Litigation Recent Decisions 17/12/96

Proceedings on assignments of choses in action

Barclays Bank PLC v Kent County Council (1996)

Ch.D (Sir Peter Webster)

Summary: Issue as to when interest ran on costs awards made in the Lands Tribunal.

On 25 January 1983 the defendant council made a compulsory purchase order in respect of land owned by a Mr Bachelor ("the order land") and on 20 January 1984 Mr Bachelor served a notice requiring the defendant to purchase land also owned by him ("the adjoining land"). On 1 August 1984 the defendant took possession of the adjoining land. On 19 February 1988 the Lands Tribunal made an award of £50,000 in respect of the order land and £150,000 in respect of the adjoining land together with costs of the reference to be taxed on the High Court scale. On 21 October 1992 the benefit of both awards was assigned by Mr Bachelor to the plaintiff and on the 23 October 1992 was given to the defendant. On 28 April 1995 the defendant paid the plaintiff the compensation awarded by the second award together with interest, and on 17 April 1996 the defendant paid the plaintiff £287,000 in respect of the references to the Lands Tribunal, £97,000 of that award being apportioned by agreement to the first hearing and £190,000 to the second hearing. On 22 May 1996 the plaintiff issued a writ against the defendant claiming (by amendment) interest on the amount of the costs of both awards from the dates of the first award and the second award respectively until payment of those costs, the interest amounting to £246,064.11. Held: Under r.38 Lands Tribunal Rules 1975, now r.32 Lands Tribunal Rules 1996, s.20 of the Arbitration Act 1950 is to apply to all proceedings in the Lands Tribunal as it applies to an arbitration. It was submitted by the defendant that only one reference (not two) was concluded by the Lands Tribunal on 2October 1991 and that is the date from which interest is to be calculated. The plaintiff, on the other hand, relies on the fact that the order of the Court of Appeal did not disturb the order for costs made by the Lands Tribunal on 19 February 1988. The court rejected the defendant's submission: although it is common ground there was a single reference, nothing was done in the course of the history of the proceedings which had the effect of abrogating the putting into suspense of the costs award made at the conclusion of the first hearing. Judgment for the plaintiff.

LTL 8/12/96

Student not entitled to income support

Driver v Chief Adjudication Officer (1996)

CA (McCowan LJ, Peter Gibson LJ, Waller LJ) 6/12/96

Summary: As to whether a student on a sandwich course at university is eligible for income support where industrial placement ends prematurely.

Appeal against the decision of the Social Security Commissioner that the appellant did not qualify for income support at the material time in November 1991 on the ground that she was a student within the meaning of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987. The appellant was enrolled in a full-time sandwich course in interior design and the course required that she spend a term working in an industrial placement with a firm of architects. Due to financial difficulties, the firm with which she was placed ended the placement only a month after it began. The appellant claimed income support, as she was receiving no pay and did not qualify for a grant during the sandwich period of her course. Her claim was refused by the adjudication officer on the ground that she was a student attending a full-time course. The Social Security Appeal Tribunal and the Social Security Commissioner both dismissed her appeal.