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Plane damaged by bird strike may result in compensation to passengers

An Airbus 321 travelling from Russia to Crimea has crash-landed in a field as a result of damage caused by a flock of birds that were sucked into the plane’s engines. Although there were no deaths caused by the impact, some passengers experienced injuries, and all suffered significant delays. As a result of this the passengers may be able to make a claim under the Montreal Convention 1999 (the ‘Convention’) for a non-EU flight. Article 19 of the Convention states that “the carrier is liable for damage occasioned in the carriage by air of passengers, baggage or cargo” however, the carrier will not be liable if “it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or……

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Supreme Court rules that all courts and tribunals are subject to the open justice principle

The Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring (Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK) [2019] that all courts and tribunals that exercise the judicial power of the state are subject to the ‘open justice’ principle. The principles of open justice are that the public can understand and scrutinise the court, thereby enabling the public to understand the issues and evidence that is provided by parties. Civil proceedings have moved from being dominated by oral evidence to proceedings that generate a great deal of written evidence. As this movement has continued, questions have arisen as to how much of the written material placed before the court in a civil action should be accessible to those who are not parties……

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British Airways data breach results in a potential fine of £183m.

British Airways (‘BA’) are facing a historic fine of £183m following a major data breach  reported by the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) on 6th September 2018 in which hackers successfully stole customers’ personal data consisting of passenger login details, card details, addresses and travel booking information. The ICO had previously reported that the personal data of around 500,000 passengers was stolen from BA’s website and the mobile app in a different data breach which purportedly started in June 2018. Following the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) on 25th May 2018, this is the first penalty for a personal data breach that has been made public and it demonstrates the serious nature of the approach undertaken by the ICO when personal……

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Heathrow’s third runway mass expansion

The potential knock-on effect for the rest of the UK’s airports if the plan for a 3rd runway at Heathrow gets the green light have been revealed and it does not look promising. If Britain wants to meet its climate targets, then no further airport expansions will be possible until 2050. Given that carbon-neutral plane engines are still some way away from becoming the norm, further expansions seem impossible. The Head of the committee on climate change, Lord Deben told Sky News “If Heathrow is built it has to be built within the envelope of emissions which we have allowed for aviation. It has knock-on effects. It means you can’t build similar things elsewhere in the country… It is for the government to decide what……

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North Face – Red Faced Apology Over Wikipedia ‘Hack’

North Face has apologised for manipulating Wikipedia to boost its Google search results. The well-known US clothing brand, which emerged from humble beginnings as a retailer of specialist climbing gear, came under sharp criticism when its new ad campaign video explaining what it had done, was shared online by Advertising Age. In the campaign video, North face proudly announced how they had “hacked” the search rankings using Wikipedia pages and it cost “nothing”. Further boasting how they cleverly noticed; “before going on a trip, everyone does a google search” and “most of the time, the first image is from Wikipedia”, so they “did what no one has done before”. They photographed models wearing their brand in more than 15 adventurous places, including Brazil’s Guarita State……

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Does Social Media = Jail Time?

Fraudulent litigants be warned! Have you been entirely truthful? If not, you may fall foul to your own Social Media history! The recent Court of Appeal judgment in Zurich Insurance PLC v David Romaine, [2019] EWCA Civ 851 (CA), makes it clear that committal proceedings can be brought against a litigant whose Social Media activity, in this case a Facebook account, reveals dishonesty. The claimant issued personal injury proceedings against his former employer for noise induced hearing loss relying on a medical report which stated that he; ‘had not had any noisy hobbies’. The appellant solicitors commissioned an ‘intelligence report’, in which the claimants Social Media history was inspected, revealing that he was a motorbike enthusiast and performed in a live rock band. This was……

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London Stansted is the worst airport for flight delays in 2018

The Press Association has released a report on its analysis of the Civil Aviation Authority, (CAA), delay data, for all scheduled and chartered flights in 2018 across 24 major UK airports. It shows Stansted had the longest average flight delays of any airport in Britain last year, as passengers were kept waiting on average 25 minutes. While the average flight delay across all the featured airports was 16 minutes. Stansted is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and a hub for several low-cost eastern European airlines, as well as being Ryanair’s biggest base, it also covers significant operations by EasyJet and Jet2. A spokesperson for Stansted blamed “a particularly challenging summer last year,” adding that “adverse weather and air traffic control issues had a……

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Wizz Air! Get on board!

