Case Summaries: 7 February 2000

Article excerpt

THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Adjudicator

Bouygues UK Ltd v Dahl-Jensen UK Ltd; QBD, Technology and Construction Ct (Dyson J) 17 Nov 1999.

AN ADJUDICATOR'S award in a dispute relating to a building contract would not be enforced by the court if it purported to determine questions outside the adjudicator's terms of reference, because such an award would be of no effect in law. If, however, the award answered the right question but in the wrong manner, the court would not interfere. The purpose of the adjudication scheme was to provide a speedy mechanism for settling disputes in construction contracts on a provisional interim basis. The scheme required decisions of adjudicators to be enforced pending final determination of disputes by arbitration, litigation or agreement, whether those decisions were wrong in point of law or fact. In deciding whether a decision had been made outside an adjudicator's terms of reference, the court should give a fair, natural and sensible interpretation to the decision in the light of the disputes that were the subject of the reference.

Stephen Furst QC (Masons) for B; David Friedman QC, Sean Brannigan (Hammond Suddards) for D.

Agriculture

Swift and anor v Dairywise Farms Ltd and ors; Ch D (Jacob J) 17 Nov 1999.

MILK QUOTA had commercial effect and a legal effect, and merely because there were limitations on how it might be held or conveyed was not a reason for equity to refuse to impose a trust where conscience so required. There was no reason why equity, by analogy, should not treat quota as "property" capable of being the subject of a trust. The fact that quota had to be attached to land merely meant that the trustee could not deal in his land as though the trust was non-existent.

Stephen Davies (Bond Pearce) for the applicants; Paul Teverson (Davies & Partners) for the first, second and third respondents; Kim Lewison QC (Burges Salmon) for the trustees.

Limitation

Norman v Ali; Norman v Aziz; CA (Butler-Sloss P, Otton, Schiemann LJJ) 13 Dec 1999.

A CLAIM for breach of statutory duty under s 143(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 made on the basis that, by permitting his car to be used by a person who was not insured against third party risks in contravention of s 143, the defendant was liable to the claimant in damages as a third party who had been injured by the negligent driving of the uninsured person, was a claim for personal injury within the terms of s 11(1) of the Limitation Act 1980. The limitation period for such an action was, accordingly, three years.

Colin Edelman QC, Ian Lee (Pattinson & Brewer, York) for the claimant; Stephen Stewart QC, Richard Norton (Sedgewick Phelan, Manchester) for the defendant. …