Law report: Case Summaries

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

Landlord and tenant

Surrey County Council v Lamond; CA (Lord Woolf MR, Brooke LJ) 16 Dec 1998.

FOR THE purposes of determining whether a tenancy was not a secure tenancy by reason of Sch 1 para 2 of the Housing Act 1985, because the tenant was an employee of the landlord or of a local authority, and his contract of employment required him to occupy the dwelling-house for the better performance of his duties, the court had to discover the duties which the employee had to perform and then ask itself whether it was really practical for the employee to carry out those duties if he did not live in the property in question.

Jeffrey Widdup (Legal Dept, Surrey County Council) for the plaintiff; Alastair Panton (Downs) for the defendant.


Don King Productions Inc v Warren and ors; CA (Morritt, Aldous, Hutchison LJJ) 21 Dec 1998.

PROPERTY WHICH was not assignable might nevertheless be partnership property for the purposes of s 20 the Partnership Act 1890, since the question whether an asset was "brought into the partnership stock or acquired . . . on account of the firm" did not depend on whether it was assignable at law. Partnership property within s 20 included that to which a partner was entitled and which all the partners expressly or by implication agreed should, as between themselves, be treated as partnership property. It was immaterial, as between the partners, whether it could be assigned by the partner in whose name it stood to the partners jointly.

Alan Steinfeld QC, Hugh Tomlinson (Dibb Lupton Alsop) for the appellants; Michael Briggs QC, Nicholas Le Poidevin, Douglas Close (Bird & Bird) for the respondent.


Royal Brompton Hospital National Health Trust v Hammond and ors; QBD, Technology and Construction Court (Judge Hicks QC) 8 Jan 1999.

THE PRINCIPLE in Biggin & Co v Permanite Ltd [1951] 2 All ER 191, namely that the costs of a settlement with a third party should be treated as the measure of damages in an action against defendants provided that the settlement terms were reasonable, extended to cases where the settlement involved a compromise of issues of liability on a claim as well as of quantum.

Antony Edwards-Stuart QC, Mark Cannon (Masons) for the plaintiff; Adrian Williamson (Davies Arnold Cooper) for the first to seventh and 13th defendants; Marcus Taverner (Fishburn Boxer) for the eighth, 14th and 15th defendants; Andrew Bartlett QC (Berrymans Lace Mawer) for the ninth and 16th defendants; Alexander Nissen (Cameron McKenna) for the 11th defendant.

Town and country planning

McClean Homes (East Anglia) Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions and anor; QBD, Crown Office List (George Bartlett QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge) 8 Jan 1999.

THE NECESSITY for an inspector hearing a planning appeal to give reasons for his decision applied with particular force to applications for approval of reserved matters. In such cases the principle of development had been established by the grant of outline planning permission, and a somewhat fuller explanation for the refusal to approve reserved matters might be required than in the case of proposals which were fundamentally unobjectionable.

Peter Village (Pitmans) for the applicant; Ian Albutt (Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.

Custody time limits

R v Central Criminal Court, ex p Johnson; QBD, Div Ct (Buxton LJ, Collins J); 18 Jan 1999.

AS A forensic science laboratory was independent of the police force it could not form part of the prosecution itself. A laboratory's delay in producing evidence of analysis was not therefore relevant to the question whether there had been due expedition on the part of the prosecution for the purposes of extending custody time limits. However, the prosecution were not entitled to refrain from taking any action, indicating that the matter was in the hands of the laboratory. It had to do everything possible to ensure that the laboratory was aware of the date on which the time limits were due to expire so that the evidence was available before that date.

Andrew Bodnar (Clifford Watts Compton) for the applicant; Neil Saunders (CPS) for the prosecution.