The UK’s airline of choice Post-Brexit, (potentially). So, who are Wizz Air and why might they become the UK holiday makers airline of choice Post-Brexit? Jozsef Varadi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air, the Budapest-based airline, which offers routes from London to fast-growing non-EU destinations, takes a refreshingly frank but confident approach in answer to Brexit complications for airlines. Varadi, simply finds the furore around Brexit ‘tiring’ and ‘would like to see the end of it, whatever it is.’ This contrasts with the cautious approach taken by some rivals. EasyJet recently raised concerns about how Brexit will affect demand. No such worries for Wizz Air as, according to Varadi, demand remains robust, while ‘current performance … is pretty solid’, with net profit for the year……

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Norwegian Airlines losses revealed.

Norwegian airlines suffered a loss of £133.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. They are reassessing their financial situation since the impermanent global ban was incorporated on MAX 8 operations as the aircraft was involved in two accidents in a short space of time. The airline currently has eighteen 737 Max 8’s and several deliveries have been placed on hold. The chief executive of Norwegian Airlines said, he has numerous meetings with BA to discuss the negative effects on grounding to eliminate the problems the MAX 8 is causing Norwegian Airlines and the wider industry. He also stated the airline has been doing everything to ensure flights are carried out as normal by using wet lease companies when needed. After suffering such a drastic……

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Samsung Galaxy S10’s connection failure.

Samsung have released their Galaxy S10 in Korea and it is already generating several connection complaints! Korea states that Galaxy S10 users have no problems connecting to 5G, the issue occurs when customers connect to their LTE after being connected to 5G. Interestingly enough the phone does not recover its connection until users have rebooted their phone numerous times. The Galaxy S10 5G is only available in Korea, it is expected to launch in the US on May 16 to Verizons network on a short-term basis. The Galaxy S10 is the fourth smartphone within the Galaxy S10 line-up. In response to the issues, Samsung have delivered the relevant software needed for the phone to switch independently to each network. Regardless it is still bad news……

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Keeping up with airline trends!

In the competitive world of aviation, airlines are constantly trying to outshine their rivals. Aerospace companies are continuously looking at alternatives on how to advance current passenger experience. Over 500 exhibitors attended the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, this is the biggest showcase for cabin innovation. Several exhibitors presented new in-flight entertainment systems, new seats, lights, materials and creative layout ideas. Below is a list of the key trends discovered at the show. Feel at home. Airlines are going for a “warmer” feeling. Lantal Textiles AG, an aircraft fabric manufacturer produced softer cabin curtains with a plush three-dimensional weave. They also showcased flooring that sets a relaxing atmosphere in the cabin space. Mood lighting is quite a popular element at the moment. Collins Aerospace……

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Apple tracks you!

Apple keeps a record of all frequent locations visited as the iPhone tracks your duration spent at the location and what type of transportation was used to get there. This is done by a small device which logs all your locations and how many times you have visited them by tracking your ‘Significant Locations’. Apple claim this allows them to provide a personalised service such as traffic routes and help in building photo memories. Google also records user’s location data, through location history found if you have a Google account activated on your phone. The location data is encrypted and stored on your iPhone and it is not distributed without consent. Do look at this part of your device, it is a bit creepy. If……

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Wow Air failure leaves thousands of passengers stranded.

Iceland’s Wow Air ceased operations and cancelled their flights resulting in passengers being left stranded. Passengers traveling with Wow Air are advised to book with other airlines. Airlines may offer rescue fares or flights at a reduced fare, the travel editor for the independent said he did not think other airlines would intervene as they have no intention of making a profit from a bad situation. Wow were selling flight tickets until 07:00 on the morning they went bankrupt. There is a possibility of compensation if passengers booked their flights through a package, they may be entitled to get their money back as they were part of an ATOL. If this is not applicable to passengers, then they might be able to claim their money……

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Are Unqualified Advisers Your (McKenzie) Friend? Duty of Care Explained

The High Court has provided helpful guidance as to the duty of care which legal advisors, such as McKenzie Friends, owe to its clients in the recent case of Paul Wright v Troy Lucas (A Firm) & George Rusz. It was ruled that if an unqualified legal advisor hold themselves out as a competent legal professional, then they will owe the same standard of duty of care as a competent legal professional. In 2004, following a negligent operation at the Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation, Mr Paul Wright, aged 70, was left with three plastic bags inside his body; he suffered severe injuries and was left permanently disabled as a result. Mr Wright sought the assistance of Mr George Rusz, by way of……

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Apple Patents iPhone camera change.

