Case Summaries: 30 November 1998

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THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Insolvency

Re Piccadilly Property Management Ltd; Ch Div (Judge Colyer QC sitting as a judge of the High Court) 23 Nov 1998.

WHERE A company appealed to the judge against a compulsory winding-up order made by the Registrar after the failure of a Company Voluntary Arrangement, the judge also had jurisdiction to review or rescind the order under r 7.47 of the Insolvency Rules 1986. The existence of the jurisdiction did not, however, mean that it was good practice to bring a double-barrelled application, and that should only be done in the rarest of cases.

Bernard Weatherill QC, Richard Cross (Robin Wayne & partners) for the company; Gerard Van Tonder (Davis Hanson, Kanter Jules) for the company's supporting creditors; Rebecca Stubbs (IR Solicitor) for the Inland Revenue; Peter Mitchell (Judge & Priestley) for a creditor supporting the Revenue.

Damages

Dodd v Chief Constable of the Cheshire Constabulary; CA (Tuckey LJ, Cazalet J) 24 Nov 1998.

WHERE A defendant had admitted liability and the court had entered interlocutory judgment with damages to be assessed, it was wrong for the judge to assess quantum using a cost/benefit analysis on an application to strike out brought by that defendant pursuant to CCR Ord 13, r 5. The case of AB v John Wyeth & Brother Ltd (No 2) (1993) BMLR 38 was an example of group litigation and should not be seen as authority for the proposition that a judge should assess quantum in advance. The plaintiff was entitled to have his damages assessed after the hearing of evidence.

Peter Moss (Oliver & Co, Chester) for the plaintiff; Graham Wood (Clerk & Solicitor to the Cheshire Constabulary) for the defendant.

Food safety

R v Secretary of State for Health, ex p Eastside Cheese Co; QBD (Crown Office List) (Moses J) 13 Nov 1998.

THE FEAR as to the absence of adequate resources to support a local authority taking action under s 9 of the Food Safety Act 1990 was not a relevant consideration in deciding whether to issue an Emergency Control Order pursuant to s 13 of the Act which prohibited all commercial operations in relation to cheese produced by a manufacturer whose cheese had been responsible for a case of E. coli O157 food poisoning.

David Foskett QC, Richard Booth (Laurie Moran Arthur) for the applicant; Hugh Mercer (Clarke Wilmott & Clarke) for the intervener; Philip Havers QC, Neil Garnham (Solicitor, Department of Health) for the respondent.

Undue influence

Virdee v Scottish Equitable Life plc; CA (Stuart-Smith, Mummery LJJ) 23 Nov 1998.

IN CONSIDERING whether a lender had constructive notice that a wife had signed a disclaimer postponing any interest she might have in a property under her husband's undue influence, the circumstances had to be viewed from the lender's perspective. A lender was acting reasonably in assuming from confirmation given by a solicitor that the wife had been properly advised, even when that solicitor was relying not on his own knowledge but on what he had been told by another solicitor.

David Schmitz (Singh Karran & Co) for the appellant; Jonathan Marks (Addleshaw Booth & Co) for the respondents.

Pensions

City and County of Swansea v Johnson; Ch Div (Hart J) 23 Nov 1998.

THE WORDS "qualifying service" in s 1 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993 meant no more than "such service as qualifies" the earner for the benefit in question, and accordingly a scheme such as the injury allowance scheme in Pt L of the Local Government Superannuation Regulations 1986 was an occupational pension scheme.

Elisabeth Laing (Swansea City Council) for the authority; Paul Newman (Thompsons) for the complainant.

Licensing

London Borough of Southwark v Allied Domecq Leisure Ltd; QBD (Div Ct) (Rose LJ, Mitchell J) 17 Nov 1998.

IN ORDER to convict a company, by way of the doctrine of delegation, of an offence of permitting premises to be used for music entertainment without a public entertainment licence being in force, it was necessary for that company to be charged with the same offence with which the manager of the premises had been charged.

Gillian Carrington (Legal Services, LB Southwark) for the appellant; the respondent was not represented and did not appear.

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