St John’s family team host Annual Children’s Conference 2017

This month our family team hosted their Annual Children’s Conference 2017 at the Hilton Doubletree, Bristol, kindly sponsored by Wesleyan. The day began with an introduction from Abigail Bond, Head of our children’s team.

Kathryn Skellorn QC began with a discussion of scientific testing and strategy for family lawyers, items were addressed such as equality within the sampling considerations for melanin content and challenging hair strand test results.
This talk was followed on by Beth Tarleton from the University of Bristol who presented an in depth look at supporting parents with learning difficulties. She covered many areas such as good practice, changes in professionals’ views and level of concern for the babies as well as certain specific needs in relation to safeguarding procedures for the children of learning disabled parents.

Delegates were then treated to an introduction from Australia born Anna Rickards, Head of Practice and Learning at Pause Project; Pause – creating space to change. Anna began with a pause film telling the real story of one of Pause’s women in her own words.
Following Anna, DNA Legal’s, Dr Breidi gave an introduction into the companies’ diverse means of testing to include alcohol hair testing and fingernail testing, primarily used to aid criminal matters in the family courts. This talk was followed by an update on recent developments in public law from Judi Evans, Head of our Family Practice Group.
After the lunch break Julia Belyavin, covered the recent developments in private law which included specific relocation cases. Lucy Reed then highlighted guidance on practical ways to secure a child’s anonymity for judges whilst addressing the changing perspectives on transparency in the family court.

Concluding the day, Asha Pearce-Groves focused on the law and procedure relating to the Human Rights Act which included some of the most recent updates. And Abigail Bond provided a useful guide on the Court of Protection for children lawyers.

The Conference was a huge success, attended by over 50 delegates and received fantastic feedback; you can review the live tweets from the day by searching #childrensconf2017 on twitter. “Good value for money”, “Informative, well run course”, “Very successful event”.

Downloadable notes: care proceedings and damages for breach of human rights 

Qader incorporated into the CPR

Matthew White, a member of our Personal Injury team, updates his article “Qader v Esure Court of Appeal decision:- fixed costs do not apply to ex-protocol cases that are allocated to the multi-track” in light of subsequent amendments to the CPR.

The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2017
amongst other things (most notably automatic strike out for failure to pay a trial fee) will put the effect of Qader into the CPR. Fixed costs will now apply “for as long as the case is not allocated to the multi-track”.

The amendment to the rules has also removed the “but not more than £25,000” part of the tables in CPR45 part III (which made it appear that fixed costs would “top out” at £25k). The consequence of that is that if the case is an ex-portal claim worth over £25k but allocated to the fast track, only fixed costs are recoverable, but it is clear that the percentage of damages awarded as costs can exceed the prescribed percentage of £25,000.

The amendments to the CPR have not dealt with the other main problem in the rules addressed in Matthew’s article, repeated here for ease of reference:-
Suppose that a claim is in the portal and it becomes apparent relatively early that it will exceed £25,000 in value. It is not hard to imagine a case in which the claimant’s solicitor would want/need to spend a reasonable amount pre-issue. What of those costs? Is that solicitor compelled to issue to secure allocation to the multi-track to recover those costs? That will pressure such a claimant solicitor into an unwanted court timetable and into doing more work after the budget is set than claimant solicitors generally like (given the common approach of getting a good part of the preparatory work done before budgeting). Or can that solicitor expect the court to award pre-allocation costs as though the allocation were to the multi-track (even though the language added to the rules by the Court of Appeal does not seem to suggest that)?

Download the previous article: Qader v Esure Court of Appeal decision:- fixed costs do not apply to ex-protocol cases that are allocated to the multi-track

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UK competition authorities step up their enforcement acitivity against cartels and other anti-competitive agreements

Matthew O'ReganMatthew O’Regan, a member of our competition team reviews the CMA’s recent civil and criminal investigations into cartels and other anti-competitive agreements, as well as the first Competition Act investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Compliance with competition law remains an important factor for businesses large and small. On 9 February 2017, the UK’s principal competition authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”), announced that it suspected a Poole-based distributor of lighting products of having broken the Competition Act 1998 by preventing retailers from freely determining their prices when selling online.

The CMA’s investigation is on-going. However, it forms part of an increase in enforcement activity by it. In its draft annual plan for 2017/2018, the CMA made clear that it intends to step up the rate of its enforcement of UK competition law, both in terms of the number of investigations it undertakes and the time each one takes. Businesses large and small will therefore see a significant increase in CMA enforcement activity against cartels and other anti-competitive practices, using both its civil and criminal powers.

