Suspension of taxi drivers’ licences: latest article from Roy Light

Roy LightRoy Light, member of our licensing team has published the latest in his series of licensing updates for the Local Government Lawyer Website.

Roy looks at the role suspension of a taxi driver’s licence plays in the aftermath of a key High Court ruling in 2012.

View article: Suspension of taxi drivers’ licences

View profile: Roy Light

Alex Troup appears in High Court dispute over bequest to British National Party

Alex TroupAlex Troup, member of our wills, trusts and probate team has recently appeared in a high profile dispute in the High Court over the validity of a bequest made by an English testator resident in Spain in favour of the British National Party.

The case raises a novel point of law as to the effect of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 upon such a bequest. The testator’s two sons assert that the effect of the Act is that the bequest fails and that it should accordingly pass to them on intestacy. In contrast, the British National Party executed a Deed of Variation after the testator’s death in favour of a charitable settlement and now contends that the bequest should be paid to the trustees of that settlement. Alex is acting for the executor who is seeking court directions in the face of these competing claims.

This case has attracted considerable amounts of publicity including reports in the Telegraph, the Express and the Daily Mail. Judgment has been reserved.

View profile: Alex Troup

Public & Administrative Law Team speak at Annual Local Government Law Conference in Bristol

St John’s Chambers Public & Administrative Law Practice Group hosted their 4th Annual Conference in Bristol on Tuesday, 10th December. The aim of the conference was to provide an overview on topical issues affecting those working and practising in the field of local government.

Peter WadsleyHead of the Public & Administrative Law Practice Group Peter Wadsley chaired the event, and in attendance were solicitors from over 20 local authorities, Bevan Brittan LLP, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and Thrings LLP along with many more.

The event kicked off with David Fletcher discussing recent developments in Judicial Review and provided an update on the Bristol Administrative Court. Roy Light covered taxi licensing and then went on to discuss procedural errors in licensing (street trading, the Gambling 2003 Act). Guy Adams gave a case law update on commercial and procurement issues. Emma Zeb, member of our personal injury team looked at how the Highway Authority can minimise their exposure to a successful slipping and tripping claim. Peter Wadsley covered the National Planning Policy Framework with particular reference to housing and renewable energy issues, and Judi Evans gave a planning law and policy update. The event concluded with Leslie Blohm QC considering the different levels of liability that local authorities may be under to those who use their land, with particular reference to the Court of Appeal decision in Plymouth City Council v Harvey [2010] EWCA Civ 860.

You can download a copy of some of these notes below:

Three members of St John’s Chambers ranked in Chambers UK 100 Bar

St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that three of its members, Leslie Blohm QC, Glyn Edwards and Andrew Marsden, have been recognised for being at the top of the profession by their ranking in the inaugural Chambers UK Bar 100 for Queen’s Counsel and Juniors respectively.

The lists are compiled by Chambers UK directory from its rankings of leading barristers in their specialist areas, and they name the top 200 out of a total of about 12,000 barristers in independent practice in England and Wales.

Bristol is the only regional centre with both junior barristers and silks making it on to the list; and St John’s with three has been recognised for the provision of high quality legal advice and representation in both Chancery and Commercial and Personal Injury work, and a proven alternative to London.

Leslie Blohm QCLeslie Blohm QC
Ranked in: Administrative & Public Law, Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Chancery, Commercial Dispute Resolution and Real Estate Litigation

“Leslie is one of the leading practitioners on the Western Circuit. Peers describe him as a practitioner who communicates with the clients in a manner which puts them at their ease and enables him to guide them to the most beneficial solution, no matter how complex the legal issues involved.”

Glyn EdwardsGlyn Edwards
Ranked in: Personal Injury
“Glyn is the premier personal injury barrister on the Western circuit. ‘Dynamic and professional both in negotiation and in court,’ he is ‘a superb advocate, who is as good as any QC and easy to work with.’ “

Andrew Marsden
Ranked in: Chancery, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Company and Partnership

Andrew Marsden“Andrew is amongst the very best juniors practising on the Western Circuit.  Commentators say that he is ‘an approachable barrister, with a keen eye to the commercial priorities of a case, who is ready to challenge and question the evidence before him.’ ” 

View results:

Family barristers speak at Re B-S (Children) seminar

Robin Tolson QCMembers of St John’s Chambers’ Family Team recently provided talks on Re B [2013] UKSC 33 and Re B-S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1146 and their ramifications for public law practice at a seminar held in Chambers on 5th December 2013.

