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- The Court of Appeal has:
- considered a costs appeal by the unsuccessful claimant, primarily on the basis that the previous judge had failed to take proper account of a Calderbank offer that he had made (Coward v Phaestos and others); and
- allowed an appeal against an order for summary judgment, on the grounds that there was a conflict of interest between the second claimant protected party and his litigation friend and co-claimant (Zarbafi v Zarbafi and others).
- The High Court has:
- set aside some of its earlier rulings, rather than giving permission to appeal, providing a rare example of the court exercising its power under CPR 3.1(7) (Deutsche Bank AG and others v Unitech Global Ltd and others);
- allowed an application by a claimant that certain correspondence between the parties and their solicitors should be admissible as evidence even though it was headed “without prejudice and subject to contract” (Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Webinvest Ltd and another);
- considered what level of incapacity justified a party’s non-attendance at trial. The matter arose in the context of the defendant’s application for judgment to be set aside under CPR 39.3(5). The application failed (Mohun-Smith v TBO Investments Ltd);
- considered the principles that should govern an application to amend a claim after judgment on liability had been handed down (MacLeod v Mears Ltd);
- ordered an inquiry as to damages payable under undertakings in damages given by the claimants in relation to freezing orders (Fiona Trust and Holding Corporationg and others v Privalov and others);
- set aside an order made without notice granting a defendant permission to withdraw a Part 36 offer (Evans v Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust); and
- ordered a non-party to pay, on an indemnity basis, the costs of the claimant and certain other parties to the litigation occasioned by the counterclaims (Weatherford Global Products Ltd v Hydropath Holdings Ltd and others).
- The TCC has:
- ordered a stay of court proceedings to allow the parties’ dispute to be determined by an adjudicator in accordance with the contractual FIDIC Silver Book dispute adjudication board (DAB) procedure (Peterborough City Council v Enterprise Managed Services Ltd); and
- considered whether a successful defendant had unreasonably refused to mediate, and what the appropriate costs order would be (Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Europe Ltd v BAE Systems (Al Diriyah C4I) Limited).
- The Civil Appeal Centre has held that the guidance in Mitchell and Denton applies to applications to set aside a default judgment brought on the “good reason” ground under CPR 13.3(1)(b) (Hockley v North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust).
- The CJC Guidance on the instruction of experts in civil claims 2014 has not taken effect despite being expected to do so with the October 2014 (autumn) CPR changes.
Education and children’s services:
- The High Court has extended the six month time limit in which commissioning parents are able to apply for a parental order, following a surrogate mother giving birth to a child. Unusually, the application was granted although it was made 26 months after the child was born (Re X (A Child) (Surrogacy: Time Limit)).
- The Family Court has considered what constitutes an exceptional case when obtaining public funding in private law children cases (Re H).
Employment and pensions:
- The Court of Appeal has held that an employer did not breach its duty of care to an employee by bringing disciplinary proceedings against her (Coventry University v Mian).
- The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and the Teachers’ Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Regulations 2014 will come into force on 1 April 2015 and set out the finalised version of changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme proposed by a DfE consultation.
- The Court of Appeal has considered the application of the guidelines for calculating pensions loss used by employment tribunals (Griffin v Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust).
- The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has directed a LGPS employing authority to pay a member compensation for the distress and inconvenience caused by its maladministration in an application for an ill-health early retirement pension (Determination in a complaint by Mrs Ruth Hudspith).
- The DCLG has published a consultation on an expanded version of draft governance-related LGPS regulations due to be made under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.
- The EA has published a consultation on draft updates to the river basin management plans for England.
- Defra has published the government response to its April 2014 consultation on reform of the regulatory system to control small sewage discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants in England.
FOI and data protection:
- The High Court has held that a bank breached an equitable duty of confidence by misusing confidential information supplied by a corporate customer (CF Partners (UK) LLP v Barclays Bank Plc and another).
- The government has issued a collection of guidance notes on risk management in relation to the concept of “bring your own device”, the practice of allowing employees to work using personally-owned devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
- The Local Government (Transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2014 will come into force on 31 October 2014, and give effect to information publication requirements in Part 2 of the revised Local Government Transparency Code.
- The High Court has held that a local authority did not breach its duties under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 or Article 8 of the ECHR in taking a decision to close several care homes (R (Amrutben Karia) v Leicester City Council).
Property and planning:
- The Planning (Wales) Bill 2014 has been introduced in the National Assembly for Wales. Alongside the Bill, the Welsh Government has also issued several planning-related consultations.
- The High Court has held that it is possible to acquire a prescriptive easement to hang a gate over a driveway (Bradley and another v Heslin and another).
- The DECC has published guidance for onshore wind developments, which sets out best practice for community engagement and community benefits.
Public procurement and state aid:
- The High Court has:
- dismissed an action by Willmott Dixon Partnership Limited to challenge a public procurement procedure conducted by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (Willmott Dixon Partnership Ltd V London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham); and
- granted an application by the MoD to lift the automatic suspension on the award of a contract pending resolution of a challenge against the procurement procedure (NP Aerospace Ltd v Ministry of Defence).
- The European Ombudsman has published a decision criticising the European Commission of maladministration when it conducted a procurement procedure (Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1983/2011/(RT)AN against the European Commission).
- The ECJ has confirmed that the granting of an exemption from property tax in relation to a plot of land belonging to the state, which is made available to a wholly state-owned undertaking that produces goods and services from that land, which are traded between member states on markets open to competition could be state aid contrary to Article 107(1) of the TFEU (Ministeria de Defensa and Navantia SA v Concello de Ferrol).
- Several companies and EU member states have announced that they are considering challenging the European Commission’s decision to grant state aid to the UK’s revised plans to subsidise the construction and operation of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
Regulation and enforcement: