Farrers wins court battle for Marlborough College

Farrer & Co has secured a victory for Marlborough College in its fight to remove a pupil whose behaviour record was described as one of the worst the exclusive school has ever known.

Partner David Smellie and assistant Kate Allass fought a High Court case followed by an appeal to the Court of Appeal on behalf of the school against the claim brought by Russell Gray, whose son Rhys was removed from Marlborough in the summer of 2005.

On 29 September the Court of Appeal handed down a unanimous judgment in favour of Marlborough, finding that the school had not breached a contract with Gray over Rhys’s education.

In his leading judgment Lord Justice Auld said: “We were told by counsel that the purpose of the proceedings and the pursuit of this appeal was ‘to clear Rhys’s name’. It is not at all clear to me how it could have been thought that there was a need to do so; nor how it could have been thought that these proceedings (and, a fortiori, this appeal) were a sensible or suitable means by which to pursue that objective.”

Farrers instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Monica Carrs-Frisk QC for Marlborough, while Howard Colman of Colman Coyle instructed Richard McManus QC of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square for Gray.