Flannery and Another v Halifax Estate Agencies Ltd, Trading As Colleys Professional Services: CA 18 Feb 1999

A judge at first instance taking a view on an expert’s report should give reasons in his judgment for that view. On appeal, where no reasons had been given, he should be asked to provide reasons by affidavit for the appeal. An inadequately reasoned judgment denies the parties, especially but not solely the losing party, the materials necessary to know why the outcome has been what it has and whether it is appealable. The court allowed the appeal, the judge having failed to say why he had preferred the evidence of one expert witness to another.
Henry LJ set out the general duty of a ‘professional judge’ to give reasons stating: ‘where the dispute involves something in the nature of an intellectual exchange, with reasons and analysis advanced on either side, the judge must enter into the issues canvassed before him and explain why he prefers one case over the other.’

Times 04-Mar-1999, Gazette 31-Mar-1999, [1999] EWCA Civ 811, [2000] 1 All ER 373, [2000] 1 WLR 377, (1999) 11 Admin LR 465, [1999] BLR 107, [2000] CP Rep 18, (1999) 15 Const LJ 313
England and Wales
CitedEckersley v Binnie CA 1988
The court considered the duties of a judge considering conflicting expert evidence: ‘In resolving conflicts of expert evidence, the judge remains the judge; he is not obliged to accept evidence simply because it comes from an illustrious source; he . .
CitedRegina v Harrow Crown Court Ex Parte Dave QBD 20-Oct-1993
A Crown Court when sitting as an appellate court must give reasons for its decision. The court reviewed earlier decisions, and concluded that where a court is going to reject expert evidence it must give proper reasons: ‘The appellant was entitled . .
CitedWatt (or Thomas) v Thomas HL 1947
When Scots Appellate Court may set decision aside
The House considered when it was appropriate for an appellate court in Scotland to set aside the judgment at first instance.
Lord Thankerton said: ‘(1) Where a question of fact has been tried by a judge without a jury, and there is no question . .
CitedRegina v Knightsbridge Crown Court ex parte International Sporting Club (London) Ltd and Another QBD 1981
The applicant’s gaming licence had been cancelled by the Gaming Licensing Committee on the grounds that it was not a fit and proper person to hold a gaming licence. The applicant entered a notice of appeal and before the hearing of the appeal . .
CitedArmagas Ltd v Mundogas SA (‘The Ocean Frost’) CA 1985
Proof of corruption not needed for bribe
In establishing that money was paid as an improper inducement or bribe, proof of corruptness or a corrupt motive was unnecessary.
When a court looks at a decision of a judge at first instance, the court stressed the need to look at the . .
CitedRhesa Shipping Co SA v Edmonds (The Popi M) HL 16-May-1985
The Popi M sank in calm seas and fair weather as a result of a large and sudden entry of water into her engine room through her shell plating. The vessel’s owners claimed against her hull and machinery underwriters, contending that the loss was . .

Cited by:
CitedEnglish v Emery Reimbold and Strick Ltd; etc, (Practice Note) CA 30-Apr-2002
Judge’s Reasons Must Show How Reached
In each case appeals were made, following Flannery, complaining of a lack of reasons given by the judge for his decision.
Held: Human Rights jurisprudence required judges to put parties into a position where they could understand how the . .
CitedRichardson and Orme v North Yorkshire County Council CA 19-Dec-2003
The claimants appealed against an order dismissing their application for a judicial review of the respondent’s grant of planning permission. They contended that a councillor with an interest in the matter had wrongfully not been excluded from the . .
CitedGolobiewska v Commissioners of Customs and excise CA 6-May-2005
The owner of a motor vehicle which had been seized by Customs applied to have it restored.
Held: the 1994 Act placed the burden on the applicant to establish that she was entitled to the return of her car, but the standard of proof was the . .
CitedCrossley v Crossley CA 21-Dec-2005
The claimant appealed an order that a house was to be held in equal shares with her son. The house was registered in their joint names, but the transfer contained no declaration of the interests. The house had been originally bought by the mother . .
CitedHicks Developments Ltd v Chaplin and others ChD 5-Feb-2007
The defendants had succeeded in an application before the Land Registry adjudicator for a strip of land adjoining their property to be registered in their name after a finding that they had successfully established a claim by adverse possession. The . .
CitedEE and Brian Smith (1928) Ltd v Hodson and others CA 23-Nov-2007
The defendants appealed grant of an interim injunction to enforce restrictive employment covenants. The second defendant had sold his interest in the claimant company in 2001, but after his consultancy ended, he set up another business, the third . .
CitedMubarak v General Medical Council Admn 20-Nov-2008
The doctor appealed against a finding against him of professional misconduct in the form of a sexualised examination of a female patient.
Held: The reasons given were adequate, and the response of erasure from the register was the only one . .
CitedSibley and Co v Reachbyte Ltd and Another ChD 4-Nov-2008
Solicitors appealed against a costs order made refusing them payment of all of Leading and Junior counsel’s fees.
Held: The leading counsel involved had not provided anything like a detailed account of the time he had spent on what was a . .
CitedBurns v Royal Mail Group Plc (No 2) (Formerly Consignia Plc), Humphrey EAT 14-Jan-2004
The hearing was an adjourned second hearing. The appeal on sex discrimination had been dismissed, and the balance of the claim for constructive unfair dismissal was adjourned. At that adjourned hearing the claimant now sought to re-open the claims . .
CitedReynolds v Stone Rowe Brewer (A Firm) QBD 18-Mar-2008
The solicitors appealed against the assessment of their costs. The judge had found that they had estimated their costs and applied a 15% margin of error.
Held: the judge should have given reasons for his judgment to allow the parties to assess . .
CitedMars UK Ltd T/A Masterfoods v K Parker EAT 24-Oct-2005
EAT Whether an Employment Tribunal took a permissible approach to determining that a dismissal was unfair, in circumstances in which it did not clearly set out the terms of section 98 of the Employment Rights Act . .
CitedWind Prospect Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another Admn 5-Dec-2014
The claimant appealed against refusal of permission to erect a six turbine wind farm. The inspector had recommended the plan, but the defendant had decided against it.
Held: The claim failed. The planning inspector’s report is the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Natural Justice, Litigation Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.145726