Category Archive Litigation

ByMichael Morrison

Diversity Discrimination in the City

Black job seekers are more likely to secure employment in the City if their skills are assessed. Financial and management consultants employed a vast number of black people recently using such methods as opposed to cover letters, CV’s and interview presentations.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

How to Win an Appeal

The Court of Appeal handed down a judgment on the 5th April 2022 which gave this guidance:-

i) An appeal court should not interfere with the trial judge’s conclusions on primary facts unless it is satisfied that he was plainly wrong.

ii) The adverb “plainly” does not refer to the degree of confidence felt by the appeal court that it would not have reached the same conclusion as the trial judge. It does not matter, with whatever degree of certainty, that the appeal court considers that it would have reached a different conclusion. What matters is whether the decision under appeal is one that no reasonable judge could have reached.

iii) An appeal court is bound, unless there is compelling reason to the contrary, to assume that the trial judge has taken the whole of the evidence into his consideration. The mere fact that a judge does not mention a specific piece of evidence does not mean that he overlooked it.

iv) The validity of the findings of fact made by a trial judge is not aptly tested by considering whether the judgment presents a balanced account of the evidence. The trial judge must of course consider all the material evidence (although it need not all be discussed in his judgment). The weight which he gives to it is however pre-eminently a matter for him.

v) An appeal court can therefore set aside a judgment on the basis that the judge failed to give the evidence a balanced consideration only if the judge’s conclusion was rationally insupportable.

vi) Reasons for judgment will always be capable of having been better expressed. An appeal court should not subject a judgment to narrow textual analysis. Nor should it be picked over or construed as though it was a piece of legislation or a contract.

An appellant’s case will fail if:-

i) It seeks to retry the case afresh.

ii) It rests on a selection of evidence rather than the whole of the evidence that the judge heard (what I have elsewhere called “island hopping”).

iii) It seeks to persuade an appeal court to form its own evaluation of the reliability of witness evidence when that is the quintessential function of the trial judge who has seen and heard the witnesses.

iv) It seeks to persuade the appeal court to reattribute weight to the different strands of evidence.

v) It concentrates on particular verbal expressions that the judge used rather than engaging with the substance of his findings.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

Landlord & Tenant – Evictions of Persons Unknown Can Proceed

Landlords can now evict travellers from their land without having precise knowledge of their identities. This was the essence of a judgment of the Court of Appeal this month which said that the injunctions were lawful.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

Data Protection – Cabinet Office fined £500,000

For releasing the full postal addresses on line of the recipients of New Year’s honours in 2020 the Cabinet Office has been fined £500,000.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

Landlord and Tenant – Commercial

Commercial tenants have been given a stay of execution by the Government on unpaid rent and evictions, that have accumulated during the pandemic, until March 2022. This has been instituted so that serious negotiations between the parties can now ensue to mitigate any credit damage that would be caused by court judgments.

In March a new arbitration process will commence in an attempt to provide closure for any stubborn organisations.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

Grounds of Appeal

The Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, recently handed down a judgment in the Court of Appeal which seeks to clarify how Grounds of Appeal should be drafted:-

i) The grounds of appeal are an essential analytical tool for the court, to enable it to identify the issues which it is being asked to decide: they are not a vehicle for advocacy, which is the role of the skeleton argument.

ii) The starting point in every case must be for the appellant to think through carefully what specific errors the court below is alleged to have made. Once these errors have been identified, they need to be clearly and concisely articulated. In the unlikely event that the grounds are numerous, they must be presented in a structure which makes clear how they inter-relate.

iii) Each ground of appeal must be separately numbered, and the particular passages in which the judge appealed is said to have gone wrong must be specifically identified.

iv) The purpose of the grounds of appeal is to identify the points on which permission to appeal is sought, not to argue those points. Supporting submissions belong in the skeleton argument.

v) It follows that grounds of appeal should be short; in many cases, a few sentences will suffice. In a complex case, grounds of appeal may be longer, but clarity and concision should never be compromised.

This was a case in which exceptionally a permission to reopen a permission to appeal application under CPR 52.30 was allowed.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

Damages Based Settlement Agreements

Three principles have recently been established by case law in relation to these agreements. They are:-
i) Lawyers can charge for their time if the agreement is ended prematurely
ii) They will not be permitted unless a reasonable amount could be recovered from the claimant
iii) They are not the same as agreements for litigation funding.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

Landlord & Tenant – Eviction Proceedings Recommence

Possession cases which had been stayed since the 26th March 2020 due to COVID-19 recommenced on the 21st September 2020 in the county court.

A list of priority cases has been formulated:-

i) Cases with allegations of anti-social behaviour, including Ground 7A of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988 and Section 84A of the Housing Act 1985.
ii) Cases with extreme alleged rent arrears accrued, that is, arrears equal to at least
(i) 12 months’ rent, or
(ii) 9 months’ rent where that amounts to more than 25% of a private landlord’s total annual income from any source.
iii) Cases involving alleged squatters, illegal occupiers or persons unknown.
iv) Cases involving an allegation of domestic violence where possession of the property is alleged to be important for particular reasons which are set out in the claim form (and with domestic violence agencies alerted).
v) Cases with allegations of fraud or deception.
vi) Cases with allegations of unlawful subletting.
vii) Cases with allegations of abandonment of the property, non-occupation or death of defendant.
viii) Cases concerning what was allocated by an authority as ‘temporary accommodation’ and is specifically needed by the authority for reallocation as ‘temporary accommodation’.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

The Masters of the Rolls

On the 31st July 2020 the Prime Minister’s Office announced that Her Majesty The Queen had been pleased to approve the appointment of Sir Geoffrey Vos as the Master of the Rolls from the 11th January 2021 in succession to Sir Terence Etherton.

It is interesting to note that 6 out of 7 of the most recent incumbents of this judicial office have been of the jewish faith the others being Lords Woolf, Phillips, Neuberger and Dyson.

We find that jewish solicitors are often particularly sought after because of their perceived quality traits of intelligence, shrewdness, toughness and integrity.

If you are looking to find such a solicitor please do not hesitate to call us.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin
ByMichael Morrison

House Prices Climb as Inheritance Battles Rise

House prices are beginning to rise as we ease out of lockdown commensurate to the growth observed in recent pre-Covid times. There were nearly half as many more inheritance claims in the High Court last year compared to the previous year. People have been alerted in this regard due to a few proceedings that have been well publicised.

Share This:-
Facebooktwitterlinkedin