Judgment call: Our new Pages

Welcome to The Lawyer’s new-look litigation pages. Responding to increased demand for broader litigation coverage, each week The Lawyer will be publishing a selection of leading cases in which judgment has been handed down. This comes in addition to the regular litigation news and analytical coverage online and in print.

Details of the matters discussed in court and an insight into the current biggest disputes out there will become a more prominent feature of The Lawyer, both in the magazine and on TheLawyer.com.

In addition, there will be a regular ’Case of the Week’ slot looking at the hottest case to hit your inbox.

Because of the Christmas break, the first two issues of January will be rounding up the key decisions for December.


  • Legal profession

Legal Services Commission v Henthorn 2011 WL 5902971. Court of Appeal. Lord Neuberger MR ; Sir Stephen Sedley; ­Lewison LJ. 30 November 2011

For the purposes of limitation ­periods, the time within which the Legal Services Commission had to seek recovery of overpayments made to a solicitor or counsel started running once costs had been assessed. From that point the commission had a claim to any balance in its favour, but to be entitled to recovery it had to first demand it from the solicitor or counsel concerned.
Appeal allowed

For Legal Services Commission CKFT partner Adam Taylor; 39 Essex Street’s Jeremy Morgan QC; 5 Paper Buildings’ Nicola Rushton
For Henthorn

Day Sparkes partner Michael Sparkes instructed Serle Court’s Geraldine Clark to lead Jennifer Haywood of the same set
For the Law Society (intervenor)

Bindmans partner Paul Ridge; Blackstone Chambers’ Dinah Rose QC
For the Bar Council (intervenor)
4 New Square’s Nicholas Bacon QC

Withers LLP v Rybak 2011 EWCA Civ 1419. Court of Appeal (Civil Division) (CA (Civ Div)). Lloyd LJ; Sir Robin Jacob; Kitchin LJ. 5 ­December 2011

The payment of money into a ­solicitor’s client account until ­further court order, in order to ­prevent dissipation of assets ­pending resolution of proceedings, was inconsistent with a lien arising against that money in respect of the solicitor’s costs.
Appeal allowed, cross-appeal dismissed

For Withers
Wilberforce Chambers’ Joanna Smith QC; Wilberforce Chambers’ Sebastian Allen
For Rybak

Jones Day partner Sion Richards instructed 3 Verulam Buildings’ Andrew Fletcher QC to lead ­Charlotte Eborall of the same set for Langbar

  • Contracts

Bailey v Graham 2011 WL 5902895. Ch D Judge Pelling QC. 25 November 2011

Claims alleging that the creation and marketing of ’Reggae Reggae Jerk/BBQ Sauce’ breached either an oral agreement or a duty of confidence failed. The sauce was not derived from the first claimant’s jerk sauce recipe, his disclosure of that recipe had not been imparted in circumstances importing an obligation of confidence and the recipe was not in any event sufficiently well-developed to be capable of being confidential information. Furthermore, there was no agreement entitling the claimants to a share of the profits derived from Reggae Reggae Sauce.
Judgment for defendants

For Bailey
Simons Muirhead & Burton lawyer Gordon Clough; 5KBW’s Ian Glen QC; 8 New Square’s George Hamer
For Roots
11 South Square Chambers’ Mark Vanhegan QC, 11 South Square Chambers’ Chris Aikens; EMW partner Mark Rondel

  • Civil procedure

JSC BTA Bank v (1) Ablyazov; (2) Ildar Gayarevich Khazhaev 2011 WL 5105610. Commercial Court (QBD (Comm)). Teare J. 17 November 2011

Orders extending time for service of a claim form by a bank against a Russian defendant under CPR Rule 7.6(2) by two years and granting permission for alternative service of that claim on his English solicitors under CPR Rule 6.15 were appropriate where the foreign process section of the Royal Courts of Justice had indicated that it might take that long to serve the claim and there were grounds for believing that the defendant might not accept its service in Russia.
Application refused

For JSC BTA Bank
Hogan Lovells partner Chris Hardman; Serle Court’s Phillip Marshall QC
For Ildar Gayarevich Khazhaev
Olswang partner Steve Corney; Brick Court Chambers’ Charles Hollander QC

  • Financial regulation

Digital Satellite Warranty Cover Ltd v Financial Services Authority [FSA], Re 2011 WL 5902922. (CA (Civ Div). Maurice Kay LJ; Patten LJ; Aikens LJ. 29 November 2011

Extended warranty contracts providing for the repair or replacement of satellite television equipment were contracts of general insurance within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 Article 3(1) and their provision was therefore a regulated activity. The fact that Directive 73/239, which the order implemented, did not provide for the regulation of such benefits in kind insurance did not preclude national governments from regulating it.
Appeal dismissed

For Digital Satellite Warranty Cover
Brabners Chaffe Street associate Simon Morris; Kings Chambers’ Lesley Anderson QC; 3-4 South Square’s Lloyd Tamlyn
For the FSA
3-4 South Square’s Glen Davis QC; 3-4 South Square’s Charlotte Cooke

  • Tort

JGE v (1) English Province of Our Lady of Charity; (2) The Trustees of the Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust 2011 WL 5105138. Queen’s Bench ­Division (QBD). MacDuff J. 8 November 2011

A Roman Catholic diocese could be vicariously liable for the ­wrongful acts of one of its priests given the nature and closeness of the relationship ­between them.
Preliminary issue determined in favour of claimant

Emott Snell & Co ­director Tracey Emmott; One Crown Office Row’s Lizanne ­Gumbel QC; One Crown Office Row’s Justin Levinson
For the English Province of Our
Lady of Charity 1 Chancery Lane’s Edward Faulkes QC; 18 St John Street Chambers’ Nicholas Fewtrell

  • Employment

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Shaw. Employment Appeal Tribunal. Underhill J (President); H Singh; R Chapman. 29 November 2011

An employment tribunal had erred when making an award of aggravated damages by focusing on the seriousness of the employer’s conduct in subjecting an employee to an unlawful detriment rather than the impact of that conduct on the employee, thereby introducing a punitive element. Aggravated damages were compensatory only in nature and represented an aspect of compensation for injury to feelings rather than a separate head of damages.
Appeal allowed

For Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Old Square Chambers’ Simon Cheetham
For Shaw
Equal Justice Solicitors of counsel Lawrence Davies