ICL takes Co-op row to the House of Lords

The row between ICL, the Co-op, Mr Justice Seymour and the Court of Appeal will be dragged to the House of Lords if ICL has its way.

ICL’s lawyers, led by Henry Carr QC of 11 South Square and Harry Small of Baker & McKenzie, have applied to the House of Lords for leave to appeal the extraordinary December Court of Appeal judgment, which slammed Judge Seymour.

“ICL have lurched from triumph to abject failure. Appeals are cheap and retrials are expensive. It’s a very sensible thing to have a go [at the House of Lords],” said one lawyer who has watched the case develop.

In their submission to the House of Lords, Carr and Small have admitted that some of Judge Seymour’s original criticisms, which attacked the Co-op’s witnesses and lawyers, were unwarranted, but claim that these particular comments were not central to the decision. The point of law is whether the Court of Appeal can overturn a judgment because of unwarranted criticisms that were not central to the case.

ICL’s second point concerns human rights: the IT services company claims that it has been denied a fair hearing at the Court of Appeal. ICL argues that the court said it would not look at the details of the findings and that there was sufficient untainted evidence to ignore Judge Seymour’s more controversial comments.

Christopher Carr QC of One Essex Court and Ashurst partner Chris Vigrass are leading the Co-op team, after Judge Seymour slammed previous advisers Richard Mawrey QC of 2 Harcourt Buildings and DLA in his original judgment.