Leaks about Apple’s innovation always seem to come from Apple. Secretly, Apple has lodged a patent about their new iPhone. Apple is going to release an iPhone that will tell you when to take a photo and the camera will open automatically. Yes, you heard that correctly. The hardware for this production has been confirmed and it is due to feature in iPhones this year. Apple explains how this will work. The automatic camera will activate once detecting an intent to take a photograph or video. This will be effective when the phone is placed in a typical photography position, then the camera will open automatically. Apple filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office on 17 January 2019. The motion to detect……

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The demise of the Airbus A380.

Airbus SE have recently announced their decision to stop the production of the model A380 by 2021, which was delivered by Tom Enders the Airbus Chief Executive. The Airbus A380 at the start of its production was the spacious, quieter and more comfortable alternative for passengers. As a result of the halted model production, Airbus has estimated at least 3,500 jobs to be affected. The company’s largest consumer, Emirates are said to be decreasing their order from 53 aircrafts down to a mere 14 aircrafts. The A380 for many years had been a popular aircraft among its buyers and therefore had struggled to keep up with their orders, making their decision a turning point for many in the aviation industry. Despite their popularity, Airbus encountered……

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women everywhere. It is a celebration of women’s rights. The first International Women’s Day gathering was in 1911 and was supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. It is difficult to say when International Women’s Day began. It can be traced to 1908, when over 15, 000 women marched in New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours. In 1910, Clara Zetkin, leader of the women’s office for the Social democratic party in Germany proposed the idea that every country should celebrate on the same day ‘Woman’s Day’. It was a time when, in the UK, woman weren’t……

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Lithium-ion batteries

The advent of the smartphone and tablet devices in the last decade has led to a sharp rise in the number of portable electronic devices that passengers are carrying on planes. Most personal electronic devices use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.  A fault or damage to a lithium-ion battery increases the risk that the battery will short circuit and catch fire.  As a lithium-ion battery ages, the risk of a fault with the battery increases.  Therefore, the risk of the battery short-circuiting and catching fire also increases. The increase in the number of personal electronic devices being carried by passengers increase the risk of a lithium-ion battery fire on a plane. While lithium-ion battery fires are still relatively rare, they are increasing.  The Federal Aviation Administration……

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Blanche v easyJet – lifting the veil on ATC decisions?

  The Court of Appeal confirms that compensation under Regulation 261/2004 is not payable by carriers when delays/cancellations caused by air traffic control 1. On 6 February 2019, the Court of Appeal (“CoA”) handed down judgment in the case of Daniel Blanche v easyJet Airline Company Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 69 (“Blanche”). The case concerned whether a court, in determining a claim for flight delay/cancellation compensation pursuant to EU Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 (“the Regulation”), needed to examine the underlying reasons behind a decision made by air traffic control (“ATC”). Facts of the case The appellant/claimant was booked to travel with the respondent/defendant from Brussels (“BRU”) to London Gatwick (“LGW”) on 10 October 2014 (“the flight”). The flight departed late and arrived into Brussels 5……

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Welcoming 5G this year.

Brand new technology is arriving on our door step. From brick phones to smart phones to wireless technology we are now embracing the fifth-generation cellular, known as 5G. The new innovation will drastically affect other devices, such as security cameras, industrial robots, drones and cars that communicate traffic data. 5G will override the looks of 3G and 4G, by allowing people to download digital media, including whole movies, in seconds. The new market creation will revolutionise video games, sports, shopping and social media, by taking digital media to a whole new level. What is 5G? Essentially 5G defines the incoming of a mobile cellular network together with radio performance, computer components and antennas covering radio signals and exchanging data. To benefit from 5G, users will……

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Celebrities warned about social media conduct.

