The no-Act Rights Assumption

Whitehall Court London Ltd v Crown Estate Commissioners (CA): on whether the “no-Act rights” assumption, whereby rights conferred by the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 were disregarded when valuing the premium payable to purchase an extended lease, applied to an individual flat, or the entire building, for the purposes of calculating the apportionment of the premium between the head landlord and the freeholder. Click here for more information.

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.

Japanese knotweed

Adam and Eleanor Smith have won a landmark case against their neighbour Rosemary Line after claiming they lost £50,000 from the value of their home in Cornwall after Japanese knotweed invaded their garden. Truro County Court found that while it is not illegal to have knotweed on land, it is illegal to allow it to spread, and ordered Ms Line to employ Cornwall Council’s contractor over the next five years to eradicate the weed and pay court costs.

Defamatory Comments on Facebook

Stocker v Stocker [2016] EWHC 474 (QB) (QBD)

Nicola Stocker, who posted defamatory comments about former husband Ronald on Facebook, has lost her appeal against a High Court ruling and now faces legal costs of £200,000.

In 2016, Mr Justice Mitting ruled her online comments to Ronald’s new partner accusing him of trying to kill her wrongly painted him as a dangerous man.

The Court of Appeal rejected her challenge and said Mitting J had “made no error”.

Calculation for Limitation Act…

Matthew v Sedman [2017] EWHC 3527 (Ch)

When a cause of action was completely constituted at the very first moment of a particular day, that day should not be excluded from the calculation for Limitation Act purposes.

At any moment during that day the claimant could bring a claim; and to exclude that day from the calculation would have the effect of giving him an extra day over and above the statutory limitation period for bringing the claim.