013 adopted a nil policy for the number of sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) in its area. The Claimant, Valley Wood Resources Limited, owned and operated an SEV which the Defendant licensed as an exception to its policy in 2014 but refused to renew in 2015. The Claimant unsuccessfully sought an appeal to the magistrates’ court and commenced judicial review proceedings.

The grounds basically were that the Defendant considered the premises an exception to the policy in 2014 and should have done so at renewal in 2015 as there had been no change in circumstances, no objection from the police and the premises had been run well. It was argued that the Defendant’s reasons were inadequate.

Such challenges have not found favour in four recent High Court reviews (one reaching the Court of Appeal). Nor did they here, Mrs Justice Laing refused permission on this and a subsequently added bias/pre-determination ground (finding no evidence to support the latter ground).

Her Ladyship found that the Defendant’s committee were well aware of the previous grant, were specifically directed by their legal advisor to give it due weight, were well aware of their duty and gave adequate reasons for departing from the previous decision; the committee took a wholly different view of the nature of the locality and the appropriateness of an SEV in that locality.

Sullivan v (1) Cardiff Council; and (2) Dwr Cymru/ Welsh Water

Cardiff County Court (Recorder Lloyd Williams), 3/11/15

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Personal Injury / Highway Law
Point of interest for highway lawyers: Shine v Tower Hamlets [2006] EWCA Civ 852 (no s.41 duty in respect of street furniture) applies to pillar fire hydrants just as much as it does to bollards. The Claimant (“C”) had tried to argue that because the covers of the usual subterranean hydrants are part of the highway, so must a pillar hydrant be part of the highway. Unsurprisingly the court rejected that argument.
Summary: C was out for a jog on the street where he lives in daylight hours. As he ran past the local pub a friend called out in greeting. C turned to wave to his friend and ran into a pillar fire hydrant at the side of the pavement and broke his thigh bone. He claimed against both the highway authority (D1 – represented by Matthew) and the water company responsible for the hydrant (D2). The fire hydrant was missing part of its cover and C’s case (supported by an orthopaedic expert) was that if the cover had been there he would not have broken his leg (albeit that he still would have run into the fire hydrant).

His claim failed on medical causation (the judge preferring the evidence of the defendants’ orthopaedic expert that the presence/ absence of the cover made no difference to the broken femur). The judge went on to determine that in any event the fire hydrant (covered or not) did not pose a foreseeable risk of harm.

Download full judgment: Sullivan v (1) Cardiff Council and (2) Dwr Cymru-Welsh Water



Barrister: Adam Boyle
Area of Law:
Property Insurance Litigation
Summary: Adam successfully defended a pivotal application for relief from sanctions heard before HHJ Havelock-Allan QC in the High Court. Adam represented the Claimant/Respondent who was bringing a property damage claim worth over £300,000. In this matter default judgment had already been given against the Defendant/Applicant earlier in the history of the case. At the time of the application the relevant sanction imposed upon the Defendant, following a string of failures, was that he was, in effect, precluded from defending the quantum of the case. That being so, following the successful defence of the application for relief from sanctions the Claimant’s substantial quantum claim was free to continue in a manner which was virtually unopposed.

Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited

Appeal REF.BM5/007/A, Birmingham County Court, HHJ Lopez, 3/11/15

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Personal InjuryCivil Procedure
Summary: No fee means no application. Matthew acted for the defendant employer and the claim was struck out on the basis that an application to extend time for service of the claim form, whilst received by the court in time, did not have the right fee with it so was in fact not made until too late.

For a more detailed discussion of the case: No fee means no application. Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited
Download full judgment: Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited

Ayaan Hussain

Barrister: Emma Zeb
Area of Law: Inquests
Summary: Emma Zeb represented the mother of Ayaan Hussain at the inquest into his death at Bristol Coroner’s Court on 23 October 2015. Ayaan was 23 months old when he passed away on 11 December 2014 at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. He had been suffering from a malignant brain tumour which was undiagnosed prior to his collapse on 10 December 2014.  The inquest focussed on whether appropriate care and assessment was made in respect of Ayaan’s deteriorating condition at the Bristol Children’s Hospital.  The Coroner (Maria Voisin) found that there was a missed opportunity to have diagnosed Ayaan’s tumour.  Emma was instructed by Paula Hill of Metcalfes.

Louise Tickle v Council & Borough of North Tyneside v G v H, J & I

[2015] EWHC 2991 (Fam)

Barrister: Lucy Reed 
Area of Law: Children
Summary: Lucy acted for freelance journalist Louise Tickle in Tickle v Council & Borough of North Tyneside v G v H, J & I (Children) EWHC 2991 (Fam) in which she successfully secured permission for her to anonymously report information relating to the proceedings involving the children of a mother whose youngest child was removed at birth but was rehabilitated to her care at the conclusion of care proceedings. In this unusual application Lucy Reed secured access to the court papers and transcripts of all previous proceedings, and a relaxation of the provisions of s12 AJA 1960 to enable the story to be reported in detail, with only minimal restriction on reporting to prevent identification of the children. Lucy Reed acted pro bono through public access in this case, owing to the public interest issues arising.

Download full judgment: [2015] EWHC 2991 (Fam)

P v G

Barrister: Jody Atkinson
Area of Law: Family finance, ToLATA and Inheritance
Summary: Jody acted for intervener in divorce proceedings, where there was a dispute as to the owner of agricultural land. Held that the agricultural land belonged to the intervener and costs awarded against the husband who sought to argue it was a matrimonial asset.

C v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Child Support Agency)

Barrister: Jody Atkinson
Area of Law: Family finance, ToLATA and Inheritance
Summary: Jody acted for non resident parent harassed by CSA and subject to a deduction from earnings order. Deductions from earnings order quashed and cost paid by the CSA.