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Guildford Pub Bombings: Edward Pleeth and James Berry appear at application to resume inquests

21st December 2018

On 5 October 1974 bombs exploded at the Horse and Groom Pub and the Seven Stars Pub in Guildford, Surrey. Four soldiers and one civilian were killed and dozens of people were injured. Inquests into the five deaths were opened and adjourned pending criminal investigations. The inquests were never resumed following the convictions of the “Guildford Four” and the Maguire Seven” arising out of the bombings. Those convictions were later quashed by the Court of Appeal.

On 20 December 2018 an application to resume the inquests into the Guildford Pub Bombings was heard by the Senior Coroner for Surrey, Richard Travers. A decision on the application is expected on 31 January 2019.

Edward Pleeth represented the Ministry of Defence.

James Berry represented the Metropolitan Police Service.

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Conrad Hallin successfully defends the Chief Constable of Kent police in jury trial

20th December 2018

Conrad has successfully defended the Chief Constable of Kent police in jury trial involving allegations of assault, false imprisonment and misfeasance in public office.  The Claimant alleged that he had sustained a head injury caused by the unlawful use of force by a police officer during a disturbance in Ashford Kent. The claim for misfeasance in public office was struck out on legal grounds.  The claim for assault was dismissed on the basis that whichever version of events was preferred, the officer’s use of force was reasonable.

Instructing solicitor: Daniel West (BLM).

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Court of Appeal awards damages for Californian commercial surrogacy in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832

19th December 2018

Christopher Johnston QC and Claire Watson, instructed by Alison Eddy and Anne Kavanagh of Irwin Mitchell, have succeeded on appeal in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832. Acting for the Claimant, Chris and Claire successfully argued that the High Court’s decision not to award her damages for the costs of commercial surrogacy in California was wrong.

Ms X developed cervical cancer and was left infertile due to the Hospital Trust’s negligent failure to correctly report on a number of smear tests and biopsies. At first instance, Sir Robert Nelson held that Ms X could recover limited expenses for UK-based surrogacy using her own eggs but not those of a donor. That decision, the first of its kind, was significant in itself. However, Ms X appealed, arguing that the judge was wrong to follow Hale LJ’s judgment in Briody [2002] QB 856 and hold that commercial surrogacy arrangements were considered to be contrary to public policy.

The Court of Appeal (comprising McCombe LJ, King LJ and Nicola Davies LJ) unanimously allowed the appeal and dismissed the Trust’s cross-appeal. For the first time, the Court has held that, in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision on the concept of illegality in Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42, there is no public policy bar to the recovery of damages for the costs of commercial surrogacy in California. Ms X proposed to do nothing that was unlawful either in the UK or in California. In addition, in a departure from Hale LJ’s dicta in Briody, it was held that damages for the cost of ‘donor egg’ surrogacy had the effect of putting Ms X as nearly as possible in the position she would have been in had the Trust not been negligent. The distinction between ‘own egg’ and ‘donor egg’ surrogacy was artificial and could not be maintained.

The Trust was refused permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal.

Lord Faulks QC and Charles Feeny, instructed by Daniel Morris of Bevan Brittan, acted for the Trust.

See our UK Healthcare Law Blog post on the High Court’s decision below (September 2017) here. A further post on the Court of Appeal’s judgment today will follow shortly. A copy of today’s judgment is here.




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Court of Appeal hands down judgment in the case of ARB v IVF Hammersmith

18th December 2018

Michael Mylonas QC and Susanna Rickard, together with David Halpern QC of 4 New Square, were instructed by Rachel Stewart (Hughes Paddison Solicitors) on behalf of ARB, in his breach of contract claim against IVF Hammersmith. The clinic thawed and implanted a frozen embryo into ARB’s ex-partner without his knowledge or consent – resulting in a child. Judgment was handed down by the Court of Appeal today. ARB succeeded in overturning the trial judge’s finding of no negligence, and in upholding the finding of strict liability under the contract. The Court of Appeal however found that ‘policy’ prevents ARB from recovering any damages for the financial consequences of the breach, drawing on principle from the tort cases of McFarlane and Rees. ARB is likely to seek permission to appeal from the Supreme Court.

Judgment and press summary can be found here.

