Judgment call: 22 July

Aviation

(1)British Airways plc (2) International Consolidated Airlines Group SA v (1) Sindicato Espanol de Pilotos de Lineas Aereas; (2) The International Federation of Airline Pilots Association. 2013 WL 2976153. QBD (Comm). Field J. 20 June 2013

A claim by British Airways and its parent company that strikes of Spanish airline pilots organised by a Spanish trade union were unlawful as being in breach of their EU law rights to freedom of establishment and to provide cross-border services was not a “civil and commercial matter” for the purposes of art.1 of Regulation 44/2001, with the result that the court did not have jurisdiction under the Regulation to determine the claim.

Declaration granted in favour of first defendant

For the claimants, British Airways and International Consolidated Airlines Group
Essex Court Chambers’ Hugh Mercer QC; Essex Court Chambers’ Iain Quirk; Baker & McKenzie partner Richard Pike

For the first defendant, Sindicato Espanol de Pilotos de Lineas Aereas

Brick Court Chambers’ James Flynn QC; 1 Chancery Lane’s Nicholas Yell; Brick Court Chambers’ Richard Blakeley; Bufete Alexander Pitts partner Alexander Pitts

The second defendant did not appear and was not represented.

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Company/Commercial

Clarke Investments Ltd v Pacific Technologies Ltd. 2013 WL 2976520. CA (Civ Div). Maurice Kay LJ; Floyd LJ, Sir Stephen Sedley. 21 June 2013

A purchaser who, having served a notice to complete, was not in a position to complete by the completion date was in breach of contract and was not entitled to specific performance following the vendor’s rescission. The vendor’s failure to provide an accurate completion statement was not a basis for discharging the purchaser from its obligation to complete.

Appeal dismissed

For the appellant, Clarke Investments

Tanfield Chambers’ Mark Dencer; BSG Solicitors’partner Paul Grant

For the defendant Pacific Technologies

Tanfield Chambers’ Michael Buckpitt; Comptons Solicitors partner Nicholas Goldreich

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Property

Peel Land and Property (Ports No.3) Ltd v TS Sheerness Steel Ltd. 2013 WL 2628729. Ch D Morgan J. 14 June 2013

The fact that a tenant covenanted to build a fully-equipped steel works on land leased from the landlord did not mean that, in law, the plant and equipment within the works were not removable, or that they were to be regarded as fixtures belonging to the landlord. The court considered the legal distinction between chattels and fixtures, ruling that many large items of plant which had started out as chattels built into the building’s structure, but had become part and parcel of the land itself, were removable tenant’s fixtures.

Judgment for defendant

For the claimant, Peel Land & Property

Wilberforce Chambers’ Jonathan Seitler QC; Gordons partner Andrew Todd

For the defendant, TS Sheerness Steel

Falcon Chambers’ Kirk Reynolds QC; Falcon Chambers’ Greville Healey; McGuire Woods partner Simon Cox

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Civil procedure

Elvanite Full Circle Ltd v AMEC Earth & Environmental (UK) Ltd; 2013 WL 2628734. QBD (TCC); Coulson J. 14 June 2013.

An application to revise or amend a costs management order pursuant to CPR PD 51G para.6 had to be made as soon as it became apparent that the original budget costs had been exceeded by more than a minimal amount, and such an application had to be made before the trial.

Judgment accordingly

For the claimant, Elvanite Full Circle

Henderson Chambers’ Peter Susman QC; Birkett Long partner Adrian Livesley

For the defendant, AMEC Earth & Environmental
4 New Square’s Anneliese Day QC; Weightmans partner Charles Tomlinson

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Costs

Mehjoo v Harben Barker (A Firm). 2013 WL 2628727. Also sourced as a transcript. QBD Silber J. 14 June 2013

The court resolved a number of costs issues following its judgment in a negligence claim where the claimant was successful. In particular, it considered various factors in relation to Part 36 offers, such as the effect of withdrawing an offer after the end of trial but before judgment had been handed down and the issue of whether there was a requirement for Part 36 offers to contain details of the offeror’s costs.

