Cohabiters: remember there is a two year cohabiting period

The claimant’s partner died in a road traffic accident. The claimant appealed against the decision that she was not entitled to claim for loss of dependency under the Fatal Accident Act 1976. She had not been living with the deceased in the same household for two years before his death. The Judge found that the parties were not living together as man and wife. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial Judge’s decision and stated that he was correct in drawing a distinction between wanting and intending to live in the same household, planning to do so and actually doing so.

Kotke -v- Saffarini. Court of Appeal 9th March 2005

Court allows second expert's report

A party who was granted an order of the court to adduce evidence from an unnamed expert witness in the relevant field was entitled to reject his first experts report and to instruct another without seeking permission from the court. However, where the circumstances did require such permission, the imposition of the condition for disclosure of the original report would not breach legal professional privilege. So held the Court of Appeal in a landlord and tenant case.

The parties had been given permission to instruct one expert each in the specialisation of restaurant valuation. The landlord appointed an expert who prepared a draft report but the landlord chose not to rely on that evidence. He then instructed another expert to prepare a second report. The Judge gave the landlord permission to rely on this second report on condition that the first report was disclosed to the tenant. The Court of Appeal found that the Judge was wrong. The order provided for identification of experts only by their field of expertise. It was impossible to hold that the failure in the order to name the first expert was an accidental slip. The terms of the order did not of themselves require the landlord to obtain the permission of the court to rely on the evidence of the second expert, but if the landlord did require permission from the court then the Judge would have been entitled to impose the condition that the report of the first expert be disclosed.

Hajigeorgiou -v- Vasillou. Court of Appeal 10th March 2005

Money Laundering and the Proceeds of Crime Act

The Court of Appeal on 8th March 2005, in a lengthy and complex decision, has held that the Proceeds of Crime Act was not intended to cover the ordinary conduct of litigation by legal professionals, including any step taken in litigation from the issue of proceedings through to final disposal by judgment. Furthermore, the Act does not override legal professional privilege. If information is the subject of legal professional privilege; there is no obligation to disclose the information to the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

Furthermore, the Act does not override the obligation to keep confidential documents disclosed through the disclosure process, nor does it cover consensual settlements within litigation.

Bowman -v- Fels. Court of Appeal 8th March 2005