Cases by Area of Law

Forest of Dean District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & another

[2016] EWHC 421 (Admin)

Barrister: Peter Wadsley
Area of Law: Planning 
Summary: Peter successfully acted in the High Court on behalf of Forest of Dean District Council in an important planning decision in the case of Forest of Dean District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & another [2016] EWHC 421 (Admin). This case provides much needed judicial guidance to LPAs who often come up against the problem of the “significantly and demonstrably” balance in NPPF paragraph 14 as a result of not showing a 5-year housing land supply.

View news article: Planning barristers’ Peter Wadsley and Philip Robson successful in the High Court in Forest of Dean District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & another

Alwitry v (1) States Employment Board; and (2) Minister for Health and Social Services (2016)

[2016] JRC 050 (Jersey Royal Ct.)

Barrister: Nicholas Pointon
Area of Law: Commercial Dispute Resolution
Summary: Nicholas successfully acted for a leading consultant ophthalmologist in data access proceedings against the States of Jersey Employment Board and Minister for Health and Social Services, arising out of the purported termination of Mr Alwitry’s contract of employment at the Jersey General Hospital. The proceedings, heard before the Royal Court of Jersey, are the first occasion on which the provisions of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005 have come before the Island’s courts. The case tested the extent to which a data subject was entitled to make data access requests in circumstances where related litigation was either pending or in contemplation. The Court surveyed mainland authorities on the application of the Data Protection Act 1998 together with the guidance of both the English and Jersey Data Commissioners. Following cross-examination of the former Solicitor General of the States of Jersey, Advocate Howard Sharp QC, the Royal Court accepted the submissions made on Mr Alwitry’s behalf and ordered the States Employment Board to provide disclosure of the documents and personal data requested by Mr Alwitry. Nicholas acted together with Jersey Advocate Steven Chiddicks of Sinels Advocates.

For more information, please visit: Jersey Evening Post

John Rogers

Barrister: Emma Zeb
Area of Law: inquests
Summary: Emma is representing Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board at the 4-day inquest into the death of John Rogers. John Rogers was a 78 year old man who died at Glan Clwyd Hospital on 28 March 2015. Mr Rogers had suffered a cardiac arrest and the inquest is examining the actions of those who attempted to resuscitate him. This inquest has attracted national coverage, please visit:

A v A

Barrister: Jack Harris
Area of Law: Family Finance
Summary: Jack represented the Respondent in an application made by a former spouse to re-open concluded financial remedy proceedings on the grounds of an alleged ‘material non-disclosure’ at Final Hearing. Jack successfully applied for the case brought by the Applicant to be dismissed and secured an order for costs against the Applicant.

This case was of particular interest in light of the recent Supreme Court decisions in Sharland v Sharland [2015] UKSC 60 and Gohil v Gohil [2015] UKSC 61.

Gloucestershire County Council v M & C

(Rev 1) [2015] EWFC B147 / [2016] EWFC B4

Barrister: Lucy Reed 
Area of Law: Children
Summary:  Lucy acted for vulnerable mother in on-going care proceedings, commenced a year after removal of her child under s20. Case involves Human Rights Act damages claim arising from delay in issue and alleged unlawful retention of child following withdrawal of consent to accommodation. In the first judgment, the Local Authority was subject to significant criticism when the final hearing had to be adjourned due to incomplete assessments. The second judgment deals with the final decisions that were made for the child following completion of assessments.

View judgment: Gloucestershire County Council v M & C

Re D (A Child) (No 3)

[2016] EWFC 1

Barrister: Kambiz Moradifar
Area of Law: Children
Summary: Kambiz represented the child in this complex case involving parents with learning disabilities. The Local Authority applied to place the child for adoption, and the father applied to discharge the care order. The matter was complex due to the needs of the family, and lack of legal aid at the early stages. The Court has given guidance in a number of very important issues.

View full judgment: Re D (A Child) (No 3) [2016] EWFC 1

Inquest into the death of Private Gavin Williams

Barrister: Tom Leeper
Area of Law: Inquests
Summary: Tom Leeper represented an Interested Party in the inquest into the death of Private Gavin Williams, which concluded on 8 January 2016. Private Williams was serving with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh when he died in July 2006 having been subjected to a physical punishment at Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire. Three non-commissioned officers were acquitted of his manslaughter in 2008. The inquest sat for 26 days and heard evidence from over 100 witnesses, 61 of whom gave live evidence.  The coroner returned the following narrative conclusion: ‘Gavin died as a result of imposition of unofficial physical punishment in the form of marching drill and physical exercise conducted on a very hot day. This punishment was part of a system of such unofficial punishments operating in the Battalion which the chain of command had failed to identify or prevent. The exertion from the marching drill and the physical exercise, combined with the effects of Gavin’s recent use of ecstasy, led to the onset of hyperthermia. Gavin’s symptoms of hyperthermia included involuntary aggressive behaviour, as a result of which he was restrained. The effect of Gavin’s struggle against this restraint further contributed to the hyperthermia. Gavin was taken to Salisbury District Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 16.26 on 3 July 2006.’   

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.