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In brief for week ending 27 April 2016

Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Local Government email.

Adult social services:

  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper providing an overview of legislation, policies and services in relation to people with autism in England.

Central government:

  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the Queen’s Speech to mark the beginning of the 2016-17 Parliamentary Session, which will take place on 18 May 2016.

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has held that a council is not the designated authority for the purpose of care proceedings, despite having heavy involvement with the family in question (Re W (A Child) (Designation of Local Authority)).
  • The High Court has found that it has the inherent power to direct post-mortem DNA testing to establish biological relationships but it should be exercised sparingly and only in cases where the absence of a remedy would lead to injustice (Spencer v Anderson and others).

Civil litigation:

  • The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that a client’s (E) application for detailed assessment of its solicitor’s (D) costs under section 70 of the Solicitors Act 1974 should be heard in private, on the grounds that any implied waiver of litigation professional privilege by E was limited to enabling E to challenge D’s bills, and did not constitute a general waiver (Dechert LLP v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd).
  • The High Court has:
    • confirmed that CPR 35 applies in judicial review proceedings challenging the lawfulness of returning the claimants to Bulgaria (Khaled v SSHD (No 1)); and
    • dismissed an application for judicial review of the role played by an auditor in the implementation and application of a bank’s interest rate hedging product redress scheme (R (Holmcroft Properties Ltd) v KPMG).


  • The Enterprise Bill 2015-16 is ready for Royal Assent after the House of Lords accepted the House of Commons’ amendments, including those relating to Sunday working.


  • The House of Commons Library has published briefing papers on:
    • the current system of school funding in England, and proposals for “fairer school funding”; and
    • the roles of the Regional Schools Commissioners and some of the issues that have been raised since they were first appointed in September 2014.
  • The DfE has published updated suggested forms of privacy notice, for schools and local authorities to issue to individuals including staff, parents and pupils about the collection of personal data.

Employment and pensions:

  • The European Parliament has voted to approve a new EU Trade Secrets Directive, which will impose a minimum harmonised standard for the protection of trade secrets.
  • The Trade Union Bill 2015-16 has had its third reading in the House of Lords and amendments made by the Lords have been debated in the House of Commons.
  • The EAT has held that a tribunal erred when making an order for re-engagement against a County Council employer (Lincolnshire County Council v Lupton).
  • Following the introduction of the national living wage, some employers have cut overall remuneration packages to offset the cost of the increase in pay.
  • BIS has announced that the National Innovation Plan will be published later this year. Employment rules, including non-compete clauses and how the UK can improve its innovation framework, will be investigated.


  • The EU and its 28 member states, including the UK, have signed the Paris Agreement in a high-level ceremony in New York. The Paris Agreement is the new global climate change agreement adopted in December 2015 at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting known as COP 21.

FOI and data protection:


  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on patient health records and confidentiality.


  • The Senior Master of the High Court has issued a practice note on the circumstances in which Form N293A (Combined certificate of judgment and request for writ of control or writ of possession) should be used.

Local government law:

Property and planning:

  • The government has published Approved Document R and a guidance circular explaining how the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2016 will change the building control regime.

Public procurement:

  • The General Court has handed down its judgment on an appeal against a European Commission decision regarding exemption of postal services from Directive 2004/17 (the Utilities Directive) (Österreichische Post AG v European Commission).

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The High Court has held that a search warrant obtained under section 8 of PACE is lawful even when the decisive evidence is subject to public interest immunity and cannot be disclosed to the subject (Haralambous v St Albans Crown Court).
  • Greater Manchester Police have announced that two companies have been fined a total of £490,000 for health and safety breaches and the two company directors imprisoned for gross negligence manslaughter, following the death and serious injury of two employees who had been working at height.
  • The Defence Committee has published its Third Report, “Beyond endurance? Military exercises and the duty of care”, which calls for the Ministry of Defence to be subject to charges under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 without exemption.
  • The CPS, IPCC and Operation Resolve have all issued statements in response to the inquest verdict of unlawful killing in the Hillsborough tragedy.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on money laundering law, outlining the history of the legislation and its impact on financial services history.
Practical Law In brief

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