The claimant appellant alleged that properties she owned were transferred to the first defendant under undue influence or other unconscionable conduct by the second and third defendants. The claim was dismissed. Three years later she claimed to set that judgment aside having been obtained by fraud. To support the allegation she brought evidence not available … Continue reading Takhar v Gracefield Developments Ltd and Others: SC 20 Mar 2019
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any assumption of a duty of care to a third party when purely … Continue reading Hedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd: HL 28 May 1963
The plaintiff bought her apartment, but discovered later that the foundations were defective. The local authority had supervised the compliance with Building Regulations whilst it was being built, but had failed to spot the fault. The authority appealed a finding that it was liable, arguing that the claims were time barred and that it had … Continue reading Anns and Others v Merton London Borough Council: HL 12 May 1977
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a friend, … Continue reading Donoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson: HL 26 May 1932
Land had been compulsorily purchased, and the compensation agreed, but after long delays in payment, not as to the calculation of interest. Held: Interest would be payable from the date of entry. The limitation period arose only once the amount of interest payable was agreed.  EWCA Civ 2555,  1 All ER 33 Bailii … Continue reading Halstead v Council of City of Manchester: CA 23 Oct 1997
Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs  UKSC 14,  2 BCLC 311,  WLR(D) 130 Bailii, Bailii Summary Limitation Act 1980 21 32 England and Wales Limitation Updated: 13 January 2022; Ref: scu.605620
On 19 September 1830 an article was published in the Weekly Dispatch. The limitation period for libel was six years. The article defamed the Duke of Brunswick. Seventeen years after its publication an agent of the Duke purchased a back number containing the article from the Weekly Dispatch’s office. Another copy was obtained from the … Continue reading Duke of Brunswick v Harmer: QBD 2 Nov 1849
The court was asked whether the judge was right to grant summary judgment striking down the first and third appellants’ negligence claims against their solicitors on the grounds that they were issued more than 3 years after they acquired ‘the knowledge required for bringing an action for damages in respect of the relevant damage’ within … Continue reading Blakemores Ldp v Scott and Another: CA 7 Oct 2015
Movement retsriction was not Liberty Deprivation The claimants had been present during a demonstration policed by the respondent. They appealed against dismissal of their claims for false imprisonment having been prevented from leaving Oxford Circus for over seven hours. The claimants appealed against rejection of their claims on human rights law. Held: The appeal failed. … Continue reading Austin and Another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis: HL 28 Jan 2009
The bank had obtained a judgement against the defendant, and took a charging order. Nothing happened for more than twelve years, and the defendant now argued that the order and debt was discharged. Held: The enforcement of the charging order by normal means is not barred by section 20(1), and unlike the position under a … Continue reading Yorkshire Bank Finance Ltd v Mulhall and Another: CA 24 Oct 2008
The court was asked what damages are recoverable in a case where (i) but for the negligence of a professional adviser his client would not have embarked on some course of action, but (ii) part or all of the loss which he suffered by doing so arose from risks which it was no part of … Continue reading BPE Solicitors and Another v Hughes-Holland (In Substitution for Gabriel): SC 22 Mar 2017
May LJ said: ‘Knowledge’ is an ordinary English word with a clear meaning to which one must give full effect; ‘reasonable belief’ or ‘suspicion’ is not enough. The relevant question merits repetition – ‘when did the appellant first know that his dermatitis was capable of being attributed to his conditions at work?.’ May LJ Unreported, … Continue reading Davis v Ministry of Defence: CA 26 Jul 1985
The parties’ respective properties were separated by a fence or hedge and the true owner had no access to the disputed land. In 1967 the Defendants’ predecessors in title began to maintain the land by mowing the grass and trimming the hedges and using the land for their own purposes. The evidence was that the … Continue reading Buckinghamshire County Council v Moran: CA 13 Feb 1989
Intention to Establish Adverse Possession of Land A squatter had occupied the land and defended a claim for possession. The court discussed the conditions necessary to establish an intention to possess land adversely to the paper owner. Held: Slade J said: ‘It will be convenient to begin by restating a few basic principles relating to … Continue reading Powell v McFarlane: ChD 1977
Disapplication of Without Prejudice Rules The House was asked whether a letter sent during without prejudice negotiations which acknowledged a debt was admissible to restart the limitation period. An advice centre, acting for the borrower had written, in answer to a claim by the lender for the sum still due after the sale of the … Continue reading Bradford and Bingley Plc v Rashid: HL 12 Jul 2006
