Licensing update: latest article from Roy Light

Roy LightRoy Light, member of our licensing team has published the latest in his series of licensing updates in the Solicitors Journal.

Roy discusses the requirement to advertise licensing applications, sexual entertainment venues, test purchases, and taxi licensing.

Download article: Licensing update July 2013

View profile: Roy Light

Opoku v Tintas: end of the road for impecuniosity?

Patrick WestPatrick West, member of our personal injury team examines the important Court of Appeal credit hire ruling in the case of Opoku v Tintas [2013].

In this case the Court of Appeal has given an important ruling in relation to the question of period of hire.  The full text of Opoku will not be available for a few weeks and it is not yet clear if the claimant will seek to appeal. It does not spell the end of the road for credit hire by a long way, but it should give claimants and defendants pause for thought.

Download article: Opoku v Tintas: end of the road for impecuniosity?

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Chambers Family Practice Group launch Family Mediation Service

St John’s Chambers are proud to introduce our new family mediation service, consisting of seven family barristers.

Our family mediation team are qualified mediators specialising in mediation regarding children and finance matters. We are here to help people who want to resolve disputes via mediation in order to avoid the stress and expense of costly court proceedings.

Download brochure: family mediation

If you would like some hard copies of our brochure, please contact Sarah Tune on 0117 923 4710.

For further questions on our family mediation service, please contact Elaine Jewell-Moore on 0117 923 4708 or email:

Patrick West is interviewed by ITV West on inquest into death of Kathleen Haines

Patrick WestPatrick West, one of our personal injury barristers was featured in an interview yesterday with ITV West News presenter, Richard Payne on the recent inquest into the death of Kathleen Haines.

Patrick was Counsel for the Haines family, which he clearly stated but ITV news have identified Patrick as a solicitor causing some confusion.

View media: ITV West News

Emma ZebEmma Zeb and Patrick West both attended the 2 day inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court into the death of Kathleen Haines.  Mrs Haines sustained burns to her legs when an oxygen cylinder which was being prepared for use during her transfer from the RUH in Bath to the BRI exploded as the nurse caring for her at the time tested the oxygen cylinder for flow before attaching it to her nasal canula.  Mrs Haines died some weeks later from her underlying medical condition but the Coroner determined that the burns had contributed in part to her death.  Emma Zeb represented the nurse who was handling the cylinder at the time of the explosion.

Provisions of part 1 of the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009

Emma ZebOn 2 July 2013 Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Helen Grant, indicated that the Government intends to bring the remaining provisions of part 1 of the CJA 2009 into force sometime this month.

Those interested in inquests will know that Part 1 of the CJA 2009 proposed a number of new provisions seeking to codify in many respects the role and responsibilities of a Coroner as well as some aspects of procedure in the Coroner’s court. Since then the only significant changes following the provisions was the appointment of a Chief Coroner who took up his post in September 2012. The new rules also brought about changes to those who may be considered interested parties with some significant developments in relation to rule 43. Assuming the government does indeed keep its promise we can expect that some time this month the remaining provisions will come into force. Watch this space!

View profile: Emma Zeb

Roy Light is invited to join advisory group for bingo research

Roy LightRoy Light, member of our licensing team has accepted an invitation to join the advisory group of a three year ESRC funded study on the socio-legal regulation of bingo based at the University of Kent.

Using four case studies of bingo regulation (England and Wales; Canada; Brazil; and online play offered to residents of EU countries), the research aims to provide the first systematic account of how the sector is regulated. It will ascertain the key legal and policy challenges involved in regulating bingo as experienced by a variety of stakeholders, and make recommendations to UK policymakers, the UK bingo industry, third sector stakeholders, and academics.

The study commences in September 2013.

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Property and Real Estate members speak on property litigation in Cardiff

Members of St John’s property and real estate team spoke at our property litigation conference on Tuesday, 25th June in Cardiff. In attendance were solicitors from Hugh James, Berry Smith LLP, MLM Cartwright along with many more.