Judgment accordingly

For the claimant, Hossein Mehjoo

Fountain Court Chambers’ Mark Simpson QC; 2 Temple Gardens’ Isabel Barter; Wragge & Co partner Mark Hick

For the defendant, Harben Barker
4 New Square’s Roger Stewart QC; Pump Court Tax Chambers’ Jonathan Bremner; Eversheds partner Paula Gaddum

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Costs

Emezie v Secretary of State for the Home Department 2013 WL 3098678. CA (Civ Div). Elias LJ; Sir Stanley Burnton J. 26 June 2013

The correct starting point for an award of costs in a claimant’s favour when a claim had settled was whether the claimant had achieved what she sought in her claim.

Appeal allowed

For the appellant, Peace Emezie

1 Pump Court’s Graham Denholm; TV Edwards solicitor Prachi Kanse

For the respondent, the Secretary of State for the Home Department
6KBW’s Jonathan Hall; Treasury Solicitor

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Shipping

Bank of Scotland plc v Owners of the Union Gold. 2013 WL 2976036. QBD (Admlty). Teare J. 19 June 2013.

In the Admiralty Court, as a general principle, where a claimant in rem sought an order that a vessel be sold to satisfy his claim, an order should not be made that the Admiralty Marshal, contrary to his usual practice, sell to a buyer found by that party, notwithstanding that the proposed price appeared to be about the market price of the vessel.

Reasons given

For the claimant, the Bank of Scotland

7 KBW’s Sandra Healy; Stephenson Harwood partner Ingolf Kaiser

The defendant did not appear

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Tax

Pollen Estate Trustee Co Ltd v HM Revenue & Customs Commissioners. 2013 WL 3098680. CA (Civ Div). Laws LJ; McFarlane LJ; Lewison LJ. 26 June 2013.

Where a charity acquired property, the exemption from stamp duty land tax provided by the Finance Act 2003 Sch.8 applied in respect of that proportion of the beneficial interest that was attributable to the undivided share held by the charity for qualifying charitable purposes.

Appeal allowed in part

For the first appellant, the Pollen Estate Trustee Company

11 New Square’s Jonathan Peacock QC; Eversheds partner William Naunton; Eversheds senior associate Charlotte Herring

For the second appellant, King’s College London

Pump Court Tax Chambers’ Andrew Hitchmough QC; Pump Court Tax Chambers’ Zizhen Yang; Mills & Reeve partner Ted Powell

For the respondents, HM Revenue & Customs Commissioners

Maitland Chambers’ Amanda Tipples QC; the General Counsel & Solicitor to HMRC

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Equal Pay

North v Dumfries and Galloway Council. 2013 WL 3098667. Also sourced as a transcript. SC. Lord Hope (deputy president); Lady Hale JSC; Lord Wilson JSC; Lord Reed JSC; Lord Hughes JSC. 26 June 2013

Appeal allowed

Female local authority employees who worked as support staff in schools and nurseries were “in the same employment” within the meaning of the Equal Pay Act 1970 s.1(6) as male local authority employees occupying manual jobs such as groundsmen, roadworkers and refuse collectors, even though the two groups of employees worked at different establishments. The fact that necessity required jobs to be carried out in different places was no barrier to equalising the terms on which it was done.

For the appellants, North and others

Blackstone Chambers’ Dinah Rose QC; Blackstone Chambers’ Iain Steele; Unison Legal Services

For the respondent, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Old Square Chambers’ Ian Truscott QC; Hastie Stable’s Linda Marsh; Glasgow City Council Corporate Services

For the intervenor, the Equality & Human Rights Commission

Cloisters’ Robin Allen QC

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Local Government

 

Edwards v Flamingo Land Ltd 2013 WL 3353661. CA (Civ Div) Longmore, L.J.; Black, L.J.; Gloster, L.J. 5 July 2013

 

Appeal dismissed

 

A restaurant had not discriminated against a disabled child by refusing to serve her outside the restaurant’s official seating area. A restaurant was different from a takeaway establishment. When considering reasonable adjustments, service providers were not required to take steps that would fundamentally alter the nature of their service.