The claimants sought ownership by adverse possession of land. Once the paper owner had been found, they indicated a readiness to purchase their interest. The court had found that this letter contradicted an animus possidendi. The claimant had overstayed the expiration of a grazing tenancy, and been asked to leave but had not been dispossessed. … Continue reading J A Pye (Oxford) Ltd and Others v Graham and Another: HL 4 Jul 2002
The registered proprietor of land appealed a finding that the defendant had established adverse possession of their land. The claimant had occupied it as part of his farm. Originally there had been a grazing tenancy. The tenancy was terminated, and the land sold, but he did not vacate the land. The new owner granted a … Continue reading Topplan Estates Ltd v David Townley: CA 27 Oct 2004
The claimant challenged the Order as regards the prescription of the morning-after pill, asserting that the pill would cause miscarriages, and that therefore the use would be an offence under the 1861 Act. Held: ‘SPUC’s case is that any interference with a fertilised egg, if it leads to the loss of the egg, involves the … Continue reading Regina (Smeaton) v Secretary of State for Health and Others: Admn 18 Apr 2002
The first defendant solicitor misappropriated money from an estate he was administering. The beneficiaries later commenced proceedings against his wife, alleging knowing assistance. She said that that claim was out of time. The claimant responded said that any limitation period was disapplied as ‘any fraud or fraudulent breach of trust to which the trustee was … Continue reading Cattley and Another v Pollard and Another: ChD 7 Dec 2006
The court was asked under what circumstances it should exercise its discretion to extend the limitation period under section 33. Held: Lady Justice Smith said: ‘It appears to me that there is now a long line of authority to support the proposition that, in a case where the defendant has had early notice of the … Continue reading Cain v Francis: CA 18 Dec 2008
Foetus has no Established Human Rights The Claimants sought a declaration that section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967, as amended, is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’), as well as some other remedies. The claimant had Down’s Syndrome, and complained the readiness to abort foetuses with identified Down’s genes – more … Continue reading Crowter and Others, Regina (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Health And Social Care: Admn 23 Sep 2021
Each of six claimants sought to pursue claims for damages for sexual assaults which would otherwise be time barred under the 1980 Act after six years. They sought to have the House depart from Stubbings and allow a discretion to the court to extend the limitation period. The House was also asked as to whether … Continue reading A v Hoare: HL 30 Jan 2008
Appeals were made after an order declaring an account a between former partners in a wholesale fruit and vegetable business. The dispute related to the applicability of limitation to undrawn profit shares, and the doctrine of Laches. Held: The judge had been entitled to find on the evidence that undrawn profits had been capitalised. There … Continue reading Hopper and Another v Hopper: CA 12 Dec 2008
The claimants appealed against rejection of their claim in negligence said to have been out of time. They had set out to sublet flats but their mistiming disallowed reclaiming of certain rents under the 1993 Act. Held: The two flats were to be considered seperately, and on that basis the claim under the second had … Continue reading St Anselm Development Company Ltd v Slaughter and May: ChD 1 Feb 2013
The defendant sought to re-open the question of whether the charge under which he might otherwise be liable was an extortionate credit bargain. The creditor said that that plea was time barred. The defendant argued that a finding that the agreement amounted to an extortionate bargain would not be a substantive relief, and was therefore … Continue reading Nolan v Wright: ChD 26 Feb 2009
The tax payer had overpaid Advance Corporation Tax under an error of law. It sought repayment. The revenue contended that the claim was time barred. Held: The claim was in restitution, and the limitation period began to run from the date when the claimants discovered their mistake. The appellants had submitted that section 33 of … Continue reading Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Group Plc v Inland Revenue and Another: HL 25 Oct 2006
In the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce, questions arose regarding company assets owned by the husband. The court was asked as to the power of the court to order the transfer of assets owned entirely in the company’s names. The judge had made such an order, finding evidence that the companies had … Continue reading Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others: SC 12 Jun 2013
The appellants were teachers in Christian schools who said that the blanket ban on corporal punishment interfered with their religious freedom. They saw moderate physical discipline as an essential part of educating children in a Christian manner. Held: The appeal was dismissed. For Article 9 to be engaged (aside from certain other threshold conditions) the … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for Education and Employment and others ex parte Williamson and others: HL 24 Feb 2005