The event started with Alex Troup speaking about private rights of way, then moved onto Christopher Jones offering a practical guide on overage, John Sharples talking about property notices and Charles Auld concluding the seminar with a talk on adverse posession.

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

Roy Light acts in notice for review proceedings matter under the Licensing Act 2003

Roy LightRoy Light, member of our licensing team successfully acted on behalf of the Appellant in the matter of Mu Mu Enterprises v North Somerset District Council (2013) concerning proper notice for review proceedings under the Licensing Act 2003.

Generally applications under the Licensing Act 2003 must be advertised by way of notification posted on the premises as well as local newspapers circulating in the area. Regulations made under the Act also require the local authority to advertise applications on their website. Originally only applicable to reviews, the Licensing Act 2003 (Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 extend the requirement to new and variation applications.

In Mu Mu Enterprises the Local Authority’s sub-committee carried out a review hearing despite failing to advertise the application on its website. The sub-committee, acting on the basis that it was promoting the licensing objectives, dismissed the Appellant’s argument that the review could not proceed. On appeal the Local Authority acknowledged that the application should have been advertised on its website citing clerical error for it not being advertised. However they argued that the application had been advertised by notice on the premises and reported in a local newspaper deeming this as sufficient notice and sought to rely on R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p. Jeyeanthan CA 1999.

The Appellant distinguished the Local Authority’s argument in Jeyeanthan and quoted from Corporation of the Hall of Arts and Sciences v Albert Court Residents’ Association & others v Westminster City Council [2011] EWCA Civ 430:

When exercising any discretion or power of decision under the Act, a licensing authority must do so “with a view to promoting the licensing objectives” as there defined. However, once the authority is under an unqualified duty to carry out an act specified by statute there is no room for section 4 to apply. The authority simply has no choice but to perform its statutory duty’ (para.37)

Further, Matthew Taylor v Manchester City Council & TCG Bars Limited [2012] EWCH 3467 (Admin) 30 considered the statutory procedural requirements under the Act and the judgment notes:

Subject to the express requirements of the Hearing Regulations, procedure at the hearing of an application is expressly a matter for the licensing authority (regulation 21 of the Hearing Regulations). There is no similar provision in the Premises Regulations, which are generally prescriptive as to the pre-hearing procedure that must be followed by the applicant …and the licensing authority’ (para.20 and again at para.83).

The Court in Mu Mu, allowed the appeal, declared the review proceedings void and made a costs order against the Respondent authority. As the requirement to advertise on the authority’s website has been extended it would be wise for licensing authorities and practitioners to check that applications appears on the authority’s website for ‘28 consecutive days starting on the day after the day on which the application was given to the relevant licensing authority’ – otherwise they may face the prospect that their applications will be declared invalid.

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Challenge to historic estate defeated in Webster v Ashcroft

Leslie Blohm QCLeslie Blohm QC recently acted on behalf of Clarke Willmott LLP in the High Court concerning an unusual challenge over the issue of the first born son inheriting the family estate. Leslie acted on behalf of Valerie Webster deceased, who was part-owner of the historic Ash Priors estate near Taunton on the grounds of want of knowledge and approval, and proprietary estoppel.

HHJ Purle QC sitting in the Chancery Division held that notwithstanding Mrs Webster’s advanced age (98 when she made the challenged will) and apparent change of mind (altering her will to substantially reduce the share of an apparently favoured son),  she fully well knew what she was doing, and acted with the assistance of a trusted and reliable family solicitor. The challenge was unusual in that it was brought by one of Mrs Webster’s  grandsons, on behalf of his own father who had predeceased Mrs Webster.

This case has received national attention. To read more about this case visit The Telegraph

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Jeremy Phillips speaks to BBC Bristol on the Cumulative Impact Policy

Jeremy PhillipsJeremy Phillips, member of our licensing team appeared this morning on BBC Bristol and talked with Steve Le Fevre about the Cumulative Impact Policy.

Jeremy talked about why the policy might be necessary, what the implications are, and how popular they appear to be in other parts of the country.

View profile: Jeremy Phillips