Contract Breach of contract. The claimants sought, against the defendants, damages for breach of contract, and an order for possession and control of buy-to-let properties charged by the claimants to the first defendant Mortgage Express. Receivers from the second defendant firm had been appointed after the mortgage accounts had fallen into arrears. The claimants alleged that the defendants had breached an oral agreement under which the relevant properties would be returned to the claimants if the arrears were cleared. The Chancery Division, Manchester District Registry, in considering a preliminary issue, held that no legal enforceable oral agreement had been made as alleged by the claimants.
Water and watercourses Flooding. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal of the Environment Agency, upheld a finding that it failed properly to interpret, apply or have regard to its own policy when it classified sluices on the Manchester Ship Canal as 'formal' flood defences on the ground that their 'primary' purpose was flood prevention, with the effect that land, which was owned and proposed for development by the claimants, had been at a higher risk of flooding. The sluices were an integral part of the canal, serving a dual purpose of providing flood defences and navigational purposes for the canal, but the defendant had not been entitled, applying its own policies which distinguished between 'primary' purposes and 'secondary' purposes of flood defences, to find that, by having a dual purpose, the sluices had had dual 'primary' purposes.
Local Government Council tax. In February 2012, the Valuation Tribunal determined that the appellants were responsible for council tax in respect of a property in relation to which they were the registered owners. The respondent's case was that the premises were in multiple occupation and that council tax was payable by the registered owners. The appellants' case was that, throughout the relevant period, the whole of the premises were let to bona fide tenants and accordingly it was those tenants who were responsible for council tax. The appellants relied upon documentation including copies of tenancy agreements. The respondent relied on evidence which cast doubt upon the genuineness of the tenancy agreements. The tribunal concluded that, during the period, the premises were in multiple occupation and that accordingly, the appellants were responsible for paying the council tax due for the period. The appellants appealed. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the appeal, held that tribunal had been entitled to conclude that it was not satisfied that the agreements were genuine in the face of the evidence which tended to prove the contrary.
Marks and Spencer Plc v BNP Paribas Security Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd and other companies
Landlord and tenant Rent. Marks and Spencer (M+S) was the tenant of space in an office building, of which the defendant companies were the landlords. The lease was terminated. The issue arose of whether M+S was entitled to be repaid a part of the quarter's rent which had been paid, the relevant part being based on a daily apportionment of the quarter's rent in relation to the part of the quarter which was after the specified date for the termination of the lease. The Chancery Division held that there was to be implied into the lease a term requiring the lessor to repay to the lessee an apportioned part of the quarter's rent, car park licence fee and insurance paid for the relevant periods.
Conflict of laws Foreign proceedings. The Chancery Division dismissed the applicant bankrupt's application for an anti-suit injunction in respect of proceedings brought by the respondent bank in the United States of America. The court held, inter alia, that it could not be regarded as oppressive or unfair or in any way improper for the question whether the bank should be allowed to maintain its action in the US on an English debt or whether those proceedings should be stayed or dismissed on the basis that the applicant had become discharged from his debts under the British statute, or indeed whether there should be any restriction on enforcement on post-discharge assets, to be determined by the New York court.
Town and country planning Permission for development. The interested party obtained planning permission for a proposed redevelopment of Twickenham rail station. The claimant applied for judicial review of the grant of planning permission on the basis, inter alia, that the defendant local authority had failed to take into account a material consideration in the form of a report (the TAP report). The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal as the failure of the authority's planning committee to take the TAP report into account had not amounted to a breach of the statutory duty to have regard to material considerations.
Landlord and tenant Eviction. The claimant had been a secure tenant of the local authority. While the claimant was on an extended holiday, the authority (which did not know of his absence) took possession of his flat and arranged to install a new tenant. The claimant issued proceedings seeking the payment of statutory damages for the loss of his right to occupy the flat. The judge ordered 90,500 damages be paid on the basis that it had to be assumed that the tenant's rights were for all purposes to be deemed to be those of a secure tenant, even after a hypothetical sale to a private landlord. The authority appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appeal, holding that the claimant's rights of occupation had, from the very grant of his secure tenancy, been vulnerable to being downgraded upon a sale by the authority to a private landlord and that downgrade could be taken into account in valuing a property for the purpose of s28 of the .
Land registration Rectification of register. The defendant and the claimant were business partners and the former joint registered proprietors of a petrol station (the property). The second respondent bank held a charge over the property. The property was transferred from the joint names of the defendant and the claimant into the defendant's sole name. The deputy adjudicator upheld the claimant claim to rectify the register, having concluded that the transfer was a forgery. The Chancery Division, in dismissing the defendant's appeal, held that there were no grounds to show that the deputy adjudicator's decision had been wrong.
Town and country planning Conservation area. The defendant local authority had granted itself planning permission for improvement to a town centre car park situated within a conservation area. The claimant opposed the planning permission and contended that the planning officer's report upon which the decision had been made was seriously flawed and the decision to grant planning permission was therefore unlawful. The Administrative Court rejected the criticisms of the planning officer's report, finding that the report contained a careful and lawful analysis of all relevant matters and the application for judicial review would therefore be dismissed.
Arbitration Adjudication. The defendant was the main contractor under a contract with London Underground Limited in respect of the refurbishment of Hammersmith Underground Station. The Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court allowed the claimant's application for summary judgment and held that, in the circumstances, the defendant had no real prospects of successfully defending the enforcement of the adjudicator's decision.