The Movement sought to challenge decisions of the Secretary of state to give economic aid to the Pergau Dam, saying that it was not required ‘for the purpose of promoting the development’ of Malaysia. It was said to be uneconomic and damaging. It was said by the defendant’s advisers to be an abuse of the … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ex Parte the World Development Movement Ltd: Admn 10 Nov 1994
Each claimant sought damages for a criminal assault for which the defendant was said to be responsible. Each claim was to be out of the six year limitation period. In the first claim, the proposed defendant had since won a substantial sum from the National Lottery. They complained that the Limitation Act gave the court … Continue reading A v Hoare; H v Suffolk County Council, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening; X and Y v London Borough of Wandsworth: CA 12 Apr 2006
The appellant, former chair of a road activist group, challenged certain roads orders saying that the respondent had not carried out the required environmental assessment. His claim was that the road had been adopted without the consultation required by the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (‘the SEA Directive’), and that that the scope of the public … Continue reading Walton v The Scottish Ministers: SC 17 Oct 2012
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for damages after alleging sexual abuse by a catholic priest. The judge had found the church not vicariously liable for the injuries, and that the archdiocese had not been under a duty further to pursue the investigation of the reports received by them at the time. The … Continue reading Maga v The Trustees of The Birmingham Archdiocese of The Roman Catholic Church: CA 16 Mar 2010
A mother signed a mortgage deed charging her property to H as security for a loan to her son. She claimed the solicitor had been negligent in his advice. The solicitor replied that the claim was out of time. The loss accrued not when demand for payment was made, but when she signed the mortgage … Continue reading Forster v Outred and Co: CA 1981
The defendant had been convicted of animal cruelty. She appealed to the Crown Court, and now appealed against rulings made by the judge as to the time limits for a prosecution under the 2006 Act in the Magistrates Court. She said that the RSPCA conducting a private prosecution was not a ‘prosecutor’ able to take … Continue reading Lamont-Perkins v Royal Society for The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (RSPCA): Admn 24 Apr 2012
There are no degrees of nullity The plaintiffs had owned mining property in Egypt. Their interests were damaged and or sequestrated and they sought compensation from the Respondent Commission. The plaintiffs brought an action for the declaration rejecting their claims was a nullity. The Commission replied that the courts were precluded from considering the question … Continue reading Anisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission: HL 17 Dec 1968
LRA Application to close registered title by documentary title owners/ first registration of possessory title based on adverse possession/ Whether factual and mental elements of adverse possession established/ Whether the occupation was with consent/ Whether witness statements made by their apparent author/ whether a witness offered an inducement to give evidence/ Whether a further adjournment … Continue reading Phillips and Others v Vaughan: LRA 4 Mar 2016
Extent of Counsel’s Immunity in Negligence The House considered the extent of a barrister’s immunity from action in negligence, and particularly whether it covered pre-trial acts or omissions in connection with civil proceedings. Held: A barrister’s immunity from suit extended only to such pre-trial work as was intimately connected with the conduct of the case … Continue reading Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell and Co (a Firm): HL 1978
The claimants alleged professional negligence by the defendant solicitors in advising them to agree to a postponment of a completion. The defendants raised as a preliminary issue the question of limitation. The claimant said that the limitation period did not commence until the damage became more than contingent. Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. Arden LJ … Continue reading Watkins and Another v Jones Maidment Wilson (A Firm): CA 4 Mar 2008
The applicant alleged that the rule under United Kingdom law whereby each time material is downloaded from the Internet a new cause of action in libel proceedings accrued (‘the Internet publication rule’) constituted an unjustifiable and disproportionate restriction on its right to freedom of expression. Held: The rule did engage the claimants right of free … Continue reading Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v The United Kingdom: ECHR 10 Mar 2009
The activities of a long established cricket club had been found to be a legal nuisance, because of the number of cricket balls landing in the gardens of neighbouring houses. An injunction had been granted to local householders who complained of cricket balls landing in their gardens. The defendant appealed. Held: A factor to be … Continue reading Miller v Jackson: CA 6 Apr 1977
