Case Summaries: 7 December 1998

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

Pensions

University of Nottingham v Eyett and anor; Ch Div (Hart J) 13 Nov 1998.

The implied term in a contract of employment that an em-ployer would not without reasonable and proper cause conduct itself in a manner likely to damage the relationship of trust and confidence be-tween employer and employee did not include a positive obligation on the part of the employer to warn an employee who wished to take early retirement that he would have received a greater pension if he had deferred his chosen retirement date by one day.

Andrew Simmonds (Travers Smith Braithwaite) for the university; Andrew Stafford (John Yolland) for the Pensions Ombudsman.

VAT

Pegasus Birds Ltd v Commrs of Customs and Excise; QBD (Crown Office List) (Dyson J) 27 Nov 1998.

The Commissioners had not acted unreasonably in delaying making a VAT assessment until they had sufficient evidence to ascertain the amount to be assessed. Consequently, an assessment made within one year of receiving such evidence was within the time limit provided by the s 73(6)(b) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

David Ewart, James Henderson (Amery Parkes) for the taxpayer; Eamonn McNicholas (Solr for C&E) for the Crown.

Majid and Partners v Commrs of Customs and Excise; QBD (Crown Office List) (Collins J) 1 Dec 1998.

Where, on an appeal against an assessment to VAT, the appellants had made no specific submissions as to the amount of the assessment, but only as to the question whether they had suppressed part of their sales, it would not have added to the tribunal's burden for it to ascertain whether the appellants were in truth appealing against the assessment or the amount of the assessment. Where the appellant in such circumstances was a layman, if the tribunal did not obtain a clear answer, it should assume that the appeal was covering both questions.

Alun James (Berrymans as London agents for Hallinans, Cardiff) for the appellants; Hugo Keith (Solr for C&E) for the commissioners.

Trade description

Formula One Autocentres Ltd v Birmingham City Council; QDB (Div Ct) (Rose LJ, Mitchell J) 27 Nov 1998.

When goods were returned to their owner or his agent in the ordinary course of business, following completion of a repair, service or other work carried out for reward, the handing back of the goods constituted a supply of goods for the purposes of s 1(1) of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, and accordingly where the repair, service or work had not been carried out as stated an offence of applying a false trade description contrary to s 14(1) of the Act had been committed.

Kevin De Haan (Kingsford Stacey Blackwell) for the appellants; Ian Croxford QC, Barry Berlin (City Solr, Birmingham City Council) for the respondent.

Company director

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Kaczer and ors; CA (Stuart- Smith, Thorpe, Robert Walker LJJ) 30 Nov 1998.

In proceedings brought by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under s 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, the crucial issue in determining de facto directorship was whether the person in question had assumed the status and functions of a company director so as to make him responsible, under the Act, as if he were a de jure director.

Malcolm Green (Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State; the respondents appeared in person.

Fresh evidence

R v Ali and anor; CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Alliott, Steel JJ) 27 Nov 1998.

On the hearing of a criminal appeal, once fresh evidence had been admitted pursuant to s 23(2) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968, it became evidence in the case for all purposes in relation to the appeal or appeals then being heard, even though it might be detrimental to the case of one co-accused. Any other construction of the power granted to the court by s 23 of the 1968 Act could lead to absurdity and manifest injustice.

Anthony Arlidge QC (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the first appellant; Jeremy Carter-Manning QC (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the second appellant); Stephen Coward QC (CPS) for the Crown.

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