Traditionally a quiet time of year. And looking at my blog, Twitter feed, emails and the world in general, it has been really. Just a few nuggets to comment on.
Still more fallout from the surprising decision that AST landlords need to re-serve the deposit-protection information at the beginning of the second (periodic) tenancy as well as at the beginning of the first (usually fixed) tenancy. The protection agencies have washed their hands of the problem, saying they can’t do anything, and even the housing minister Mark Prisk has admitted that it wasn’t what was intended and was a mess (here on the Landlord-Law Blog http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2013/08/13/minister-confirms-that-superstrike-goes-against-the-intention-of-the-deposit-legislation/ ) He hints there might be legislation, but don’t hold your breath.
Not a housing or landlord matter, but an interesting example of the power and speed of modern media. Not only was the journalist’s friend and his detention (on 18th August) highlighted by the immediate media storm (largely on Twitter) but as I type this (20th August) his lawyer’s protocol letter has been published on Twitter more or less at the same time as it was sent, with requests for urgent response by 12.00 tomorrow. The legal argument seems to be whether there was power under the little-known Sch7 Terrorism Act 2000 to interrogate him and seize his belongings, in which case the power might be excessive, or whether there was no power to do so, in which case he should not have been held and has a claim for his detention. Neither are entirely satisfactory results. Too many references to give a lead – best Twitter comments by @JackofKent.
An unusual litigant, in the person of some distant cousins, claiming Judicial Review of the decision to rebury his remains in Leicester Cathedral rather than elsewhere, such as in York which he might have preferred. Amazing decision from Haddon-Cave J on http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2013/B13.html Permission to apply granted, much to Leicester Uni and Cathedral’s annoyance. And everybody’s considerable expense. Apparently one in six of us are indirect descendants of Richard III.
Yes, that sort of distress – by a landlord on a business tenant. The new rules on executions generally envisaged by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcements Act 2007 look like they may at last be brought into effect from 6th April 2014. The regulations (Taking Control of Goods Regls 2013/1894) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1894/contents/made will replace all the old law for seizure by HCEOs, Court Bailiffs and private bailiffs. They are long and complicated and will be followed by two more sets, covering the costs and fees, and the certification regime, but broadly are much the same as the present, with distress (now called TCofG) being limited to business premises, and for rent and by certificated bailiffs only.
Part-Time Judicial Pensions
Following the success of a former Recorder who said that he was entitled to a pro-rata pension with the full-time judiciary, and who won in the SC in February (O’Brien v MoJ) the ET has now assessed how this is to be calculated, and so the case, that started in 2005, may be coming towards an end. Summary in Law Society Gazette http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/full-pension-part-time-judge-supreme-court-battle?utm_source=emailhosts&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GAZ+20%2F08%2F2013
Living where I do I have a lot of interest in the proposed new line, which will pass a few miles from my door, and which may halve the train services from my local stations, without giving any benefit to me, or my region, at all. The cost is distressing, and having risen from some £33bn to some £42bn in the last few months it is even more upsetting to see a report that increases the likely cost to the region of £80bn, and confirm that it will lose money and achieve little. Perhaps somebody will see sense. Summary here http://highspeedrailuk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/network-rail-report-overlooks-cuts.html
Website and Publicity
I’ve spent some time recently working on our new website and in generating publicity for my firm. It all takes an age, but it’s the only way forward. Link here http://www.davidleesolicitors.co.uk That’s the place to go for real lawyering, as opposed to this page of comment and speculation.
So I’m now looking forward to my holidays, and I’ll be back with you in September.