These investigations have covered a wide range of products, including bathroom fittings, pharmaceuticals, furniture drawers, steel tanks, wall posters, airport car parking, fashion modelling and golf equipment. They have also covered many different types of conduct, including price-fixing cartels, market-sharing, bid-rigging, exchanges of commercially sensitive information, restrictive rules of trade associations and restrictions on on-line sales and price advertising.

The CMA has imposed significant fines on companies; others have avoided fines by informing the CMA of their illegal conduct. One individual has been disqualified as a company director and another awaits sentence after pleading guilty to having entered into a hardcore cartel agreement.

It is clear from recent cases and the CMA’s commitment to increased enforcement that business will remain under considerable antitrust scrutiny. Investigations can start in all sorts of ways: leniency applications, whistleblowing by employees, complaints by customers or competitors, and the CMA’s own intelligence-gathering activities.

Businesses, large or small, should therefore not be complacent and think that a CMA investigation will not happen to them. They should ensure that their commercial agreements and practices are compliant with UK and EU competition law. This includes past agreements and practices, which the CMA can also investigate. If there is any doubt as to compliance, legal advice should be taken. In appropriate cases, where there is evidence that a business has engaged in an illegal ‘hardcore’ cartel or resale price maintenance, making a leniency application to the CMA could gain it immunity from, or at least a reduction in, fines.


Download the full article: UK competition authorities step up their enforcement activity against cartels and other anti-competitive agreements

View profile: Matthew O’Regan

If you would like to instruct Matthew on a commercial or chancery matter please contact his clerks on: or 0117 923 4740

Important ruling on Seychelles company law – case note from David Fletcher

Interim Executives (Guernsey) LTD & Others v. Positive Approach Services LTD & Others [2016] EWHC 2867 (Ch)

David FletcherDavid Fletcher, of our Commercial Dispute Resolution Team acted for the trustees of a Guernsey-based offshore pension scheme in this complex Chancery pension action. The scheme sought to recover pension assets wrongfully removed by a pension-holder.

The pension-holder had executed a Deed agreeing to invest his shareholding in PAS Ltd, a UK company valued at £1m, in a Guernsey pension scheme in order to gain the tax advantages of an offshore pension. The trustees of the scheme took action when they discovered that the shares had been improperly re-registered in the name of the pension-holder and members of his family.

The principal defence to the claim was that there had been mis-selling of the tax advantages of the scheme by marketing agents. This defence failed. In addition a series of technical legal defences were raised asserting that the Trustees, who were Seychelles companies, lacked legal capacity to carry out trust business under Seychelles law, and that the scheme was not properly regulated under Guernsey law. After considering expert evidence on foreign law, these defences failed. The court ordered reimbursement to the trustees of the cash equivalent of the pension assets (£1M).

In giving judgement Richard Spearman QC, sitting as Deputy Judge of the Chancery Division, gave a ruling on a disputed and troublesome issue of statutory interpretation of Seychelles company law, an issue on which there is as yet no ruling from the Seychelles courts, and a point of considerable importance to those carrying on international trust business through the vehicle of a Seychelles-registered International Business Company.

The circumstances which gave rise to this issue of Seychelles corporate law were that in 2011 1XG Ltd, the principal employer for the purposes of the IXG pension scheme, exercised powers to remove the trustees, a dispute having arisen with the Guernsey-based trustees then acting. For the sake of convenience IXG appointed as new trustees two limited companies registered in the Seychelles (“the Seychelles trustees”). The Seychelles trustees continued to act as trustees and, together with other parties were claimants in the Chancery case and sought, amongst other remedies, reimbursement to the pension-holder of the value of the shares which he had wrongly re-registered in his own name. In the course of the litigation the Defendants discovered that the Seychelles trust companies had a limitation in their Memoranda of Association which precluded them from carrying on “trust business”. This was a standard limitation imposed on the registration of all International Business Companies (“IBCs”) in accordance with s.5(1)(c) of the International Business Companies Act 1994 (the “IBCA 1994”) and required to be inserted in all companies’ memoranda by s.12 of that Act.

The Defendants relied on this limitation as a defence to the claim, their case being that it precluded the Seychelles companies from acting as trustees, and that representations ought to be implied from representations made to the pension holder that the trustees would have legal trust powers.

