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In brief for week ending 8 April 2015

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 Public Sector email.

Civil litigation:

  • The MoJ has published making documents:
  • The High Court has:
    • held that when a court dismisses an application to set aside a statutory demand, it does not need to include in the order a statement of the right of any party affected by the order to apply to have it set aside, varied or stayed (Clarke v Cognita Schools Ltd (t/a Hydesville Tower School)); and
    • made a proportionate costs order despite the fact that the claimant had beaten her Part 36 offer and recovered 100% of her damages in a medical negligence claim. This was appropriate to reflect the fact that the second limb of the claim had been unsuccessful (Webb v Liverpool Womens’ NHS Foundation Trust).

Employment and pensions:

  • The Supreme Court has updated a number of Practice Directions to reflect the new possibility of appeals going from the EAT directly to the Supreme Court in certain circumstances, bypassing the Court of Appeal.
  • The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that claims presented online were in time even though the fee remission applications were received by the tribunal service after the limitation dates had expired (Deangate Ltd v Hatley and others).
  • The High Court has held that an implied contract between a service company and the recipient of its seconded employees included an indemnity for any debt under section 75 of the Pensions Act 1995 in respect of those staff (Heis and others v MF Global UK Services Ltd).


  • The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 1 July 2015, except where the regulations provide otherwise.
  • Defra has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the producer responsibility schemes for waste batteries and packaging waste, in order to make the schemes more effective and reduce the burden of producer responsibility obligations on business.
  • The Welsh Government has published a consultation on changes to consolidate and amend the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999.

FOI and data protection:

  • The ICO has published a guidance document on outsourcing and freedom of information.
  • Secondary legislation has been adopted, which will, among other things, bring into force two statutory codes of practice covering retention, acquisition and disclosure of communications data, and various communications data provisions in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2015 and Data Retention Regulations 2014.


  • The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal against a Court of Appeal decision which held that the City of Westminster had properly offered to house an applicant to whom it owed a housing duty under the Housing Act 1996, accommodation outside its own district (Nzolameso v City of Westminster).
  • The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal upholding a decision of a council’s reviewing officer that the claimant was intentionally homeless after withholding rent from her private landlord on multiple occasions and therefore was not entitled to housing assistance (Najim v London Borough of Enfield).
  • The High Court has:
    • allowed an appeal by a council against a County Court decision holding that it was not “reasonable” to make an order for possession (as required by section 84(2)(a) of the Housing Act 1985) in the case of a tenant who had engaged in anti-social behaviour (City of Lincoln Council v Bird); and
    • held that a local authority’s policy of taking into account the care component of disability living allowance when assessing the amount of a discretionary housing payment was unlawful (R (Hardy) v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council).

Local government:

Property and planning:

  • The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill has received Royal Assent and is now the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. The Act contains provisions of interest to property lawyers.
  • The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Chief Land Registrar and held that the proprietor of a registered charge which turned out to be forged was entitled to an indemnity under Schedule 8 to the Land Registration Act 2002 when the entry relating to the charge was cancelled (Swift 1st Ltd v Chief Land Registrar).
  • The First-tier Tribunal has found that, where a developer’s planning application for change of use from a public house to residential use had not been determined, the future of the property was uncertain and the property could qualify as an asset of community value under section 88(2)(b) of the Localism Act 2011 (Evenden Estates v Brighton and Hove City Council and another).
  • The HSE has published guidance on the legal requirements for the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, which came into force on 6 April 2015.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The TSI has published guidance for businesses on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 on its Business Companion website. There are four guides that explain the rules that will apply from 1 October 2015. The guides relate to the sale and supply of goods, services, digital content, and unfair contract terms.

Social services:

  • The High Court has dismissed a hospital trust’s application for a declaration that the treatment a child received was a lawful deprivation of liberty and in the child’s best interests (Re D (A child: deprivation of liberty)).
  • The House of Lords Select Committee appointed to conduct post-legislative scrutiny of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has published a report on the progress made in relation to its 2014 recommendations.
  • The Legal Aid Agency has published resources to help collate information and materials necessary to assess an individual’s eligibility for legal aid.
Practical Law In brief

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