Supreme rejection

We look at cases that have reached the end of the judicial line after being refused permission to carry on to the Supreme Court, including Stringfellows employment battle and Paddy McKillen’s duel with the Barclay brothers.

Getting a case heard by the Supreme Court is no easy business. For every case that is accepted to the country’s highest civil court there are another five that have been turned down because they fail to “raise an arguable point of law of general public importance”. This court term has been no different.

Since the beginning of October the court has been asked to look at 33 separate cases and decide whether they should be allowed to continue. Of those considered just eight have been accepted, and two of those only partially. Those include two cases regarding children, another raises questions about the ability of police to retain personal information on members of the public and another concerns question of immigrations.

It is the matters rejected on appeal that make for some interesting reading. For those litigants, the Court of Appeal (CoA) has proven to be the end of the line.

Billionaire financier Nathaniel Rothschild will not be able to challenge a CoA ruling that he had not been libelled by Associated Press (AP) newspaper the Daily Mail (10 February 2012).

RPC partner Jaron Lewis had triumphed for AP against Schillings partner Rod Christie for Rothschild at the CoA and High Court over an article Rothschild said painted him as the “puppet master” of former Labour minister Peter Mandelson.

Stringfellows owner Peter Stringfellow has escaped a Supreme Court outing after it rejected a PTA bid by stripper Nadine Quashie to bring a case of her employment rights.

Davenport Lyons partner Marie van der Zyl was instructed for Stringfellow at the CoA alongside Matrix Chambers’ Tom Linden. The pair successfully persuaded the court that Quashie was not an employee of the club and therefore could not bring an unfair dismissal claim against it (21 December 2012).

Bindmans partner Shah Qureshi had acted for Quashie alongside Old Square Chambers’ John Hendy QC.

An attempt by property developer Patrick McKillen to quash a CoA ruling against him at the Supreme Court has also been rejected.

This was a bitterly fought battle against the Barclay Brothers over the €1.2bn company behind Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley hotels, Coroin (6 February 2013).

In September Debevoise & Plimpton partner Peter Goldsmith QC was added to McKillen’s already hefty appeal counsel of Serle Court’s Philip Marshall QC, Ruth den Besten, and 4 Stone Buildings’ Richard Hill QC and Gregory Denton-Cox.

But it was to no avail. In July the CoA refused to accept allegations by McKillen that the twin Barclay brothers had acted unlawfully in their attempt to gain control of the company.

These are three high-profile trials that have reached the end of the judicial road, with an emphatic permission to appeal rejection from the Supreme Court.