Simple interest only on rate swap damages The bank had paid money to the local authority under a contract which turned out to be ultra vires and void. The question was whether, in addition to ordering the repayment of the money to the bank on unjust enrichment principles, the court could also award compound interest. … Continue reading Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale v Islington London Borough Council: HL 22 May 1996
Two actions for defamation were brought by the claimant against the defendant. The publication reported in detail allegations made against the claimant of criminal activities including money-laundering on a vast scale. They admitted the defamatory nature of the words, but claimed qualified Reynolds privilege. They said that as responsible journalists they had a duty to … Continue reading Loutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (Nos 2 to 5): CA 5 Dec 2001
Where an action had been begun on basis of allegations of negligence and breach of trust, new allegations of fraud where quite separate new causes of claim, and went beyond amendments and were disallowed outside the relevant limitation period. Sections 23 and 36 and the absence of express statutory mention in the 1980 Act of … Continue reading Paragon Finance Plc (Formerly Known As National Home Loans Corporation Plc v D B Thakerar and Co (a Firm); Ranga and Co (a Firm) and Sterling Financial Services Limited: CA 21 Jul 1998
An action for negligence against a solicitor was defended by saying that the claim was out of time. The claimant responded that the solicitor had not told him of the circumstances which would lead to the claim, and that deliberate concealment should extend the limitation period. Held: Brocklesby was wrongly decided. Section 32 should deprive … Continue reading Cave v Robinson Jarvis and Rolf (a Firm): HL 25 Apr 2002
The plaintiff had a history of circulatory problems in his legs. He underwent surgery losing his leg. The question was when he should have sought advice as to why an attempted by-pass operation had resulted in one leg having to be amputated. He enquired why only some 10 years after the event. He was told … Continue reading Forbes v Wandsworth Health Authority: CA 21 Mar 1996
The defendant appealed against the disapplication of section 11 of the 1980 Act under section 33. Held: The appeal succeeded. The defendant had not contributed significantly to the delay: ‘the defendant received claims quite different in magnitude from anything notified to them before, almost seven years to the day after the accident, and where there … Continue reading McDonnell and Another v Walker: CA 24 Nov 2009
The claimant wished to begin a claim alleging historic sexual abuse while he had been at an institution run by the defendants. The claimant sought pre-trial disclosure of various documents and the court now considered the principle applicable, and in particular the roles of Data Protection law and the Civil Procedure Rules. Held: The Council’s … Continue reading Durham County Council v Dunn: CA 13 Dec 2012
Nine police officers claimed damages for alleged harassment under the 1997 Act by a senior officer in having bullied them and ordered them to carry out unlawful procedures. Amendments were sought which were alleged to be out of time and to have arisen from different facts. Held: Amendments were allowed where they arose from the … Continue reading Dowson and Others v Northumbria Police: QBD 30 Apr 2009
LRA Adverse possession – nature of possessory title – disapplication of Limitation Act 1980 to possessory title – effect of closing a possessory title – interrelation between Section 96 of and Paragraph 5 . .
The plaintiff, the mother and administratrix of the estate of a 16 year old girl, alleged that her daughter had been murdered by one or both of the Defendants. The claim was for damages for battery. Rougier J at first instance had decided that: . .
The claimants had been air passengers who were unlawfully detained in Kuwait, when their plane was captured whilst on the ground on the invasion of Kuwait. They sought damages for that detention.
Held: There are no exceptions to the Warsaw . .
This appeal raises a question about the interpretation of article 16 of the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 (‘the Athens Convention’) and its application to the Scots law of limitation of . .
The Court was asked whether the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (‘the Commissioner’) owes a duty to her officers, in the conduct of proceedings against her based on their alleged misconduct, to take reasonable care to protect them from . .
The claimant had been a passenger in a car driven by his now partner. They had an accident in New South Wales. The car was insured in Australia. He sought leave to sue in England and Wales because Australian law would limit the damages.
Held: . .
The parties agreed that damages were payable in an action for restitution, but the sum depended upon to a calculation of interest. They disputed whether such interest should be calculated on a simple or compound basis. The company sought compound . .
The plaintiff issued proceedings against her father and mother, alleging physical and sexual abuse against her father and want of parental care against her mother. The claim against the father was in trespass, but that against her mother was in . .
Members of Lloyd’s who faced re-insurance underwriting liabilities alleged negligence on the part of the active underwriter, their members’ agents and their syndicates’ managing agents. Limitation defences were raised.
Held: Mere knowledge of . .
