Judgment call – 26 November 2012

Insolvency: The ‘Dicey rule’, arising from the operation of common law and the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933, applied to foreign judgments in avoidance proceedings in insolvency.

Rubin v Eurofinance SA & Ors; New Cap Reinsurance Corporation (In Liquidation) & Anr A E Grant and others as Members of Lloyd’s Syndicate 991 for the 1997 Year of Account & Anr. [2012] UKSC 46. Lord

Clarke JSC; Lord Collins JSC; Lord Mance JSC; Lord Sumption JSC; Lord Walker JC. 24 October 2012

Appeals allowed in part

For the appellant Eurofinance

XXIV Old Buildings’ Marcus Staff, instructed by Brown Rudnick partner Patrick Elliot.

Robin Knowles
Robin Knowles QC

For the appellant AE Grant & Ors

South Square’s Robin Knowles QC and Blair Leahy, instructed by Edwards Wildman partner David Kendall.

For the respondent Rubin & Lan

South Square’s Robin Dicker QC and Tom Smith, instructed by Chadbourne & Parke partner John Verrill.

Robin Dicker
Robin Dicker QC

For the respondent New Cap Reinsurance

South Square’s Gabriel Moss QC and Barry Isaacs QC, instructed by Mayer Brown partner Devi Shah

For intervenor Irving H Picard

Blackstone Chambers’ Pushpinder Saini QC and Adrian Briggs leading Shaheed Fatima of the same set alongside South Square’s Ian Fletcher and Stephen Robins, instructed by Taylor Wessing partner Nick Moser for Irving H Picard as trustee in respect of the consolidated liquidation of the business of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities LLC and Bernard L Madoff.

For the second intervenor

Maitland Chambers’ Michael Driscoll QC, instructed by Wilsons Solicitors and Wedlake Bell


Cash v (1) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; (2) Wokingham District Council [2012] EWHC 2908 (Admin). Judge Belinda Bucknall QC. 22 October 2012

The service requirements in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s.329(2)(b)(ii) in respect of the occupiers of mobile homes had not been fulfilled when copies of an enforcement notice had been given to the owner of the land with a list of persons to be served attached to the back of it.

Applications refused

For the appellant Cash

36 Bedford Row’s Michael Rudd; RJ Hawksley & Co principal Rebecca Hawksley

For the first respondent Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

39 Essex Street’s Christian Zwart instructed directly by the Treasury Solicitors

For the second respondent Wokingham District Council

Prospect Law’s Edmund Robb

Health & safety

Jones v (1) Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; (2) Coal Products [2012] EWHC 2936 (QB). Swift J. 23 October 2012

The operators of a phurnacite plant had breached statutory duties owed to their employees throughout its 50-year period of operation by their failure to eliminate or minimise exposure to carcinogenic fumes and dust.

The court examined various approaches to determining causation based on the emerging understanding of the process of carcinogenesis and held that claimants suffering from lung cancer and respiratory diseases had established a sufficiently causative link, but those suffering from bladder cancer and basal cell skin cancer had not.

Judgment for claimants in part

For the claimant Jones

Byrom Street Chambers’ David Allan QC; Lincoln House Chambers’ Ivan Bowley; Hugh James Solicitors partner Gareth Morgan

For the defendants (1) Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; (2) Coal Products

12 King’s Bench Walk’s Ronald Walker QC; Civitas Law’s

Robert O’Leary; Nabarro partner Carl Dray

Family law

(1) Petrodel Resources Ltd; (2) Petrodel Upstream Ltd; (3) Vermont Petroleum Ltd (3) v (1) Yasmin Prest; (2) Michael Prest; (3) Elysium Diem Ltd. [2012] EWCA Civ 1395. Thorpe LJ; Rimer LJ; Patten LJ. 26 October 2012

The Court of Appeal held by majority that an order under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 s.24(1)(a) could not be made in respect of a company’s property unless there were legitimate grounds for piercing the corporate veil. The principles set out in Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd [1897] AC.22 applied to all jurisdictions and the principles of legal personality had to be respected.

Appeal allowed

Tim Amos
Tim Amos QC

For the appellant Petrodel Resources Ltd

Queen Elizabeth Buildings’ Tim Amos QC; Erskine Chambers’ Ben Shaw; Jeffrey Green Russell solicitor Sarah Ingram

For the respondent (1) Prest

1 Hare Court’s Richard Todd QC;

1 Hare Court’s Stephen Trowell; Farrer & Co’s Jeremy Posnansky QC


Department for Education v Huke. Unreported. Lady Smith; C Baelz; B Beynon. 17 October 2012

When considering whether there had been a transfer of undertakings as a result of a service provision change, an employment tribunal had to consider whether there had been a substantial change in the amount of the particular activity that the client required such that the post-transfer activity was not the same as it was pre-transfer.

Appeal allowed

For the appellant Department for Education

No 5 Chambers’ David Mitchell, instructed directly by the Treasury Solicitors Office

For the respondent Huke

Rougemont Chambers’ James Rozier; Irwin Mitchell solicitor Samantha Owen