Dentons wins dockers case

A TEAM from Denton Hall has won an important victory for 1,400 striking Australian dockers, after securing the lifting of a High Court injunction banning the creation of an international campaign against their employers.

Earlier this month, Mr Justice Thomas lifted an ex parte injunction banning the London-based International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) from mounting an international campaign in support of the affiliated Maritime Union of Australia.

The strikers' employers, Patrick Stevedores Operations, had originally succeeded in winning an injunction after claiming the ITF's actions constituted an unfair interference with its business interests, as well as a breach of the Australian trade practices law.

Partner John Miles, who led the team at Denton Hall advising the union, said: 'This is a significant victory for the ITF. Judge Thomas was clearly not convinced that Patricks had sufficient evidence to support its case against the ITF.'

Miles said that the substantive legal issues behind Patricks' action were to have been heard at a hearing in May, but that the company had decided not to pursue the case for the moment. 'The heat is taken out of it now,' he added.

The ruling comes as an Australian court, in a further blow to Patricks, ordered the company to reinstate 1,400 workers it sacked at the start of the month, the move which sparked the current industrial strife.

Patricks was represented in the UK by a team from Simmons & Simmons led by partner Adrian Crawford.