Law Reports: Case Summaries; 8 March 1999

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

Practice

Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Anchor Foods Ltd; Ch D (Neuberger J) 26 February 1999.

A MAREVA injunction to restrain the defendant from selling or disposing of its assets was granted on the condition that a cross-undertaking in damages was provided. Although the purpose of the Mareva jurisdiction was to afford protection to a person with a good arguable claim and not to impede or interfere with an ordinary bona fide business transaction, the court was satisfied that justice and convenience would best be served if an injunction was granted.

Richard McCombe QC, Paul Girolami, Amanda Tipples (Solr for Customs and Excise) for the commissioners; David Pannick QC, Adam Lewis, Sandra Bristoll (Dibb Lupton Alsop) for the defendant.

Costs

Tate v Hart; CA (Auld, Sedley LJJ) 1 March 1999.

WHERE A court found that that, in appealing against a wasted costs order, solicitors had not been in breach of the Civil Legal Aid (General) Regulations 1989, the wasted costs order should not have been upheld on the basis that they had acted either unreasonably or negligently as defined in the notes to RSC Ord 62, r 11(2). The court was wrong to impose an extra obligation which was not found to be imposed by the regulations, and to base that duty upon some higher standard founded on a concept of unreasonableness or negligence, especially where the making of a punitive order such as a wasted costs order was involved.

Alan Evans (Krivinkas & Co, Manchester) for the plaintiff; Paul Creaner (Bleasdale & Co, Whitehaven) for the defendant.

Sentencing

R v Brown and ors; CA, Crim Div (Auld LJ, Forbes, David Steel JJ) 3 Feb 1999.

WHILST SUBSTANTIAL sentences were justified for offences of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy to corrupt a police officer because of the impact of such offences on the criminal justice system, a starting point of 13 years' imprisonment was far too high, even where a defendant who was a former police officer had used know-how and contacts gained during his time in the police force in committing a pattern of serious offences.

John Nutting QC, Anne Johnston (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for Brown; Graham Henson (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for King; Sasha Wass (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for Mahoney.

Limitation

Coulthard v Disco Mix Club Ltd and ors; Ch D (Jules Sher QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge) 1 March 1999.

NO DISTINCTION could be made with regard to limitation between a common law action for damages for fraud and its counterpart in equity based on the same facts. The statute of limitations applied by analogy where there was a "correspondence" between the remedies available at law or in equity, even if the equitable relief was wider than that available at law.

Stephen Bate (Jordans) for the plaintiff; Adrian Speck (Wiggin & Co) for the defendants.

Pensions

Bus Employees Pension Trustees Ltd and anor v Harrod and ors; NBC Pension Trustees Ltd and anor v Paddock and anor; Ch D (Sir Richard Scott V-C) 2 March 1999.

THE STATUTORY definitions and provisions in the Pension Schemes Act 1993 and the Pensions Act 1995 did not apply to a scheme which was in the process of being wound up. A case in which the winding up had apparently been completed and the members had apparently been paid off accordingly did not fall within the meaning of occupational pension scheme in s 1 of the 1993 Act.

Michael Tennet (Taylor Joynson Garrett) for the plaintiffs; Michael Furness (Baker & McKenzie) for the first and second defendants.

Dangerous dog

Cummings v DPP; QBD, Div Ct (Kennedy LJ, Blofeld J) 26 Feb 1999.

WHERE AN attack by a dog which was dangerously out of control took place on land which was not in the ownership of the dog owner but of the local council, evidence of public user did not have to be adduced, since it could be inferred. In the present case the justices had been entitled on the evidence to find that the dogs were dangerously out of control in a public place.

P. Crampin (Singh & Choudry) for the appellant; John McGuinness (CPS) for the respondent.

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