Law Report: Case Summaries

Article excerpt

The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Administration

Powdrill & anr v Watson & anr; CA (Dillon, Leggatt, Henry LJJ); 22 February 1994.

The employees' contracts of employment were adopted by the administrators of Paramount Airways Ltd in the course of the carrying on by them of their functions as administrators of the company within s 19(5) of the Insolvency Act 1986, since all the facts, including the fact that the administrators had taken advantage of the services of the employees, pointed to adoption; and a mere assertion, in letters to the employees, that they were not adopting the contracts had no legal effect.

Michael Crystal QC and Mark Phillips (Wilde Sapte) for the administrators; Robin Potts QC and Richard Snowden (Burrough & Co, Cardiff) for the employees.

Arbitration

Arnold & ors v National Westminster Bank plc; CA (Glidewell, Simon Brown, Peter Gibson LJJ); 9 March 1994.

Section 22 of the Arbitration act 1979, which empowered the High Court to remit a matter referred to it for reconsideration by the arbitrator, did not apply where there had been a change in the law effected by a subsequent authoritative decision which showed the arbitrator had made an error of law.

James Munby QC (Freshfields) for the plaintiffs; Hazel Williamson QC (Stephenson Harwood) for the defendant.

Jury

R v Wilkinson & anr; CA (Cr Div) (Hirst LJ, Tudor Evans, Laws JJ); 18 February 1994.

In a fairly complicated case involving issues of law and fact and three defendants, where it must have been apparent that the summing up would end about halfway through Friday and there was thus a risk that the jury would not reach their verdicts within a reasonable time on Friday evening, the judge should have warned the jury either at the beginning of his summing up, or at the latest on Thursday evening, that they might need to stay in a hotel over Friday night or that the case might be adjourned over the weekend so they could retire on Monday morning.

Frank Gillibrand (who did not appear below) (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Peter J Stage (CPS) for the Crown.

Local government

R v Commissioner for Local Administration, ex p Blakey; QBD (Popplewell J); 7 March 1994.

A commissioner for local administration did not need to conduct a balancing exercise between a councillor's personal interest and his duty towards his constituents when deciding whether he had acted with apparent impropriety in not declaring his personal interest before discussing and voting on proposed bypass routes, since dispensations in the National Code of Local Government Conduct conclusively covered the matter.

Barry Payton (Godlove Pearlman, Leeds) for the applicant; Jeremy Sullivan QC and Charles Lewis (Pulvers, Watford) for the respondent.

Road Traffic

R v Johnson; CA (Cr Div) (Russell LJ, Smith, Dyson JJ); 17 February 1994.

The offence of fraudulently using a vehicle excise licence contrary to s 26(1)(c) of the Vehicles Excise Act 1971 could only be committed where the vehicle was being or had been used on a public road while displaying the offending licence; a future intention to use the vehicle with the licence was not enough. …