Whitestone Chambers 4 King’s Bench Walk Temple, London, EC4Y 7DL Tel: 020 7822 8822 Fax: 020 7822 8844 www.whitestonechambers.com Celebrities warned about social media conduct. Sixteen UK based celebrities have entered into a formal agreement with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stating that they will not continue to advertise brands on social media without declaring it to their followers and viewers. The CMA launched an investigation after they discovered that numerous celebrities and online influencers were being paid to advertise products without declaring this to their impressionable fan bases. It found that paid product placements were not always being made clear, leading to fears that consumers could mistake them for personal recommendations from their online heroes. The CMA have not gone as far to……

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Top 10 Airlines – 2019 announced by AirlineRatings.com.

Singapore Airlines Air New Zealand Qantas Qatar Airways Virgin Australia Emirates All Nippon Airways EVA Air Cathay Pacific Airways Japan Airlines Singapore Airlines. In 2018 Singapore Airlines came third place. Now they have overshadowed Qantas and Air New Zealand by taking first place. The Airline won ‘Worlds Best Airline 2019’ by AirlineRatings.com due to their innovation, new products and world-renowned inflight service. Singapore Airlines have also begun direct flights from Singapore to New York. Air New Zealand. Former five-time winner falls to second place with best premium economy and best Airline. The Airline has been busy increasing international and domestic markets. Qantas. Received third place, along with winning the best domestic service and best lounges. The Airlines customer approval rating is consistently high, and their……

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Happy New Year & Cyber Security – 6 new steps to consider in 2019.

Malware attacks, data breaches, security hacks and microtargeted personalized advertising all formed part of the digital low life in 2018. In order to keep up with the modern world, technologies must advance. So how does one keep up with security and software protection. With the commencement of 2019 and new software releases, here are a few tips on keeping your digital life free from manipulative use. Create boundaries and abide by them. Research shows the best way to stay safe is by setting boundaries. Agree on what data you are happy to share involving online services and apps and stay bound to it. This is preparation for when you are asked to share data falling out of any agreement.  Consider reducing your time spent on……

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As 2019 starts up – Whitestone looks back at the top stories of 2018.

Apple and Samsung’s ongoing legal battle is over. A legal battle that nobody thought would ever end. Eventually both tech companies settled out of court after arguing all the way up to the supreme court for seven years. The dispute was over ‘stolen tech’. Supreme Court weighs in on location data. The Supreme Court ruled that if your past location data needs to be accessed, the law enforcement must attain a warrant. Prior to this, authorities were able to retrieve the data from a third party with access to that data. The death of Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking died at his home in Cambridge on 14/01/2018. He died at 76 after having suffered from Motor Neurone Disease. He was a remarkable physicist and an author…….

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Happy New Year  –  United Airlines ban puppies and kittens from flights

As of January 7th, 2019, United Airlines have banned ALL emotional support animals on long haul flights. United Airlines has recently decided to forbid animals on flights under the influence of Delta. Delta is their biggest competitor who prohibited puppies and kittens on board in December 2018. United is only allowing emotional support cats and dogs to attend flights no longer than eight hours. Puppies and kittens under four months are not permitted to travel on any flights. The new enforcement is effective from January 7th, 2019. However, United has made allowances for passengers travelling with animals who booked before January 3rd. However miniature horses and cats and dogs acting as service animals will be accepted on board. Support and service animals can fly for……

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How ‘common’ is your ATM pin?

It is a common fact that people are naturally bad at selecting tedious and obscure pin numbers. The most common pin number is the staggeringly predictable  ‘1234’.Whilst that is bad, the list of top 15 most common pins is also an obvious read. Top 15 pins; 1234 1111 0000 1212 7777 1004 2000 4444 2222 6969 9999 3333 5555 6666 1122 (https://gizmodo.com/5946582/the-20-most-common-pins-are-painfully-obvious) Yet people still think they have a ‘tough enough’ pin number, despite most people’s being entirely guessable. The percentage of pin hacks has increased in 2018 by 12% leaving it at 54%.. Let’s hope we can reduce this percentage in 2019. So, how to come up with a good pin number? First tip, avoid all the pin numbers above! Pick something slightly more……

