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Mar 12 2014 (FN)

BurgIn Vs. Dunhill (a Protected Party by Her Litigation Friend Tasker)

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. There are two issues in this case, both of them simple to state but neither of them simple to answer. First, what is the test for deciding whether a person lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings on her own behalf (in which case the Civil Procedure Rules require that she has a litigation friend to conduct the proceedings for her)? Second, what happens if legal proceedings are settled or compromised without it being recognised that one of the parties lacked that capacity (so that she did not have the benefit of a litigation friend and the settlement was not approved by the court as also required by the CPR)? Can matters be re-opened long after the event or does the normal rule of English law apply, which is that a contract made by a person who lacks capacity is valid unless the other party to the contract knew or ought to have known that she lacked that capacity in which case it is voidable (the rule in Imperial Loan Co Ltd v Stone [1892] 1 QB 599)? 2. These issues are...

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Mar 05 2014 (FN)

Secret Hotels2 Limited (formerly Med Hotels Limited) Vs. the Commissio ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. This appeal concerns the liability for Value Added Tax ("VAT") of a company which markets and arranges holiday accommodation through an on-line website. The outcome turns on the appropriate characterisation of the relationship between the company, the operators of the hotels, and the holiday-makers or their travel agents (which is an English law issue), and the impact of certain provisions of the relevant EU Directive on that relationship once it has been characterised (which is an EU law issue). The basic facts 2. The appellant, Secret Hotels2 Ltd (formerly called Med Hotels Ltd, and known as "Med"), marketed holiday accommodation, consisting of around 2,500 resort hotels, villas, and apartments in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, through a website, www.medhotels.com ("the website"). In these proceedings, everyone has focussed on hotel rooms, and has ignored villas and apartments, and I shall do the same. Around 94% of the sales of hotel rooms from the website were made to trav...

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Mar 05 2014 (FN)

Stott Vs. Thomas Cook Tour Operators Limited

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. This appeal arises from a sorry case of a serious failure by an air tour operator to see that proper provision was made for the needs of a disabled passenger, contrary to the requirements of the Civil Aviation (Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1895) ("the UK Disability Regulations"). 2. The UK Disability Regulations implement Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air ("the EC Disability Regulation"). 3. The issue is whether a court may award damages for a claimant's discomfort and injury to feelings caused by a breach of the UK Disability Regulations. The conclusion of the courts below was that any such award is precluded by the Montreal Convention, as adopted in the EU by the Montreal Regulation (or, to use its full title, "Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in ...

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Feb 26 2014 (FN)

Lawrence and Another Vs. Coventry and Others

Court : UK Supreme Court

The issues raised by this appeal 1. This appeal raises a number of points in connection with the law of private nuisance, a common law tort While the law also recognises public nuisance, a common law offence, this appeal is only concerned with private nuisance, so all references hereafter to nuisance are to private nuisance It should also be mentioned at the outset that the type of nuisance alleged in this case is nuisance in the sense of personal discomfort, in particular nuisance by noise, as opposed to actual injury to the claimant's property (such as discharge of noxious material or removal of support) 2. As Lord Goff of Chieveley explained in Hunter v Canary Wharf Ltd [1997] AC 655, 688, "[t]he term 'nuisance' is properly applied only to such actionable user of land as interferes with the enjoyment by the plaintiff of rights in land", quoting from Newark, The Boundaries of Nuisance (1949) 65 LQR 480 See also per Lord Hoffmann at pp 705-707, where he explained that this principle m...

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Feb 26 2014 (FN)

Forde and Mchugh Limited Vs. the Commissioners for H M Revenue and Cus ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. This appeal is the lead case in a number of appeals concerned with the interpretation of the phrase in section 6(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, "[w]here in any tax week earnings are paid to or for the benefit of an earner" It focuses on the meaning of the word "earnings" in that phrase The context is the payment of an employer's contribution to a Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefits Scheme Until 2006 such schemes were commonly used to top up sums available through tax-approved pension schemes The facts 2. On 11 April 2002 the appellant company (FML) established by trust deed a retirement benefit scheme to provide relevant benefits (as defined in section 612 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988) to its employees and directors The trust provided that, upon a member's retirement from service, the trustees were to apply the accumulated fund in providing the member with a pension for life or such other relevant benefits as they might agree with hi...

