Sumption QC wins Supreme Court ruling for Harrow Council

The Supreme Court has upheld an appeal by Harrow London Borough Council (LBC) and ruled that it is entitled to run its own insurance mutual without first putting the contract out to tender.

Jonathan Sumption
Jonathan Sumption

The ruling, given by Supreme Court Justice Lord Hope, who presided over a panel of five, gives another win to Brick Court’s Jonathan Sumption QC who was drafted in to represent appellant Harrow LBC at the final appeal stage by Weightmans partner Michael Green.

Blackstone Chambers’ John Howell QC was instructed by Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold associate Luke Johnson to represent to defendant Risk Management Partners (RMP).

At issue was the Teckal exemption applied to UK regulations on procurement and whether it could be applied to contracts of insurance.

The Teckal exemption, created by EU case law, allows a public authority to award contracts to another entity without having to meet EU regulations on procurement.

The Court of Appeal found that the local authorities, which were at that time led by Brent Borough Council, had not met two prerequisite conditions needed for the exemption to apply. Specifically, Brent LBC could not demonstrate that it had sufficient control over the mutual insurer, London Authorities Mutual (LAML).

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the CoA judgment, ruling that the appellant had met the conditions needed for Teckal to apply.



Weightmans partner Michael Green instructed Brick Court’s Jonathan Sumption QC and Henderson Chambers’ Rhodri Williams QC.


Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold associate Luke Johnson instructed Blackstone Chambers’ John Howell QC to lead Javan Herberg and James Segan of the same set.