Barlow v Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council [2020] EWCA Civ 696; [2021] QB 229

Matthew White

2 June 2020

More higher court success for Matthew White in a case of significance for claims involving accidents on the highway.

Matthew White, of St John’s Chambers Personal Injury team, successfully represented the claimant in Barlow v. Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council [2020] EWCA Civ 696.

He has written a piece commenting on the decision here.

The judgment itself can be found here.

The key points are:

  • For a highway to be “a highway constructed by a highway authority” so as to be considered highway maintainable at public expense,
    1. the highway must be constructed by an authority exercising its highway authority functions (i.e. this Court of Appeal has disagreed with Sedley LJ in Gulliksen); and
    2. the highway must have been constructed by the highway authority after 1959.
  • If a claimant is permitted to be on the defendant’s land for reasons other than the existence of a highway, it has been suggested (obiter) that the rule in Gautret v. Egerton/ McGeown v. Northern Ireland Housing Executive which would mean that no duty of care is owed in relation to accidents on the highway does not apply.