Appeal Court slams Judge Seymour for second time

The Court of Appeal has slammed the controversial Judge Seymour for the second time in just over a month.

Judge Seymour labelled Vogon International’s claim against the Serious Fraud Office “dishonest” and “entirely unjustified and being pursued against a perceived weak victim”.

Master of the Rolls Lord Phillips, Lord Justice Parker and Lord Justice May presided over the appeal, in which Judge May delivered the verdict that “the judge was entirely wrong” and “that the findings, in particular the finding of dishonesty, were unfair”.

May continued: “It was never the defendant’s case that Vogon were opportunistic, let alone dishonest. There was no cross-examination to this effect.”

The Court of Appeal did, though, uphold Judge Seymour’s decision, which Vogon expected. Vogon launched the appeal solely to clear the company’s name.

Vogon managing director Gordon Stevenson called for changes in the way technology disputes are judged.

“Simply having some judges who are involved in technology courts probably isn’t quite enough. A few of them need to be absolute specialists,” Stevenson told The Lawyer.

Judge May’s criticisms follow the Court of Appeal’s December judgment of Judge Seymour’s Co-op v ICL case, which was also branded “unfair” and lacking in any “commercial sense whatsoever”.

Judge Seymour declined to comment.