Emerald Supplies Ltd v British Airways: ChD 22 Jul 2015

The judge was hearing a very substantial action between the parties. He had recently travelled to Italy and came back on one of the defendant’s aircraft. The defendant lost the luggage of all passengers and had failed to deal adequately or at all with his complaint. Unfortunately the nature of the complaint had similarities with the facts alleged in the case.
Held: Peter Smith J recused himself: ‘In my view, this was a renewed attempt by BA to get me off the case and they have succeeded. Why have they succeeded, when I do not believe there are any legitimate grounds for making the application?
The simple fact of the matter is the way in which BA have approached it. I had a meeting with the lawyers as soon as I possibly could. The matter, in my view, could have been resolved quite quickly by proper investigation. Instead BA decided, through their lawyers, that I should immediately recuse myself and went down that road immediately. That, to my mind, is unfortunate. On many occasions during this case, when I have been case managing it, I made it clear that cases as complex as this require every lawyer, irrespective of their duty to their clients, to attempt to work together so that the case can be driven to court. This case is now seven years old and we have not even closed the pleadings. That is scandalous. The parties might say with fairness that not a lot of that is necessarily due to them, a sentiment with which I would agree. We all know where it lies. But there has certainly been exploitative attempts in relation to some of the difficulties.
But I have always tried to emphasise that the lawyers really ought to smooth the way. In my view, this could have been very easily smoothed out; unless, of course, BA have been caught out; in which case, of course, if they had just told me, then I would have come out of the case immediately. But they have not done that.’
Peter Smith J
[2015] EWHC 2201 (Ch)
England and Wales
See AlsoEmerald Supplies Ltd and Another v British Airways Plc ChD 8-Apr-2009
The claim was for damages after alleged price fixing by the defendants. The claimants sought to recover for themselves and as representatives of others who had similarly suffered. The defendants sought that the representative element of the claim be . .
See AlsoEmerald Supplies Ltd and Another v British Airways Plc CA 18-Nov-2010
. .
See AlsoEmerald Supplies Ltd and Others v British Airways Plc and Others (3514) ChD 28-Oct-2014
Two applications in this action: 1) The Defendants’ application for the striking out and/or summary dismissal of the Claimants’ claims in the torts of unlawful means conspiracy and unlawful interference; and 2) The Claimants’ application for two . .
See AlsoEmerald Supplies Ltd and Others v British Airways Plc and (3513) ChD 28-Oct-2014
A hearing of an Application whereby the Claimants requested the Court to review (with such judicial assistance as might be necessary) the appropriateness / lawfulness of the redactions made by the Defendant airline (‘BA’) and other airlines to the . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromAir Canada and Others v Emerald Supplies Limited and Others CA 14-Oct-2015
Appeal against case management directions given by Peter Smith J. . .

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Updated: 16 July 2021; Ref: scu.550890