Allen & Overy and Brick Court Chambers have secured victory for the London Legacy Development Corporation in its defence of a judicial review application over the future of the Olympic Stadium.
Litigation partner Andrew Denny, instructing Brick Court’s Richard Gordon QC and Andrew Henshaw QC, acted for the corporation – which is responsible for ensuring the legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games – as it defended its decision to grant use of the stadium to West Ham Football Club earlier this year.
Last week Mr Justice Lewis rejected Leyton Orient’s application for judicial review on three grounds, and also refused permission to appeal. Giving judgment, Lewis J said Leyton Orient could not amend its case to include an alternative claim based on financial viability, and rejected the club’s argument that its bid for a ground-sharing arrangement with West Ham had not been properly considered.
The decision was a blow for the club, which instructed Mishcon de Reya sports partner Adam Morallee and associate Liz Ellen to lead its claim. The firm turned to Blackstone Chambers’ Adam Lewis QC and Tom Richards.
Blackstone has previously fielded counsel on the other major judicial review case over the Olympic Stadium. Dinah Rose QC led Tottenham Hotspur’s judicial review application two years ago, securing a hearing (24 August 2011) although the case was later withdrawn before being heard. Meanwhile setmates David Pannick QC, Paul Luckhurst and Tom de la Mare were also involved – Pannick for West Ham and Luckhurst and de la Mare representing Newham Council.
Gordon was instructed for LLDC predecessor, the Olympic Park Legacy Company, in the Tottenham case.
In a statement issued last week, the LLDC said: “We welcome today’s ruling and are pleased that Mr Justice Lewis agrees that we ran a fair, open and transparent competition to appoint concessionaires for the stadium. We believe the agreement we have with West Ham United Football Club and UK Athletics will deliver a fantastic sporting and community legacy in east London and represents the best deal for the taxpayer.”
Meanwhile Leyton Orient said: “Our real concern is the lack of transparency that has been shown throughout the process by a public body. It is deeply disappointing that both the court and the LLDC have made decisions based only on financial considerations, when the purpose of the stadium’s legacy was regeneration of the area with a community focus.”
The football club is considering an appeal against Lewis J’s decision.
The legal line-up:
For the claimants, Leyton Orient Football Club
For the defendants, London Legacy Development Corporation
Blackstone Chambers’ Adam Lewis QC and Tom Ellis, instructed by Mishcon de Reya associate Liz Ellen