Recent Cases

Andrew McLaughlin succeeds in High Court appeal: Walkden v Drayton Manor Park

23 July 2021

Andrew Mclaughlin has succeeded in a 2 day High Court appeal against Satinder Hunjan QC before Mrs Justice Tipples DBE who upheld a finding below by HHJ Murdoch that a claim for in excess on £1.5m should be dismissed on the grounds of fundamental dishonesty. Richard Walkden, a former company director, was injured in an accident on a gondola ride in April 2014. He alleged he had suffered a severely disabling chronic pain syndrome which had caused the loss of his business and a need for daily care and assistance from his wife. HHJ Murdoch held he was not a credible witness who groped for explanations when confronted with inconsistencies in cross examination. He concluded Mr Walkden had exaggerated his claim and misrepresented his disabilities to the medical experts. The Claimant appealed to the High Court on 8 separate grounds relating to the judge’s findings of fact and the expert evidence. The appeal also alleged the judge had not referred to fundamental dishonesty in the main judgment and therefore the claim should not have been dismissed. Mrs Justice Tipples DBE heard submissions from the parties over 2 days on 13 and 14 July 2021 and handed down judgment on 23 July 2021. She held several of the grounds of appeal were hopeless or based on a mis-reading of the judgment. She held the reason the main judgment did not mention fundamental dishonesty was because Mr Hunjan QC had asked for a paragraph in the draft version to be deleted so that he could then address the judge on the issue and the judge had been right to accede to that request. She held there was ample evidence to support the judge’s conclusion Mr Walkden had been dishonest. The appeal was dismissed with costs in the defendant’s favour on the indemnity basis. An additional interim payment on account of costs was awarded in the sum of £100,00 taking the total interim costs award which must now be paid to £200,000. The full bill will go of for detailed assessment and is likely to be in the region of £500,000 or more.

Media coverage:

BBC | Drayton Manor: Cable car crash victim’s £1.5m claim thrown out

The Sun | Moment dad ‘crippled’ in Drayton Manor Park ride crash is caught white water rafting after suing for £1.5m

The Independent | Man who sued Drayton Manor Park for £1.5m after back injury pictured white water rafting

The Mirror Online | Dad who sued Drayton Manor Park for £1.5m after back injury seen white water rafting 

Daily Mail | Boss who launched £1.5m lawsuit over theme park injury must pay £200,000 after being caught rafting

Leicestershire Live | Dad who sued Drayton Manor Park for £1.5m over ‘serious injury’ pictured white water rafting 

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Kabill v Walsall Council

16 June 2021

A fraudulent claimant, Mr Mohammed Yaqub Kabil was jailed for six months in contempt proceedings that flowed from a public liability multi-track trial in which Darren Lewis of our Personal Injury team secured a finding of fundamental dishonesty.

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Hughes v Pritchard and others [2021] EWHC 1580 (Ch)

15 June 2021

The High Court has recently handed down judgment in the case of Hughes v Pritchard and others [2021] EWHC 1580 (Ch) following a hybrid trial conducted in person and remotely, with some of the evidence being given in Welsh. Head of Wills & Trusts team, Alex Troup, instructed by Hugh James, acted for the successful second and third defendants.

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Re D (2021)

2 June 2021

Dominik is currently representing the respondent father in care proceedings. The case revolves around issues of neglect due to the oldest subject child being severely obese for his age. This case involves complex medical evidence and has required me to cross-examine an expert on the immediacy of health risks in respect of the subject child.

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Re Dorothea Hale

18 May 2021

Head of our Inquests team, Emma Zeb has been instructed by DAC Beachcroft in a 4-week inquest into the death of Dorothea Hale, a resident in 2006 at Grosvenor Care Home in Abertillery. The inquest started on 17th May 2021 at Newport Coroners Court.

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R. (Croyde Area Residents Association) v North Devon District Council and Parkdean Holiday Parks Ltd [2021] EWHC 646 Admin

6 May 2021

Peter Wadsley was instructed by the defendant, North Devon District Council, in a case where a neighbourhood group, Croyde Area Residents’ Association (CARA), sought judicial review to quash the grant of a planning permission to Parkdean on 27th January 2014, for the use of lodges, static caravans and touring caravans at Parkdean’s Ruda Holiday Park, Croyde, Braunton Devon.

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Re UYM (catastrophic injury)

4 May 2021

Christopher Sharp QC, secures a judgment on 31st March 2021, in a catastrophic injury case in which the final award was for a lump sum of £6 million and periodical payments orders totalling £258,000 per annum with no set-off for local authority direct payments towards his care. The overall gross capitalised value of the award to the claimant, including Rehabilitation Code payments, is thus around £20 million.