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Feb 19 2014 (FN)

R (on the Application of Em (Eritrea) Vs. Secretary of State for the H ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. Is an asylum seeker or refugee who resists his or her return from the United Kingdom to Italy (the country in which she or he first sought or was granted asylum) required to establish that there are in Italy "systemic deficiencies in the asylum procedure and in the reception conditions of asylum seekers ... [which] amount to substantial grounds for believing that the asylum seeker would face a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment..." (emphasis added). This formulation is taken from para 94 of R (NS) (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] QB 102. The mooted requirement that there be a systemic deficiency lies at the heart of this appeal. 2. That is the first and principal issue. It also constitutes the critical finding of the Court of Appeal. But, somewhat unusually, it is an issue on which there is no significant dispute between the parties. The appellants, the interveners (UNHCR), and the respondent all assert and agree that the ...

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Feb 19 2014 (FN)

Marks and Spencer plc and Another Vs. Commissioners for Her Majesty's ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

Introduction 1. This is another round in a long drawn out saga between HMRC and Marks and Spencer plc ("MandS"). It was last before the Supreme Court on 22 May 2013 when Lord Hope gave judgment on the first of five issues. Only Lord Hope gave a judgment. The other members of the Court, namely Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Reed and Lord Carnwath simply agreed with Lord Hope. I have, as it were, replaced Lord Hope, who has now retired. 2. For the purposes of corporation tax, MandS claims group relief in respect of losses sustained by two of their subsidiaries, namely Marks and Spencer (Deutschland) GmbH ("MSD"), which was resident in Germany and Marks and Spencer (Belgium) NV ("MSB"), which was resident in Belgium. As Lord Hope observed at para 1 of his judgment, the claims were originally made and refused by HMRC over ten years ago and raise questions about the availability of cross-border group relief and the method of quantifying such relief as is available which, despite having be...

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Feb 19 2014 (FN)

Central Bank of Nigeria Vs. Williams

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. The facts of this case can fairly be described as exotic, but very few of them are relevant to the present appeal. Dr Williams claims to be the victim of a fraud instigated by the Nigerian State Security Services which occurred in 1986. His case is that he was induced to serve as guarantor of a bogus transaction for the importation of foodstuffs into Nigeria. In connection with that transaction, he paid $6,520,190 to an English solicitor, Mr Reuben Gale, to be held on trust for him on terms that it should not be released until certain funds had been made available to him in Nigeria. Dr Williams says that in fraudulent breach of that trust, Mr Gale, knowing that those funds were not available to him in Nigeria, paid out $6,020,190 of the money to an account of the Central Bank of Nigeria with Midland Bank in London, and that he pocketed the remaining $500,000. The Central Bank is said to have been party to Mr Gale's fraud. The Bank applied for an order setting aside the permission gi...

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Feb 12 2014 (FN)

Cramaso Llp Vs. Ogilvie-grant, Earl of Seafield and Others

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. The appellant is a limited partnership formed by Mr Alistair Erskine and his wife as a vehicle for entering into a commercial contract with the respondents. These proceedings were brought by the appellant on the basis that it was induced to enter into the contract by a misrepresentation which was fraudulent or in any event negligent. The appellant sought the reduction of the contract and damages. After proof the Lord Ordinary, Lord Hodge, found that Mr Erskine was the directing mind of the appellant, and that he had decided to enter into the contract in reliance upon a negligent misrepresentation contained in an email sent to him some weeks before the appellant was formed. The allegation of fraud was found not to have been established: [2010] CSOH 62. The latter point has not been pursued further. Nor has the present appeal concerned the question whether the remedy of reduction may be available. The issue with which we are concerned is whether the appellant was induced to enter into...

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Feb 05 2014 (FN)

Adamson and Others Vs. Paddico (267) Limited and Another

Court : UK Supreme Court

1. What happens if land is registered as a town or village green when it should not have been? There is power to rectify the register, but what is the effect of the lapse of time (a less pejorative term than "delay") between the registration and the application to rectify? There are many private and public interests in play “ those of the landowners who have wrongly been severely restricted in the use to which they can put their land, those of the local inhabitants who have rightly been enjoying the amenity of the green since its registration, and those of the wider public which are many and varied “ such as protecting the accuracy of public registers, preserving public open spaces, or securing that land earmarked or suitable for development can be used for that purpose. The statutory background 2. The principal purpose of the Commons Registration Act 1965 was, as its long title says, to provide for the registration of common land and of town and village greens. Section 1(1...

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