 

For the appellant Edwards

Matrix Chambers’ David Wolfe QC; Unity Law Ltd managing partner Chris Fry

For the respondents Flamingo Land

Clerksroom’s Gerard Heap; Denison Till Solicitors

 

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Civil procedure

 

FG Skerritt Ltd v Caledonian Building Systems Ltd 2013 WL 3197320. QBD (TCC) Ramsey, J. 3 July 2013

 

Application granted

 

In a claim to enforce an adjudicator’s decision, summary judgment was granted in favour of a claimant company which was insolvent but not yet in liquidation. In those circumstances, it was inappropriate to apply the Insolvency Rules 1986 r.4.90. However, execution of the judgment was stayed pending provision of a guarantee from the claimant’s parent company.

 

For the claimant FG Skerritt Ltd

 

Keating Chambers’ William Webb; Wright Hassall solicitor Charles Harrison

 

For the defendant Caledonian Building Systems Ltd

 

Keating Chambers’ Lucy Garett; Brabners partner Barry Goodall

 

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Banking and Finance

 

Sea-Cargo Skips AS v State Bank of India 2013 WL 3098671. Also sourced as a transcript

QBD (Comm) Teare, J.Judgment Date: 26 June 2013

 

Claim dismissed

 

A demand did not have to repeat the precise words of the refund guarantee it was made under, but it had to be clear to the guarantor bank on the face of the documents that the demand was compliant for the bank to be obliged to pay out.

 

For the Claimant Sea-Cargo Skips AS

 

20 Essex Street’s Julian Kenny; Ince & Co senior associate Rania Tadros

 

For the Defendant State Bank of India

 

Fountain Court’s Richard Coleman QC; Royds managing partner Stuart Wilkinson

 

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Administration of justice

 

JSC BTA Bank v Anatoly Ereshchenko 2013 WL 3197349. CA (Civ Div) Lloyd, L.J.; Elias, LJ; Beatson, L.J. 4 July 2013

 

Appeal dismissed

 

Where the party initiating contempt proceedings had also brought substantive proceedings against the same defendant, the court should only allow the contempt action to be heard ahead of the trial in exceptional cases. Accordingly, a judge had been entitled to be cautious in his fact-finding on a committal application.

 

For the appellant JSC BTA Bank

 

New Square’s Stephen Smith QC; New Square’s Emily Gillett; Hogan Lovells partner Chris Hardiman

 

For the respondent Anatoly Ereshchenko

 

3 Verulam Buildings’ Paul Lowenstein QC; Stewarts Law partner Jane Colston

 

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Private Client

 

Christine Green (As Administratrix Of The Estate Of Peter Maclean Maitland Deceased) v (1) Richard Astor; (2) Timothy Maitland; (3) Christopher Maitland; (4) Phillipa Graham; (5) Michael Neville; (7) Battersea Dogs Home; (8) Kidney Research UK 2013 WL 3197202. Ch D Roth, J 28 June 2013

 

Costs determined

 

Applying CPR PD 46 para.1.1(b), applications by the administrator of an estate could not be used to resolve allegations of fraud by a beneficiary and the costs of such an application had to be borne by the administrator. Where a beneficiary’s unreasonable conduct had caused substantial costs to be incurred by forcing the administrator to apply for court approval to a settlement, then the beneficiary should bear those costs rather than the estate.

 

For the Claimant/Applicant Christine Green

 

5 Stone Buildings’ Penelope Reed QC; 5Stone Buildings’ Charlotte Edge; Veale Wasbrough Vizards partner Michelle Rose

 

For the defendants/respondents (1) to (7)

 

Wilberforce Chambers’ Robert Ham QC; Harcus Sinclair partner Damon Parker

 

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