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Supreme Court judgment in PJ (Amy Street for the Welsh Ministers)

17th December 2018

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the case of Welsh Ministers v PJ [2018] UKSC 66.

The case is about community treatment orders under the Mental Health Act 1983 and deprivation of liberty. The Supreme Court decided that it is not lawful to impose conditions under a community treatment order which amount to a deprivation of liberty. Although this was a case which started in a Welsh tribunal, the case applies to both England and Wales. The Supreme Court’s decision is consistent with the Mental Health Act Codes of Practice for both England (which says that conditions must not deprive a patient of liberty) and Wales (which is silent on the particular point).

Amy Street represented the Welsh Ministers, led by Richard Gordon QC, instructed by Joanna Corbett-Simmons and Allan Wilson at Blake Morgan LLP.

Link to judgment and related material:

In the Court of Appeal, PJ  was heard together with the case of Secretary of State for Justice v MM, which addressed the same question in relation to conditional discharges also under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Supreme Court heard the appeals separately but also reached the equivalent conclusion in MM – ie that a conditional discharge may not have conditions which deprive a patient of liberty. Link to MM judgment and related material:

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John Beggs QC and Cecily White for Essex Police in Court of Appeal proceedings arising from the arrest of Michael Barrymore

14th December 2018

Essex Police won their appeal against the High Court decision that Barrymore should be awarded more than nominal damages following his arrest in 2007, which was unlawful because the arresting officer did not have the grounds for arrest in mind (the intended arresting officer having been unable to perform the arrest as a result of being delayed in traffic).  The Court of Appeal held that, since Barrymore could and would have been arrested lawfully if the correct procedures had been followed, he had suffered no loss and was only entitled to nominal damages.

John Beggs QC and Cecily White acted for the Chief Constable of Essex Police below and in the Court of Appeal and Lord Faulks QC was also instructed on the appeal. Adam Hunt led the team at Essex Police with Tom Walshaw at DAC Beachcroft as the instructing solicitor.

Analysis of the case and a copy of the judgment are available on our UK Police Law Bog here. BBC coverage of the decision is here.

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Gerry Boyle QC successfully defends Cheshire police chief in misconduct inquiry

14th December 2018

Gerry Boyle QC, instructed by Deborah Britstone of 3D Solicitors, has successfully defended the former Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, Simon Byrne, at a gross misconduct hearing. Mr Byrne faced over 70 allegations, all of which were dismissed.

Following Gerry’s cross examination of over 20 witnesses and detailed written and oral closing submissions the Panel ultimately concluded that the proceedings “could and should have been avoided.” The outcome is the latest in a number of high profile successes for Gerry during 2018 on behalf of senior police officers and medical practitioners.

Elliot Gold assisted with complex and significant legal arguments in the case at an earlier stage of the proceedings. Sample press coverage is here.

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Angus Moon QC 1986 | 2006    Joint Head of Chambers
John Beggs QC 1989 | 2009    Joint Head of Chambers
Sir Robert Francis QC 1973 | 1992
James Watson QC 1979 | 2000
Adrian Hopkins QC 1984 | 2003
George Hugh-Jones QC 1983 | 2010
Michael Mylonas QC 1988 | 2012
Chris Daw QC 1993 | 2013
John de Bono QC 1995 | 2014
Dijen Basu QC 1994 | 2015
Nageena Khalique QC 1994 | 2015
Michael Horne QC 1992 | 2016
Katie Gollop QC 1993 | 2016
Bridget Dolan QC 1997 | 2016
Gerard Boyle QC 1992 | 2017
Sarah Clarke QC 1994 | 2017
Debra Powell QC 1995 | 2017
Jon Holl-Allen QC 1990 | 2018
Jemma Lee 2010
Liam Duffy 2012
His Honour Brian Barker CBE QC 1969 | 1990    Associate Member
Natalie Cargill 2016    Associate Member
Huw Lloyd 1975    Door Tenant
Siobhan Goodrich 1980    Door Tenant
Susan Burden 1985    Door Tenant
Charles Foster 1988    Door Tenant
Malcolm Lim 1989    Door Tenant
Anthony Jackson 1995    Door Tenant
Benedict Wray 2009    Door Tenant