Jeremy Michael Ranson v Customer Systems plc (2012) EWCA Civ 841. Pill LJ; Lloyd LJ; Lewison LJ. 27 June 2012


A judge had erred in finding that an employee had breached a contractual obligation of fidelity and a fiduciary duty of loyalty to his employer in his contacts with potential clients for his new business. The judge had failed to distinguish between a director’s fiduciary duties and an employee’s obligation of fidelity.

Andrew Stafford QC
Andrew Stafford QC

Appeal allowed

For the appellant Ranson

Littleton Chambers’ Andrew Stafford QC and Jeffrey Bacon; Sintons partner Angus Ashman

Jeffrey Bacon
Jeffrey Bacon

For the respondent Customer Systems plc

Essex Court Chambers’ Martin Griffiths QC and Amy Sander; Pinsent Masons partner Michael Fenn

Civil procedure

(1) William Gardiner Paton; (2) Tina Sharon Paton v Adrian Todd (2012) EWHC 1696 (Ch). Morgan J. 21 June 2012

Although proceedings had been remitted to an adjudicator following a successful appeal to the High Court, it was appropriate that there be no orders as to the costs of the appeal because the appellants had not obtained the outcome that they primarily sought and because significant time and costs had been devoted to unsuccessfully pursuing that outcome.

Costs determined

For the appellants Paton and Paton

Appeared in person

For the respondent Todd

No5 Chambers’ David Taylor; Peter Peter & Wright partner Toby Rowland

Planning and environment

R (on the application of Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd) v Environment Agency (2012) EWHC 1643 (QB). Lang J. 20 June 2012

The Environment Agency had failed to properly interpret, apply or have regard to its own policy when it classified the sluices on the Manchester Ship Canal as formal flood defences for the purposes of assessing flood risk.

Application granted

For the claimant R (on the application of Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd)

4-5 Gray’s Inn Square’s Peter Village QC and Stephen Whale; Clyde & Co partner Ian Ginbey

For the defendant the Environment Agency

39 Essex Street’s Gordon Nardell QC and Christiaan Zwart, instructed by the regional solicitor for the Environment Agency


Harrison & Ors v (1) Shepherd Homes Ltd; (2) National House Building Council; (3) NHBC Building Control Services Ltd (2012) EWCA Civ 904. Aikens LJ; Hughes LJ; McFarlane LJ. 5 July 2012

A judge had not erred in concluding that houses that had sustained significant cracking as a result of defects in their foundations, but that were probably still mortgageable, had suffered a diminution in value of 32.5 per cent.

Appeal dismissed

Roger Stewart QC
Roger Stewart QC

For the respondents Harrison & Ors

Crown Office Chambers’ Andrew Bartlett QC, Robert Stokell and Crispin Winser; Tilly Bailey & Irvine partner Alison Leith

Anneliese Day QC
Anneliese Day QC

For the appellants (1) Shepherd Homes Ltd; (2) NHBC; (3) NHBC Building Control Service Ltd

4 New Square’s Roger Stewart QC, Anneliese Day QC and Siân Mirchandani; Weightmans partner Mike Grant


Daad Sharab v Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud (2012) EWHC 1798 (Ch). Ch D. Sir William Blackburne. 29 June 2012

An order allowing service of proceedings out of jurisdiction did not extend to a quantum merit claim of the restitutionary kind, as although it had been pleaded in the alternative to a contractual claim, it did not ‘arise in respect of a contract’.

Judgment accordingly

For the claimant Sharab

Littleton Chambers’ Clive Freedman QC and Alexander Robson; TLT partner Neil Meakin

For the respondent Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud

Maitland Chambers’ Christopher Pymont QC; Hogan Lovells partner Rod Baker


(1) Ted Baker plc; (2) No Ordinary Designer Label Ltd v (1) Axa Insurance UK plc; (2) Fusion Insurance Services Ltd; (3) Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Ltd (2012) EWHC 1779 (Comm). QBD (Comm). Eder J. 29 June 2012

Where, following the trial of preliminary issues, the court could not be told about any Part 36 offer that might have been made, it was not just to make a costs order in favour of the claimants even though they had substantially succeeded. The court reserved the costs of the preliminary issues until the case had been decided or until further order, while declaring that, subject to any offers of settlement that might have been made, the defendants should pay those costs. There was an urgent need for CPR r.36.13 to be reviewed and possibly reformulated in order to deal in particular with the question of split trials.

Judgment accordingly

Stephen Cogley
Stephen Cogley

For the claimants (1) Ted Baker; (2) No Ordinary Designer Label Ltd

Quadrant Chambers’ Stephen Cogley QC and Tim Marland; Browne Jacobson partner Nichola Evans

Tim Marland
Tim Marland

For the respondents (1) Axa Insurance UK plc; (2) Fusion Insurance Services Ltd; (3) Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Ltd

Crown Office Chambers’ Richard Lynagh QC and James Medd; Kennedys partner Christina MacGregor

Real estate

Thames Valley Holdings Ltd v the National Trust. Unreported. CA (Civ Div). Lloyd LJ; Sir Nicholas Wall (President, Fam Div); Sullivan LJ. 5 July 2012

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) Practice Directions, which governed the costs of substantive proceedings in applications to modify restrictive covenants under the Law of Property Act 1925 s.84, operated so as to prevent an objector to an s.84 application from paying the costs of an applicant who was successful on a preliminary issue. The policy reason was to protect objectors, whose property rights were at risk of being removed or diminished, by a different costs regime unless they had acted unreasonably.

Appeal dismissed

For the appellant Thames Valley Holdings Ltd

Wilberforce Chambers’ Michael Barnes QC; Landmark Chambers’ Eian Caws; Watson Farley & Williams partner Mark Prevezer

For the respondent the National Trust

Landmark Chambers’ Katherine Holland QC; Dickinson Dees partner Nick Mason