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The potential impact of Brexit on the e-commerce sector

The potential impact of Brexit on the e-commerce sector Commercial analysis: Adam Richardson, barrister at Whitestone Chambers, assesses the implications for practitioners advising on the e-commerce sector, in both a withdrawal agreement scenario, and a no deal Brexit scenario.   What is the current situation? The current circumstances surrounding e-commerce regarding provisions of goods and services were harmonised under various EU Directives, but primarily the E-commerce-Directive 2000/31/EC. The purpose of the Directive is to remove obstacles to cross-border online services in the EU and provide legal certainty to businesses and citizens in cross-border online transactions. Present harmonisation has allowed easy, transparent trade between nation states within the EU. What are the potential legal implications of Brexit for the e-commerce sector under the withdrawal agreement scenario……

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Does the house always win? Not if responsibility isn’t voluntarily assumed

Does the house always win? Not if responsibility isn’t voluntarily assumed Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SPA v Playboy Club London Limited and others [2018] UKSC 43 Whilst a trial judge had found that duty of care is owed to a party’s undisclosed principle, the Court of Appeal disagreed. The issue before the Supreme Court was whether a bank was liable for a negligent credit reference to an undisclosed principal whom had relied upon it. Pursuant to their policy, Playboy Club London, (‘the Club’), requires credit references for the use of their cheque-cashing facilities at their club. However, to avoid disclosing the purpose of the reference, the Club utilises Burlington Services Ltd, (‘Burlington’) to request these references from the banks of gamblers. In October 2010, Hassan……

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Hall Fire Melts Away Frozen-Food Company’s £6.6 million Claim

In Goodlife Foods Limited v Hall Fire Protection Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 1371, the Court of Appeal held that the express alternative of insurance meant that a ‘far-reaching’ exclusion clause was reasonable pursuant to Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. Goodlife, a frozen-food production company, purchased a fire detection and suppression system from Hall Fire a year after being provided with a quotation. Not only were Hall Fire’s T&Cs attached to both the quotation and acknowledgment of order, but also the face of the quotation drew attention to Clause 11, which read:   ‘We exclude all liability, loss, damages or expense consequential or otherwise caused to your property, goods, persons or the like, directly or indirectly resulting from our negligence or delay or failure or malfunction of……

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A striking decision? Industrial action ruled not extraordinary by European Court

The CJEU holds that compensation under Regulation 261/2004 is payable by carrier for delays or cancellations caused by its own employees’ wildcat strike 1. On the 17 April 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union(“CJEU”) handed down judgment in the joined cases of Helga Krüsemann and Others v TUIfly GmbH (“Krüsemann”) [1,2]. 2. The applicants in the proceedings all had bookings with TUIfly for flights provided by the carrier between 3 and 8 October 2016. All those flights were cancelled or subject to delays equal to or in excess of three hours upon arrival due to an exceptionally high number of absences on grounds of illness amongst TUIflystaff, following the carrier’s notification to its staff of company restructuring plans. 3. The CJEU noted that whilst absenteeism……

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Who’s the operating carrier? Not the lessor rules the European Court

The CJEU holds that compensation under Regulation 261/2004 is not payable by the carrier who operated the flight under a wet lease   1. On 4 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down judgment in the case of Wirth and Others v Thomson Airways Ltd (“Wirth”)1. The case concerned who the operating air carrier was within the meaning of Article 2(b) of Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 (“the Regulation”) in respect of a delayed flight the claimants had been carried on. 2. The claimants had confirmed bookings for a flight from Hamburg in Germany to Cancún in Mexico, bearing a flight code which referred to TUIFly. The booking confirmation stated that the bookings were issued by TUIFly, but that the……

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O’Connor v Bar Standards Board – Disciplinary proceedings. A continuous process.

