Mailbox (Birmingham) Ltd v Galliford Try Building Ltd (formerly known as Galliford Try Construction Ltd)
Arbitration Adjudication. The Technology and Construction Court made rulings following an adjudication between the parties in a construction dispute. The court held that the claimant was entitled to the sum awarded to it. The defendant was not entitled to an extension of time. It could only raise issues concerning a dispute about termination of its work, as that had not been raised in the arbitration.
Police Chief constable. The Divisional Court quashed decisions of the defendant Police and Crime Commissioner to suspend, pursue the statutory process against and require the claimant former Chief Constable to resign, following his statement on the Hillsborough disaster. The Commissioner's decisions had been irrational, as the Chief Constable's statement had been within the range of reasonable responses, and the Commissioner had failed to engage with HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary's observations and to provide cogent reasons for his different view.
Employment Contract of service. The Queen's Bench Division upheld a judge's injunction, applied for by the claimant, the former employer of the first defendant, who had been on garden leave and wished to commence working for the second defendant. The claimant had amply demonstrated its legitimate business interest in the protection of its confidential information, which required the protection provided by the garden leave injunction.
Confidential information Disclosure. The Chancery Division allowed an application by the claimant, Sir Cliff Richard, for an answer to a question concerning the sources of a journalist working for the first defendant BBC. The issue arose in the context of a raid carried out by the second defendant police force at the claimant's home, which had been extensively covered by the BBC, and which had resulted in no further investigation into the claimant. The court held that, balancing the appropriate factors, the interests of the claimant outweighed those of the journalist and his source.
Judgment Default judgment. The Technology and Construction Court dismissed the defendant company's application to set aside judgment in default obtained against it in the course of a construction dispute.The application to set judgment aside had been inadequate on its face. Consequently, the defendant had not acted promptly.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division allowed an appeal by the claimant waste management company against the strike-out of a claim made against the third defendant. The court held that the judge had been wrong to have given summary judgment in respect of all of the claims, but should have been confined to the damages claim for conspiracy.
Injunction Interim. The Chancery Division dismissed the claimant company's application for, among other things, an interim injunction prohibiting the defendants from dealing with its named customers and suppliers and an unlimited injunction preventing the defendants from using or disclosing its confidential information. While, on the evidence, there was a serious issue to be tried, the case was largely built on inference and did not establish that the claimant was likely to establish sufficient misuse of its data to justify granting a 'springboard' injunction at trial.
Negligence Cause of action. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division allowed the claimant's appeal against the strike out of her case on the duty of care purportedly owed by the respondent NHS Trust in relation to disclosure of confidential patient information. The court found that none of the public policy reasons put forward could be said to be unarguable and the case would be remitted for hearing.
Company Insolvency. The Companies Court ruled on a preliminary issue concerning limitation, which arose in a claim, under s212 of the which had been brought by the applicant joint liquidators of two Jersey companies in liquidation in England. The claim alleged misfeasance and breach of directors' duties by the respondents in respect of the various payments allegedly made from the companies' bank accounts. The court held that the duty owed, under art74 of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991, was a fiduciary duty in the strict sense, and not tortious in nature. Accordingly, the prescriptive period for both causes of action, under art74, was ten years, being the default period applicable to personal claims under Jersey law, and not three years, being the relevant period applicable to breach of trust and to tort under Jersey law, as the first to the fifth respondents had contended. Accordingly, the claims were not time-barred.
Insurance Claim. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the insured's appeal against a judge's decision, granting summary judgment in favour of the respondent insurer, and dismissing the insured's claim under an insurance policy concerning his property, which had been damaged by fire. The property had been let to students and the insurer had sought to avoid the policy on the grounds of material non-disclosure and misrepresentation. The court held that the policy amounted to business insurance, rather than consumer insurance and that the insured had no real prospect of establishing that he was a 'consumer', within the meaning of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, , and the Insurance Conduct of Business Sourcebook rules. Accordingly, the position at common law applied and, in circumstances where the insurer had an unanswerable defence of breach of warranty, the judge had been right to enter summary judgment in its favour.