It was contended for the Claimants that there was a complete answer to this defence, namely that s.10(1) of the IBCA 1994, being based on similar provisions in the UK Companies Acts 1985 and 2006, abolished the “ultra vires” rule for the purpose of Seychelles law. The effect of this provision, it was argued, was that a limitation on the powers in a company’s memorandum did not invalidate any act of the company in relation to a third party. The judge’s view however was that the abolition of the ultra vires rule did not completely answer the defence raised, so that it was necessary to determine, as a matter of Seychelles law, the proper meaning of the phrase “trust business”.

The interpretation of the exclusion of “trust business” required a careful analysis of Seychelles legislation since 1994 in relation to international business and trusts. In 1994 the Seychelles emerged as a democracy, and the Seychelles Parliament passed a number of laws designed to promote the Seychelles as a provider of international business and financial services, and to cater for the offshore business sector. Notably, the Seychelles Parliament established the Seychelles International Business Association (“SIBA”), with the objects of monitoring, supervising and ensuring that international business activities are transacted in conformity with the laws of the Seychelles and in such a manner as to maintain the good repute of the Seychelles as a centre for international business activities.

In 1994 the Seychelles Parliament passed a raft of business legislation, in particular (a) the International Business Companies Act (“IBCA”) which established the International Business Company (“IBC”) as the corporate vehicle for all offshore business activities (b) the SIBAA, which as stated established SIBA as the regulatory authority (recently renamed the “FSA”) (c) The International Trusts Act (“ITA”) which introduced the concept of an “international trust” into Seychelles law for the first time. Since the Seychelles legal code was based on the Napoleonic Code Seychelles law prior to 1994 did not recognise the concept of a trust, and a precise definition of the split between legal and beneficial ownership was therefore given in the ITAA

The Claimants contended that having regard to the scheme of the 1994 legislation as a whole, the intention of the Seychelles Parliament in imposing an exclusion on “trust business” in the case of all IBAs, must have been to preclude IBAs from carrying on activities for which they would require a licence from SIBA, namely providing trust services for the formation, registration and administration of international trusts. This construction of s.5(1)(a) the Claimants contended was supported by the following propositions:

  1. A construction that meant that IBAs could not act as trustees of an international trust would be inconsistent with the provisions of the ITAA, since that Act expressly provided that an international trust must have either a resident trustee or an IBC authorised by SIBA to act as trustee. Furthermore s.22(1) of the ITAA also expressly provided that international trusts could be administered by a corporate trustee. It followed that the construction of s.5(1)(c) contended for by the Defendants would be directly in the conflict with the provisions of the ITAA. As a matter of construction this legislation should be considered having regard to the legislative scheme overall and to the context of the legislation. (see Sawyer v R [2016] SCCA15 Seychelles Court of Appeal).
  2. Regard could properly be had to subsequent amending legislation in considering the proper construction of the 1994 Act. In 2009 the IBCAA was enacted, being an Act amending the IBCA. The reference to “trust business” was then replaced by a provision that IBCs should not engage in “international corporate services, international trustee services or foundation services”. “International trustee services” means the business of setting up, administering and organising international trusts. Thus, following the 2009 amendment it became clear that the purpose of the “trust business” exclusion was simply to preclude IBAs when carrying on international trust business from providing trustee services for which a SIBA licence was required, and which were required to be provided by domestic Seychelles companies operating within the Seychelles jurisdiction. It was successfully argued that the 2009 amendment could properly be taken into account in construing the 1994 legislation on the basis that the purpose of that amendment was to clarify the existing law, not to amend it.
  3. The final point relied on by the Claimants was that there could be no discernible purpose in the Seychelles Parliament legislating in 1994 to preclude the newly created IBCs from carrying on international trust business as trustees. This would be counter to the entire purpose of the new legislative regime.

In the result therefore the Chancery court accepted the above legal arguments and ruled that Seychelles IBCs did have capacity to act as trustees of international trusts. This ruling has clarified a point of Seychelles corporate law on which the Seychelles courts have never ruled. It is a helpful ruling in terms of the importance of international business to the economy of the Seychelles.

View profile: David Fletcher

If you would like to instruct David on a related matter please contact his clerks via email

Court of Appeal decision in Crawley v. Barnsley MBC [2017] EWCA Civ 36

Mathew-WhiteThe Court of Appeal decides: a Highway Authority’s system was to inspect reported defects the next working day. Not good enough (in the circumstances), according to the Court of Appeal.

That’s right… the highway authority’s system was to inspect reported defects the next working day. Not good enough (in the circumstances), according to the Court of Appeal, writes Matthew White, member of our personal injury team.


At 4.20pm on Friday 27/1/12 a member of the public reported a carriageway pothole to the defendant highway authority (“D”).