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Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation v Hardy [2021] EWHC 714 (Ch)

6 April 2021

Charlie Newington-Bridges was instructed by Willans LLP to act for the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation (‘the Foundation’) in an application brought by the Foundation against one of its members who had made a request for a list of the names and addresses of the members of the Foundation under s116 of the Companies Act 2006. The defendant had sought the list, amongst other things, to seek the removal of directors of the Foundation on grounds of gross negligence and other serious allegations. The Foundation refused the request and made the application under s117 to the Court on, in essence, two grounds. Firstly, that the request was invalid because it did not contain all the information required under s116 and, secondly, that the request was made for improper purposes.

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JB v SW [2021] EWHC 812 (Fam)

1 April 2021

Lucy was successful in an appeal against an occupation order (pro bono).

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D v (1) A Clinician and (2) A Hospital Trust (anonymised for confidentiality

11 March 2021

Ben is acting in a £500,000+ claim for a claimant who suffered a stroke when a feeding line was incorrectly inserted into an artery during routine surgery, leaving them with a host of speech, hearing mobility, and sensory problems.

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YY (Children: Conduct of the Local Authority) [2021] EWHC 749 (Fam)

4 March 2021

Kathryn Skellorn QC and Delia Thornton for the 1st and 2nd Interveners. Keehan J’s judgement (89 pages) was delivered at the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing on 3 applications: contact to children in care, discharge of care with the making of a special guardianship order to long-term foster carers and permission to change the children’s surname.

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Davey v Bailey [2021] EWHC 445 (Ch)

26 February 2021

Judgment was handed down today in the case of Davey v. Bailey [2021] EWHC 445 (Ch), in which Alex Troup, instructed by Graham Evans & Partners, acted for the successful Defendants.

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N v C (2021)

11 February 2021

Dominik represented the respondent mother in private law proceedings. The case had been listed for a fact-finding hearing. The applicant father made various admissions to allegations made by the respondent mother. At the fact-finding hearing, Dominik was able to strike out the applicant father’s only allegation. The Court felt that given the applicant father had already made admissions, there was no need for a fact-finding hearing.

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Re J (2021)

1 February 2021

Dominik represented the respondent father in care proceedings. Dominik was instructed to represent the client throughout most of the proceedings, including a five-day contested final hearing. The client was a very vulnerable individual and required a great deal of support throughout the entire process which Dominik provided. The client had accepted that he was not in a position to care for the subject child. The Court made a placement order for the subject child to be placed with an adoptive family.

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Morrell v Morrell, 2021 EWHC 117 (Ch)

29 January 2021

John Dickinson was successful in obtaining for his clients an order in a Part 8 claim to rectify a deed of variation that varied Gillian Morrell’s will, so as to provide that £450,000 from the half share she left to her son Philip was to be settled in a discretionary trust for Philip, his wife and their three children, with Philip and his wife as trustees.

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A v (1) A School Authority and (2) A Teacher (anonymised for confidentiality)

13 January 2021

Ben is acting for a local authority in a £1.5m claim involving highly sensitive allegations of sexual abuse over a prolonged period while the claimant was a primary school student.

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H v H (2021)

8 January 2021

Dominik represented the applicant father in private law proceedings. This was an unfortunate case where the children did not want to have contact with the applicant father at that time. At the final hearing, Dominik was able to negotiate a plan for the applicant father’s contact with the children to progress at a slow and child-focused pace.

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A Local Authority x X & Y [2020] EWFC 36

4 January 2021

Abigail Bond represented a profoundly deaf mother in ‘highly unusual, if not unique’ care proceedings, where the mother, who had no recognisable or formal language, gave her ‘evidence’ in a series of pre-recorded interviews conducted by a specialist psychologist and a sign-language interpreter. The mother retained the care of her child within a Shared Lives placement.

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Y and Z (Separation of siblings) [2020] EWFC B59

9 December 2020

Two local authorities disagreed about whether the two sisters (one placed in each of their care) should be placed together or separately for adoption. Lucy acted for Bristol City Council who sought placement together. Outcome: placement together.

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O’Neill v Holland [2020] EWCA Civ 1583

30 November 2020

Requirements for pleading and establishing detrimental reliance in constructive trust claim against sole owner of property.

The Court of Appeal has considered claims to an interest in the family home when in the name of one member of the family under the constructive trust doctrine, the need for detrimental reliance and what amounts to detrimental reliance in fact in O’Neill v Holland [2020] EWCA Civ 1583. Leslie Blohm QC led Michael Horton of Coram Chambers for the Respondent.

Read full: O’Neill v Holland 2020 EWCA Civ 1583

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