Leading Silk Robin Tolson QC gave an introduction and then passed over to Sarah Phillimore who looked at the new landscape for family practitioners after Re B-SAbigail Bond provided an update on recent public law authority and guidance, and Lucy Reed gave practical tips for managing cases in light of Re B-S and under the new pilot scheme. This 2-hour seminar concluded with a panel discussion and Q & A session chaired by Robin Tolson QC.

You can download a copy of some of these notes below:

Trends in intergenerational issues in family proceedings – latest article from Jody Atkinson

Jody AtkinsonJody Atkinson, member of our family finance, ToLATA and inheritance team, has recently written an article for Lexis Nexis.

Family members are increasingly becoming involved in litigation when there is a divorce especially where loans or property is a major part of the equation. Jody highlights some of the complexities of this perennial problem.

Download article: Trends in intergenerational issues in family

View profile: Jody Atkinson

Will the latest Court of Appeal decision on Adjudication cause chaos and unfairness? Latest article from Andrew Kearney

Andrew KearneyConstruction Barrister and Adjudicator Andrew Kearney shares his reaction to the recent case of Aspect Contracts (Asbestos) Ltd v Higgins Construction Plc [2013] EWCA Civ 1541 (29 November 2013).

On Friday, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Aspect Contracts v Higgins Construction.  This was a case about the relationship between the limitation period within which a claim for breach of contract must be made and the ‘interim’ nature of Adjudicators’ decisions.

For Andrew’s detailed discussion of the case, click here.

View profile: Andrew Kearney

Ben Handy joins St John’s Chambers Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Practice Groups

Ben HandySt John’s Chambers is pleased to welcome Ben Handy as a new member of our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Practice Groups.

Originally from Bristol, Ben became a tenant at 7 Harrington Street Chambers in Liverpool in 2008 following the completion of his pupillage.  Since being called to the Bar he has built a successful practice in the field of personal injury, regularly acting in a wide range of medium to high-value cases, with an emphasis on employers’ liability and cases involving allegations of fraud. He also has a developing practice in the field of clinical negligence, having specialised in the subject at University. Ben has presented cases to the Court of Appeal.

Outside of work, Ben is very active and enjoys many sports activities. This includes running the Liverpool Marathon in 2011 and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2013, raising money for the Encaphalitis Society in the process.

Ben says: “It’s great to come home to Bristol after ten years in the North West, and I’m really excited to be joining St John’s Chambers. It was their reputation as a top class set that attracted me in the first place, and everything I have seen since I arrived has only reinforced that impression.”

Richard Stead, Head of Chambers said: “We are delighted that Ben has moved to St John’s Chambers. He brings considerable capability and experience, and adds further strength to our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Practice Groups.

View profile: Ben Handy

Breach of duty and causation: latest article from Christoper Sharp QC and Matthew White

Christopher SharpChristopher Sharp QC and Matthew White, members of our personal Injury team have recently published an article on breach of duty and causation in the Personal Injury Law Journal.

Christopher and Matthew analyse recent developments and provide practical advice.

Download publication: Breach of duty and causation

Mathew-WhiteView profiles:


Wills, Trusts and Probate Team speak at annual contentious probate update seminar in Bath

Members of St John’s wills, trusts and probate team spoke at our annual contentious probate update conference on 20th November 2013 at Withy King’s Bath office. In attendance were solicitors from Osborne Clarke, Clarke Willmott, Thrings LLP and TLT along with many more.

The event was chaired by St John’s property expert Charles Auld and started with Amanda Noyce of Withy King discussing when influence is undue in the context of wills and probate. Luke Watson of Mowbray Woodwards considered the impact of the Jackson reforms on contentious probate disputes and chaired a discussion. In afternoon session members of St John’s Chambers took to the stand with Oliver Wooding looking at highlights from recent case law over the last 12 months, Alex Troup provided an update on Statute and Christopher Jones discussed gifts made in the contemplation of death, in light of the recent decision of Vallee v Birchwood [2013] EWHC 1449.

You can download a copy of some of these notes below: