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In brief for week ending 29 October 2014

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 High Court has:
    • ordered that an application for taxation of a bill of costs be held in private, allowing an appeal against a decision of the Senior Court Costs Office (Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd v Dechert LLP);
    • rejected, as a preliminary issue, a claimant’s contention that the defendant valuer was liable for negligently over-valuing a piece of land (Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd v Knight Frank LLP);
    • granted an interim injunction to prevent two defendants from continuing to harass several claimants who were employed as caseworkers at the Independent Police Complaints Commission (Coulson and others v Wilby); and
    • refused a declaration that a claimant was entitled to accept a Part 36 offer after the offer had been withdrawn and after the claim had been discontinued (Super Group Plc v Just Enough).
  • The Inner House of the Court of Session has upheld an earlier refusal in the Outer House of the Court of Session to grant an interim interdict to prevent a party adjudicating (T Clarke (Scotland) Ltd v MMAXX Underfloor Heating Ltd).

Education and social services:

  • The Department of Health has published its final statutory guidance on the Care Act 2014, and also made several sets of regulations under the Act, which will come into force on 1 April 2015.
  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • upheld a High Court ruling that the estate of a deceased man who had been placed in a residential care home at a time when he lacked mental capacity was not liable to pay the care home’s fees (Aster Healthcare Ltd v Shafi (The Estate of));
    • issued an obiter opinion about fresh evidence being obtained after a final decision has been made (Re G (A child));
    • explained the meaning of “a change in circumstances” under section 47(5) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Re T (Children)); and
    • reminded practitioners that the balancing exercise and test for a judge when deciding whether to grant a placement order application is not solely a strict interpretation of the words “nothing else will do” (Re M-H).
  • The High Court  has highlighted how reporting and disclosure in family proceedings can be negotiated, and provided practitioners with ideas about undertakings that can be imposed on the media (Cumbria County Council v M and F).
  • The DfE has issued a consultation on the draft Special Educational Needs and Disability (Detained Persons) Regulations 2015.

Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that the defence of set-off is available to an employer in a contract claim brought by a former employee in the tribunal (Ridge v HM Land Registry).
  • The ET has:
    • held that a claimant who incorrectly completed her ET1 to suggest that she was exempt from undertaking Acas early conciliation (EC) could rectify that defect by completing the EC procedure and by applying for a reconsideration of the tribunal’s decision to reject the claim (Thomas v Nationwide Building Society); and
    • ordered a transferor to pay compensation to a transferee for failure to provide employee liability information in breach of regulation 11 of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (Eville & Jones (UK) Ltd v Grants Veterinary Services Ltd (In Liquidation)).
  • The government has published its response to its consultation on recovering exit payments from employees who leave a public sector organisation and then rejoin the public sector within a year.
  • The MoJ has published the minutes of a meeting of the national tribunal user group (England and Wales) on its website.
  • The Department of Health has published draft regulations which set out the framework for the NHS Pension Scheme 2015. A consultation document and explanatory notes accompany the regulations.


  • Defra has published general binding rules for small sewage discharges (SSDs) from domestic properties.
  • The European Council has reached agreement on the EU Climate and Energy 2030 Framework for the period from 2021 to 2030.
  • The DCLG has issued a consultation on how it proposes to transpose the land-use planning requirements of the Seveso III Directive in England. It has also published the draft Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015.
  • The Welsh Government has published a consultation on its review of the existing policy on disposal of higher activity radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

FOI and data protection:

  • The FTT(IR) has upheld a decision of the Information Commissioner and ruled that the Lancashire Constabulary was not required to disclose the names of four police officers dismissed for gross misconduct (Beaver v Information Commissioner and another).
  • The House of Lords has proposed a number of amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill relevant to media organisations.


Human rights:

Local government:

Property and planning:

  • The Town and Country Planning (Determination of Procedure) (Wales) Order 2014 will come into force on 11 November 2014, and enables Welsh Ministers, rather than the principal parties to the planning appeal, to determine the appeal method for certain proceedings.
  • The DCLG has launched a consultation on the Right to Build, which is designed to make it easier for those who wish to build their own homes to obtain the necessary land and planning approval from the local planning authority.

Public procurement and state aid:

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The government has published its response to the consultation to repeal the Pedlars Acts 1871 and 1881 and make changes to street trading legislation to comply with the Services Directive.

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