Costs Payment into court. When considering whether the ability of a third party to provide funds could be taken into account in assessing the likelihood that a company could make a payment into court, the question had to be whether the company could raise the money and not whether the relevant shareholder could raise the money. The appropriate criterion to be applied was whether the appellant company had established on the balance of probabilities that no such funds would be made available to it, whether by its owner or by some other closely associated person, as would enable it to satisfy the requested condition. Accordingly, the Supreme Court allowed the appellant company's appeal against a finding that its appeal against an earlier judgment would be dismissed, on the grounds that it could not make the required payment into court.
*R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union; Re an application by Agnew and others for judicial review: reference by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland; Re an application by McCord for judicial review: reference by the Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland)
Crown Prerogative. The Supreme Court upheld the Divisional Court's decision that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union did not have power under the Crown's prerogative powers to give notice pursuant to art 50 of the Treaty on European Union for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the EU. The authority of primary legislation was required before that course could be taken. Consequently, the Secretary of State's appeal against the High Court's decision would be dismissed. The Supreme Court further ruled on certain devolution questions referred to it by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and the Court of Appeal, Northern Ireland.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The defendant was a former director of the claimant company. The claimant brought a claim for, inter alia, delivery up of confidential information and an injunction. The defendant applied for summary judgment in respect of the claim. The Queen's Bench Division held that the defendant's applications for summary judgment and strike out would be dismissed, save in respect of the claim for delivery up based on an implied term in the parties' contract or the defendant's fiduciary duties.
Conflict of laws Foreign judgment. The claimant wife and first defendant husband had divorced in Israel. The wife had two judgments in her favour stating that a property in London registered in the husband's name was held by him on trust jointly for himself and the wife in equal shares. The husband's brother had two legal charges against the property which the wife challenged. The High Court held that the Israeli judgments were entitled to recognition only in relation to proceedings between the husband and wife and that, as against the brother, the wife had not established any beneficial interest. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, upheld the decision for the reasons given by the High Court.
Contract Warranty. The defendants had been shareholders in a company which was intending to enter into an agreement with the NHS. The claimant bought 60% of the issued share capital in the company prior to it entering into the NHS contract. The company was unable to meet the requirement of the NHS contract and went into administration shortly after. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the claimant's appeal against a finding that the defendants had not breached a warranty in the share purchase agreement. The judge had erred in finding that the NHS contract had not been covered by the terms of the warranty and he had failed to ask himself the correct question in assessing whether, if the NHS contract was covered by the warranty, the warranty had been breached.
Capital allowances Machinery or plant. The First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (the FTT) dismissed the appeal by Alchemist (Devil's Gate) Film Partnership against the amendment by the Revenue and Customs Commissioners to the partnership's tax return which had shown losses of 1,920,259, comprising 1,223,132 by way of deferred cast and crew amounts in respect of the production of a film called 'Devil's Gate'. The effect of that amendment was to reduce the partnership losses to 597,300, the Revenue taking the view that the partnership had been under no obligation to make any payment in respect of the deferred cast and crew amounts to any of the cast and crew individuals. The FTT upheld the Revenue's decision that the disputed amount of 1,223,132, representing the aggregate of the deferred cast and crew amounts, had not been 'capital expenditure' by the partnership on the production of the film for the purposes of of the Finance (No. 2) Act 1997.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. Following a judgment of the court, the first, second and fourth defendants were held liable to the first claimant in relation to a fraudulent operation of letters of credit. A receiver was appointed. The second defendant subsequently brought a claim against the claimants and the receiver alleging that he had suffered loss as a result of the liquidation of a company (SCILDV). He contended that he was the beneficial owner of two companies which had shareholding in SCILDV. The court granted the claimants and the receiver's application to strike out the claim on the ground that the claim had no prospect of success.
Contract Construction. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the appeal of administrators, held that, in the interpretation of a master agreement between two companies in the Lehman Brothers group, which had incorporated the terms of the ISDA 2002 Master Agreement, a side letter would form part of the process of valuation of close-out amounts.
Contract Breach of contract. The claimant brought a claim against the defendant alleging that he had undertaken a personal obligation to carry out a development and had failed to do so in breach of joint venture agreements. The defendant denied personal obligation and the issue was whether he, along with his company, was liable in breach of contract. The Chancery Division held that on the natural construction of the relevant agreements the defendant was not personally a party to the agreement but that there was a binding obligation on his company to carry out the development.
Health and Safety at Work Employer's duties. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the claimant, who was the sole director and sole shareholder of a company, had not been entitled to recover damages for personal injuries sustained as a result of breaches by the company of health and safety regulations in circumstances where the claimant had paid no attention whatsoever to health and safety issues. Although the breach of health and safety regulations had created an absolute obligation on the company, a defence to the claim had been available by the claimant's disregard to health and safety issues and the application of his duty to act with reasonable care, skill and diligence as a director of the company pursuant to s174 of the .