Friday 15 August 2014

Harassment and the service industry: let the seller beware?

If there has been a more stirring introduction to a court opinion than the following, I haven't read it recently:

“It is one of the glories of this country that every now and then one of its citizens is prepared to take a stand against the big battalions of government or industry. Such a person is Lisa Ferguson, the claimant in this case.”

So said the English Court of Appeal in 2009 when it upheld Ms. Ferguson's complaint against British Gas Trading Ltd, brought under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. To some, Ms. Ferguson may well be a hero; to others, perhaps less so. In any event, on closer consideration, the approach the courts have adopted in this and other applications under the Act is clearly broadening the scope of its applicability far beyond the original intention and, moreover, in ways of direct and critical relevance to the day to day work that clients and their lawyers do. 

Thursday 3 April 2014

The lex Aquilia and the negligent barber

We usually aim to give useful comment and analysis of recent legal developments or topical issues so this post is a bit of a diversion. I can't pretend that it deals with the stuff of current legal moment, but the story of how law evolves is an interesting topic and I am on holiday for the week. The weather has been pretty awful and whilst I know some people whose vacation reading has been restricted to the adventures of the billionaire Christian Grey, I've been re-reading the Digest of Justinian, including the section dealing with the lex Aquilia. Bear with me: I hope it's not as dry as it sounds.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Registering an English judgment for enforcement in Scotland

English solicitors are used to being instructed to raise proceedings against opponents who are based in Scotland, very often by clients who don't see there's a problem.  We lawyers know that, as legal jurisdictions, Scotland and England are quite distinct. There's really little reason, though, why our clients need know or care, at least until they have to consult us.