D’s system was to look at reported defects the next working day unless they were reported by the emergency services and were in a sensitive location (in which event an emergency standby team would go out).

On the evening of the day after the report (i.e. on Saturday 28/1/12) C was out jogging when he fell in the pothole and was injured.

The court found the defect to be dangerous (i.e. a breach of Highways Act 1980 s.41).

D, having been notified of the defect on Friday afternoon, had not inspected it yet. It was inspected on the next working day (i.e. Monday – after the accident happened).


The District Judge dismissed the claim, finding that D’s system was reasonable (i.e. the s.58 defence was made out). The Circuit Judge allowed an appeal. His reasoning was that complaints received on Monday to Thursday were considered by a highway inspector the next day. If a complaint was made on a Friday there was a delay of at least 2 days (more if a bank holiday). The only justification for that would be lack of resources. Lack of resources is irrelevant (Wilkinson v. City of York Council [2011] EWCA Civ 207). D ought to have trained staff taking calls reporting defects to evaluate the level of danger, or all ought to have been forwarded to an “on-call” inspector.


D appealed. The Court of Appeal were divided. Jackson LJ would have found for the highway authority. Briggs and Irwin LJJ found for C.

What the court agreed on

All 3 judges in the Court of Appeal agreed that lack of resources is not a defence following Wilkinson (the contrary does not appear to have been argued). That said, it was held that the fact that most people do not work at the weekend is a feature which “goes beyond mere resources” and is relevant to “all the circumstances” (which must be considered under s.58).

The dissenting view

Jackson LJ’s view was that the system of inspection on the next working day (or immediately in a case of exceptional urgency) was reasonable.

The majority view

Briggs LJ (with whom Irwin LJ agreed) held that the system operated, which made no evaluation of defects reported out of hours (which might be serious), was insufficient for the highway authority to show that it had taken reasonable care.

What this case does not say

The decision was not that a highway authority must respond to all reported defects by inspecting immediately (even out of hours). Rather the decision was that in circumstances in which the highway authority usually inspected the next day, it was not reasonable to leave reported defects over the weekend with no evaluation of how serious they were.

Points for highway authorities

It will be interesting to see how highway authorities deal with this. Some might take the view that accidents happening between report of a defect and its examination by an inspector are sufficiently rare that they don’t need to do anything. I would worry about that in relation to false claims (albeit that it would take a fraudster rather more sophisticated than the usual to take advantage of such lacuna in a highway authority’s process).

Perhaps highway authorities will have to train staff to make an assessment of danger over the phone. Good luck with that! I would expect the common experience of highway authorities to be that most defects are reported by members of the public to be “huge”, and “obviously very dangerous”. Perhaps call handlers will need to be trained to assess the accuracy of the report and/or to test it with probing questions.

Matthew regularly litigates highway claims, usually for various highway authorities. Notable cases include:-

  • Devon County Council v TR [2013] EWCA Civ 418; [2013] PIQR P19 (Court of Appeal determined that codes of practice for highway maintenance should not be treated as mandatory standards which had to be adhered to unless there was a positive reason for departure). For a more detailed consideration of the case, click here.
  • Young v Merthyr Tydfil CBC [2009] PIQR P23 (no duty of care in relation to a highway which is not a highway maintainable at public expense).
  • Millard v Walsall MBC, unreported, 30/6/14 (despite Wilkinson v York a highway authority was entitled to suspend routine inspections on budgetary grounds in unusual circumstances (such as an extreme weather event)).  For a detailed consideration of the case, click here.

View profile: Matthew White

If you would like to instruct Matthew on a related matter please contact his clerks via email on



Clarification on Beddoe orders and protective costs – Pettigrew and others v Edwards [2017] EWHC 8 (Ch)

Natasha DzamehNatasha Dzameh, a member of our commercial and chancery team, provides a brief note on the recent case of Pettigrew and others v Edwards [2017] EWHC 8 (Ch). This matter was heard in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice at the Royal Courts of Justice by Master Matthews. Natasha was present at the first hearing in this matter. The trustees were represented by Guy Adams who is also a member of Chambers’ Commercial and Chancery team.

In this case the deceased left her residuary estate on trust to the first and second trustees beneficially in equal shares subject to an income to be paid to the life tenant. The trustees considered the life tenant owed the sum of £100,000 due to a loan which had been granted by the deceased. Repayment of the loan was not forthcoming so the trustees withheld the income from the trust fund. The life tenant issued a claim in relation to the income. The trustees filed a defence and counterclaim then applied for the relevant orders.

