R (Stott) v Secretary of State for Justice was heard on 18 Jan 2018. This appeal was brought bysteels_becky-311x288 a prisoner currently serving an extended determinate sentence for serious sexual offences involving children. He submitted that the statutory provisions on release of extended determinate sentence prisoners, which state that such prisoners are to be eligible for automatic release at the end of their custodial term and for consideration for parole having served two-thirds of this term, are discriminatory and incompatible with ECHR, art 14. The appeal considered whether this is the case, and if, on this basis, the statutory provisions should be declared incompatible with the ECHR, and the House of Lords decision in R (Clift) v SSHD [2007] 1 AC 484 should be departed from.

Cartier International AG & Ors v British Telecommunications Plc & Anor was heard on 30 Jan 2018. This appeal concerned the conditions under which ISPs can be ordered to block, or attempt to block, websites advertising and selling counterfeit copies of goods of which another party owns the trademark. It also considered whether the ISPs should bear the cost of implementing such orders, given that they were not guilty of wrongdoing but were inevitable actors in the infringing activities of the websites involved.

Gavin Edmondson Solicitors Ltd v Haven Insurance Company Ltd was heard on the 5-6 Feb 2018. This appeal arose because, following road traffic accidents, six individuals entered into CFAs with the respondent solicitors’ firm which notified the claims against the appellant insurance firm. However, once the insurer made offers to compromise the claims the individuals accepted these and cancelled their CFAs with the solicitors. The solicitors therefore claimed against the insurance company for its fixed costs which it might have recovered had the claims been settled in accordance with the pre-action protocol. The appeal considered whether the solicitors’ claim for equitable interference for its costs should have been allowed against the appellant insurer.

Warner-Lambert Company LLC v Generics (UK) Ltd t/a Mylan & Anor was heard on the 12-15 Feb 2018. This appeal concerned whether or not the patent for a medical use of pregabalin in the treatment of neuropathic pain should be revoked due to the specification being insufficiently disclosed for it to be performed by a person skilled in the art. The appeal considered the role plausibility should play in the statutory test for sufficiency, whether later evidence can be used if a plausibility test is deemed appropriate to fill the gap, and whether a post-trial application to amend an invalid patent claim to limit it to a part found to be plausible is an abuse of process.

Williams & Anor v London Borough of Hackney was heard on the 14-15 Feb 2018. The appeal considered the lawfulness of the accommodation of the appellants’ children by the respondent under the Children Act 1989, s 20. This was in light of the appellants’ children being taken into police protection following allegations of assault and neglect and then being placed with foster parents by the respondent local authority. Despite the objection of the appellants to this placement, and the discontinuance of the criminal proceedings against them, the children were not returned to them until 6 weeks later and as such the appellants issued proceedings for damages for misfeasance in public office, negligence, religious discrimination and breach of their human rights.

Pimlico Plumbers Ltd & Anor v Smith was heard on the 20-21 Feb 2018. This appeal considered the status of the respondent plumber who was a contractor for the appellant plumbing and maintenance company in respect of whether he was a ‘worker’ within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Working Time Regulations 1998, reg 2, and whether he was in ‘employment’ within the Equality Act 2010, s 83(2)(a).

An NHS Trust & Ors v Y (by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) was heard on the 26-27 Feb 2018. In this case Mr Y suffered a severe hypoxic brain injury as a result of a cardiac arrest leading to a prolonged disorder of consciousness. Medical experts and his family all agreed that Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration (CANH) should be withdrawn as Mr Y was unresponsive. This would have the consequence of Mr Y’s death within several weeks. This led to this appeal in which it was considered whether it is mandatory to bring the withdrawal of CANH from a patient before the court where the clinical team and family all agree it is not in the patient’s interests for him to continue receiving the treatment.

Project Blue Ltd v Commissioners for HMRC was heard on 28 Feb-1 Mar 2018. This appeal considered whether the respondent company was liable for stamp duty land tax in respect of its acquisition of Chelsea Barracks from the Ministry of Defence. This was due to the scheme of transactions which meant the respondent purchased the freehold for the Barracks, sold it to a third party, and then immediately leased it back from them. The appeal concerned which entity was the ‘vendor’ referred to in the Finance Act 2003, s 7.1A(2) and whether s 75A of the act applies to impose tax on the respondent and the amount of chargeable consideration.

R (Gallagher Group Ltd & Ors) v The Competition and Markets Authority was heard on the 13-14 Mar 2018. The appeal arose on the back of the Office of Fair Trading entering into a settlement agreement with a party, TM Retail, after it lost a Tribunal appeal against six other parties regarding the same matter having assured TM Retail that it would get the benefit of any successful appeal by the other parties. In this appeal, the matter considered was whether the principle of fair and equal treatment required the decision-maker to replicate the effect of the assurances it gave to TM Retail in favour of the respondents who were in a comparable position.

Navigators Insurance Company Ltd & Ors v Atlasnavios-Navegacao LDA (formerly Bnavios-Navegacao LDA) was heard on the 20 Mar 2018. In this case, the appellant owned a vessel which was detained when the Venezuelan authorities discovered cocaine strapped to the vessel’s hull. The appellant had taken out insurance on the Institute War and Strikes Clauses 1/10/83 with additional perils; however when they claimed for a constructive N/Atotal loss following the detention of the vessel, the respondents relied on exclusion clause 4.1.5 which excluded losses arising from detainment due to infringement of custom regulations. Thus the appeal concerned whether this clause could operate to exclude a claim where the infringement of customs regulations occurred due to an insured peril.