Court Closures

MPs including Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, have asked ministers not to make further court closures, following consultation in February 2018 on the closure of eight courts.

Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke told the House of Commons on 6 March 2018 that courts were only closed when the Government is satisfied that access to justice is maintained, but Ms Hayes contended that this was not the case in her constituency, where closures had seen constituents diverted to another court, described by lawyers as a “chaotic environment”.

Joint Venture for the Purchase of Land

Generator Developments Ltd v Lidl UK GmbH / Judgment Date: 08 March 2018: The Court of Appeal summarised the law applicable to equitable claims based on Pallant v Morgan [1953] Ch. 43, [1952] C.L.Y. 3571. A property development company, which had been negotiating a joint venture with a supermarket for the purchase of land, did not have an interest in the land under Pallant v Morgan principles when the supermarket had purchased it before the joint venture was finalised.

Warning for Property Investors

Giambrone & Law has failed in its challenge to a ruling that it was under a duty to warn property investors of the risks of investing in a part of Italy associated with organised crime. The Court of Appeal upheld Justice Foskett’s decision in July 2017 and the Supreme Court has now refused to hear a second appeal, saying “the application does not raise an arguable point of law”. Various Claimants v Giambrone and Law (A Firm) [2017] EWCA Civ 1193; [2018] P.N.L.R. 2 (CA (Civ Div)).

Richard v BBC

Richard v BBC / Judgment Date: 08 March 2018: CPR Pt.36 did not prevent disclosure of the amount of a settlement reached under the Pt.36 procedure. Part 36 prevented disclosure of the making of an offer, but once an offer had been accepted there was a binding compromise and Pt.36 made no reference to that situation. Whether the sum should be disclosed for the purpose of contribution proceedings would depend on the relevance of the information and the prejudice caused by its disclosure.

A Second Brexit Referendum?

Campaigners are mounting a legal challenge arguing that the law requires a second referendum before Brexit can go ahead because the 2011 “referendum lock” introduced by David Cameron applies to Brexit talks. The lock prevented any significant change to UK/EU relations without the public’s say. The campaigners argue it makes the negotiations illegal without a second referendum because the transitional period is likely to mean a big transfer of powers to Brussels.