Natasha’s article pinpoints key considerations for practitioners when contemplating whether to apply for a Beddoe order and whether the circumstances also warrant an application for a protective costs order. A more detailed analysis of this case is expected to be published in the Trusts and Estates, Law & Tax Journal in the near future.

Download article‘Clarification on Beddoe orders and protective costs’
Download judgment: Pettigrew and others v Edwards [2017] EWHC 8 (Ch)
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Natasha Dzameh

If you would like to instruct Natasha on a commercial or chancery matter please contact her clerks on: or 0117 923 4740

Court of Appeal in Sharp v Leeds CC decides fixed costs “plainly apply to the costs of a PAD application” in ex-protocol cases

Marcus Coates-WalkerMarcus Coates-Walker, a member of our personal injury team, provides an analysis of the judgment in Sharp v Leeds City Council [2017] EWCA Civ 33 which the Court of Appeal handed down yesterday. 

In the case of Sharp v Leeds City Council [2017] EWCA Civ 33 the Court of Appeal (COA) determined a “short but important point” in relation to pre-action disclosure (PAD) application costs, which are ordinarily governed by the general rule and exceptions in CPR 46.1(2) and (3).

The Issue: Does the fixed costs regime in Section IIIA of Part 45 for claims which started, but no longer continue, under the EL / PL Protocol apply to the costs of a PAD application under Section 52 of the County Courts Act 1984 in connection with such a claim?

The Facts: Miss Sharp (C) tripped on a footpath and injured her wrist. She brought a claim against Leeds City Council (D) through the Portal under the EL / PL Protocol. The claim ceased to continue within the EL / PL Protocol and thereafter fell within the PI Protocol. D failed to give pre-action disclosure and C made a PAD application. By the time of the hearing at Wakefield County Court, D had given the necessary disclosure, but DJ Heppell awarded C the costs of the PAD application and summarily assessed them at £1,250. On appeal Judge Saffman concluded that the fixed costs regime applied, with the result that payable costs were reduced to £305.

The COA decision: LJ Briggs (with whom LJ Jackson and LJ Irwin agreed) held that the fixed costs regime “plainly applies to the costs of a PAD application” in cases which started, but no longer continue under the Protocol. He stated that the starting point in these cases is to limit the recovery of costs to the fixed rates, subject only to a very small category of clearly stated exceptions. He continued: “To recognise implied exceptions in relation to such claim-related activity and expenditure would be destructive of the clear purpose of the fixed costs regime, which is to pursue the elusive objective of proportionality in the conduct of the small or relatively modest types of claim to which that regime currently applies”.

During what were described as “excellent and well-focussed” submissions, there were four areas of battle:

  1. Is a PAD application part of a “claim” for the purposes of the Protocols and Rules? C argued that it was not part of such claim. Rather it is, and has always been treated as, a separate and self-contained application, with its own separate jurisdiction, procedural rules and costs regime. The COA agreed that it was self-contained and separate from the claim. However, they held that in a PI context the connections between a PAD application and the claim for damages to which it relates are “particularly close”. Above all, they considered that it powerfully contributes to early settlement (a stated aim of the Protocol).
  2. Should a PAD application be regarded as an “interim application” within the meaning of CPR 45.29H? C argued that it is not an “interim application” because it is not made “in a case to which this Section applies” within the meaning of sub-paragraph (1). Rather, it is separate from any such case. The COA held that it is plainly an application for an interim remedy and is “interim” in the fullest sense. It follows the institution of the “claim” by the uploading of a CNF on the Portal and precedes the resolution of the claim by settlement or final judgment.
  3. Are the costs rules for PAD applications in CPR 46.1 incompatible with the regime for defendants’ fixed recoverable costs in CPR 45.29F? The COA agreed that it would be hard to fit the provision in CPR 46.1 within the “straightjacket of Part 45.29F and H”. Nevertheless, they held that a defendant which successfully resisted a PAD application would stand to recover fixed costs under CPR 45.29F (albeit much less than the expenditure actually incurred). They considered that, in a practical PI context, any supposed incompatibility is likely to be “more apparent than real”.
  4. Is confining a claimant to fixed recoverable costs an inadequate sanction for widespread procedural misconduct by defendants? In contrast to the first three points, the COA saw “some real force” in the argument that limiting costs recovery to claimants who succeed in PAD applications will largely deprive such applications of their value as a spur to proper compliance by insurance-backed defendants with their protocol disclosure obligations. Unfortunately for C, this was still not enough. LJ Briggs stated that “to throw open PAD applications generally to the recovery of assessed costs would in my view be to risk giving rise to an undesirable form of satellite litigation in which there would be likely to be incentives for the incurring of disproportionate expense, which is precisely what the fixed costs regime, viewed as a whole, is designed to avoid”.