The plaintiff loaned money on the basis of a negligent survey by the defendant. The borrower subsequently defaulted, and the lender issued a writ. The defendant said that the claim was time barred.
Held: The court allowed the plaintiff’s . .
The claimant was seriously ill and claimed that this arose from exposure to asbestos fibres working for the defendant many years before. He now sought an extension of time to make the claim.
Held: The court upheld the limitation defences of . .
The plaintiff’s car was struck by a company car driven by the defendant in the course of her employment and she sought damages. Her action, against the employer, was struck out as late under the 1980 Act. She then commenced an action against the . .
An administrator de son tort, who was also a beneficiary, held the estate property on trust, and so could not establish adverse possession against the estate during the period of trusteeship. He held a sufficient interest in the assets already. A . .
The plaintiff was treated for depression by the defendant by prescription of drugs. She sufferred a reaction, but now claimed that the doctor’s slow reaction caused her to suffer lasting injury. The question on appeal was, if a plaintiff suffers . .
The claimants appealed from rejection of their claims for losses saying that such losses had been caused by their solicitors in failing properly to identify the tenant and the relevant lease when issuing notices to quit. The solicitors argued that . .
The court considered an extension of the time for claiming damages for personal injuries after the claimants said they had been sexually abused as children in the care of the defendants.
Held: The test to be applied under section 14(2) was . .
The claimant sought to enforce an arbitration award made in 1983. Time might otherwise have expired, but the claimants relied on a fax which they said was an acknowledgement of the debt, and also upon a finding in a Romanian court which created an . .
The plaintiff sought damages for deafness following exposure to excessive noise during his employment with the first and second defendants some 20 to 35 years previously. He issued his writ six years after the date of knowledge under LA section 14 . .
The plaintiffs had discovered that the defendant surveyors had negligently failed to observe that there was dry rot but did not start proceedings until other negligence was discovered more than six years later.
Held: Although the negligent . .
The deceased had begun an action on becoming ill after exposure to asbestos by the defendant. He withdrew his action after receiving expert evidence that his illness was unrelated. A post-mortem examination showed this evidence to be mistaken. His . .
The claimant applied for leave to bring an action for race discrimination nine years after the acts complained of. Leave was granted. The respondent said the tribunal should have heard the complaint first before deciding to extend time.
Held: . .
Appeal against finding that a local authority was not responsible for the sexual abuse of the appellant whilst with foster carers as a child.
Held: As to whether the duty as non-delegable, such a duty must relate to a function which the local . .
The claimant’s bungalow suffered subsidence. Repair works were undertaken as advised by the defendants, but unsuccessfully. The claimant’s insurers instructed experts negotiators to investigate with a view to a claim. The defendants now claimed the . .
The claimant had undergone heart surgery as an infant in 1976, and claimed damages for professional negligence. The procedure involved a dangerous procedure, a resection of coarctation. As a consequence, the Claimant suffered a number of problems . .
The court was asked whether, when a claim was issued towards the very end of a limitation period, but was then not served, and the claim was struck out, CPR Part 7.5(1) gave a further four months in which it could be resurrected at the discretion of . .
The dispute followed the grounding of a tanker the Ocean Victory. The ship was working outside of a safe port requirement in the charterparty agreement. The contract required the purchase of insurance against maritime war and protection and . .
In claims for damages for child abuse at a children’s home made out of the six year time limit time were effectively time barred, with no discretion for the court to extend that limit. The damage occurred at the time when the child left the home. A . .
The plaintiff, injured in an accident, pleaded trespass to the person, which was not a breach of duty within the proviso to the section, in order to achieve the advantages of a six-year limitation period.
Held: Trespass is strictly speaking . .
The University applied to have struck out the claim by the claimant for damages alleging negligence in its teaching leading to a lower class degree than he said he should have been awarded.
Held: Strike out on the basis that the claim was . .
References: (1992) 96 DLR (4th) 289,  3 SCR 6, 14 CCLT (2d) 1, AZ-92111111, EYB 1992-67549, JE 92-1644,  SCJ No 85 (QL), 36 ACWS (3d) 466, 57 OAC 321 Links: Canlii Coram: La Forest, L’Heureux-Dube, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Iacobucci JJ Supreme Court of Canada – Limitation of actions – Torts – … Continue reading KM v HM; 29 Oct 1992
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