However, LJ Briggs did allude to two potential avenues for claimants:

    1. Exceptional circumstances: He suggested that one answer may lie in the availability of an application under CPR 45.29J if exceptional circumstances can be shown. He stated that he would not regard a defendant’s deliberate disregard of Protocol disclosure obligations as unexceptional merely because it was frequently encountered (however he did acknowledge the difficulty this may cause in passing the exceptional circumstances hurdle).
    2. The Rule Committee: He conceded that it may be that the very limited recovery of expenditure on a PAD application under the fixed costs regime means that such applications are not as effective as they should be in sanctioning breaches of Protocol disclosure obligations. He stated that if there is appropriate evidence then a review into a more generous, but still fixed, recovery of costs of such applications would be justified.

This is good news for defendants as the costs of PAD applications in ex-protocol cases will be limited to the fixed costs in CPR 45.29H (£250 plus VAT). However, claimants should be alert to the opportunity to access greater costs if exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated. In any event, both parties should keep a keen eye on the Rule Committee in case, following LJ Briggs, they gather enough evidence to suggest the recoverable fixed cost should be higher.

View profile: Marcus Coates-Walker

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“Guess what… the Lord Chancellor’s review of the discount rate is not going to be completed by 31/1/17”

Mathew-WhiteNo-one will fall over with surprise at this one, writes Matthew White of St John’s Chambers. Having announced on 7/12/16 that she would publish the results of a review on the discount rate for use in personal injury claims by 31/1/17, the Lord Chancellor is being reported as having said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday that she will not, in fact, be saying anything about the review by 31/1/17. This, it seems, has nothing to do with the Association of British Insurer’s failed attempt to judicially review her approach to the process: see R (on the application of the Association of British Insurers v. (1) Lord Chancellor (Defendant): and (2) Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Interested Party),  as yet unreported judgment of Andrew Baker J on 20/1/17. It is said that the Lord Chancellor “remains committed to making an announcement in February”.

For the London Stock Exchange Announcement, see here

Matthew White (Call 1997) is an experienced personal injury barrister who advises both claimants and defendants in all aspects of this area of the law.

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Tom Leeper advises at inquest of Josh Clayton

Tom LeeperTom Leeper (Call 1991), experienced Inquest barrister at St Johns Chambers, has been advising at the inquest of Josh Clayton, a holiday island worker whose body was found on rocks near Tresco in September 2015. Tom is advising the Clayton family who have called for a new police investigation after the collapse of the inquest. Tom has said “erroneous assumptions” that Josh Clayton had not been involved in an altercation at the party, “have resulted in an inadequate investigation to date”. The pathologist Dr Russell Delaney told the inquest that there were no signs of Mr Clayton drowning and the cause of death was “unascertained”.

Please click this link to read the full story:

Tom advises and represents clients in clinical negligence and personal injury cases and is regularly instructed in inquests. He sits as Assistant Deputy Coroner for Warwickshire and acts as Counsel to the Inquest.

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Andrew Kearney appointed to mediation panel of Mediation for Construction (M4C)

Andrew Kearney

Andrew Kearney, experienced construction and engineering barrister at St John’s Chambers has been appointed to the national mediation panel of M4C.

Whilst Andrew mediates general commercial disputes (a recent example being a mediation between an NHS local health board and an agency placing medical staff from abroad) his core specialism has always been construction disputes.  According to Chambers UK Bar Guide he is “widely regarded as the Western Circuit’s leading barrister for construction and engineering disputes”.  Andrew also practises in London and internationally, and will for example be counsel in an ICC arbitration in Vienna this year concerning a USD60m dispute over a pipeline in Yemen.

m4c-logoAndrew trained as a mediator in 2007, and has now been appointed, along with only 5 others at present, to the national panel of M4C.  M4C appoints mediators nationally on a fixed fee basis for construction disputes of all sizes.  M4C also seeks to inform and advocate in respect of ADR, and mediation in particular.  M4C will be advising the All Party Parliamentary Group on ADR (in respect of construction in the public sector) at the end of January 2017.  M4C will also be holding a series of events in 2017, including CPD events for legal and construction professionals in the South West and Wales.

View profile: Andrew Kearney