Portia O’Connor won a landmark decision earlier this month when the Supreme Court unanimously decided to allow her appeal against the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and find that her claim was not time barred. This decision stems from a line of litigation starting in 2010 when the BSB Complaints Committee brought 6 disciplinary charges against Ms O’Connor.  In May 2011 the Disciplinary Tribunal found 5 out of the 6 allegations proved. Ms O’Connor appealed to the Visitors of the Inns of Court who overturned the decision. Following her appeal, in 2013 Ms O’Connor issued proceedings against the BSB alleging a violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights read in conjunction with Article 6 ECHR, contrary to section 6 of the Human……

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The Court of Appeal’s Decision in Wood v TUI Travel plc T.A. First Choice 2017 EWCA Civ 11

The Court of Appeal was recently asked whether a couple could recover damages pursuant to the implied condition in section 4(2) of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, (“the 1982 Act”), for harm suffered whilst on an all-inclusive holiday. In April 2011, Mr and Mrs Wood travelled to the Dominican Republic on holiday.  Whilst there Mr Wood suffered acute gastroenteritis and had to be hospitalised for four days.   It was accepted by His Honour Judge Worster that the couple only consumed food provided by the hotel during their stay.  He concluded that the provision of food and drink to Mr and Mrs Wood constituted the supply of good and services under the 1982 Act and awarded them £24,000 in total compensation. First Choice……

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The Final Destination? The Court of Appeal’s decision in Gahan v Emirates

The Court of Appeal holds that compensation under Regulation 261/2004 is available for delay on connecting flights which start or end outside of the EU. 1. On the 12 October 2017, the Court of Appeal delivered judgment in the joined cases of Gahan v Emirates and Buckley and ors v Emirates [2017] EWCA Civ 1530, in which both the Civil Aviation Authority and the International Air Transport Association intervened. Flying Emirates through Dubai 2. Miss Thea Gahan had booked with Emirates to travel from Manchester to Dubai (the first leg) and then from Dubai to Bangkok (the second leg). Her first leg was delayed so that she arrived in Dubai 3 hours and 56 minutes late, missing her connecting flight, and finally arrived in Bangkok……

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O’Connor v Bar Standards Board Disciplinary proceedings. A continuous process

Portia O’Connor won a landmark decision earlier this month when the Supreme Court unanimously decided to allow her appeal against the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and find that her claim was not time barred. This decision stems from a line of litigation starting in 2010 when the BSB Complaints Committee brought 6 disciplinary charges against Ms O’Connor. In May 2011 the Disciplinary Tribunal found 5 out of the 6 allegations proved. Ms O’Connor appealed to the Visitors of the Inns of Court who overturned the decision. Following her appeal, in 2013 Ms O’Connor issued proceedings against the BSB alleging a violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights read in conjunction with Article 6 ECHR, contrary to section 6 of the Human……

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Genuine Discretion vs Absolute Contractual rights

Business contracts have become the language and form of commercial transactions. Their ubiquity is only surpassed by their functionality. They are useful for establishing one parties rights and obligations towards others as well as available remedies and dispute resolution mechanisms. Contracts can also confer powers upon a party to decide on issues that affect another party. As useful as contracts are it is not always the case that all their terms are in writing. Terms are often implied by statue, common law or other mechanism and this can impact the way the contract is performed. Therefore, it can be the case that the interpretation and performance of a contract is not governed by the wording alone. This is the case when exercising a “genuine discretion”……

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Some risk for Great Reward: Longford Capital Secure Massive Investment for Litigation Funding

Litigation funding appears set to continue its exponential growth, with litigation funder Longford Capital Management LP announcing in September of this year that it had managed to raise a $500 million fund to support its litigation portfolios. Longford Capital is a private investment company that provides funding to law firms, businesses, and individuals involved in large commercial disputes. Typically, this means claims worth between $25 million and $1 Billion. Litigation funding covers lawyer’s fees and expenses incurred during litigation, in return for a piece of the settlement/ judgment if the case is successful. If unsuccessful, the client does not owe the funder anything. This form of investment seems to be attracting investors from numerous sectors looking to take advantage of this new asset that isn’t……

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Flight makes emergency landing after wife secretly discovers husband cheating on her

For many, the design and release of “Touch ID”, a feature on all iPhones since 2013’s iPhone 5S,[1] has changed the way we access our phones and protect the private information contained on them. Rather than requiring a code, Touch ID allows phone users to unlock their device[2] by holding their fingerprint over a touch-sensitive button. Passengers on Qantas flight QR-972 from Doha to Bali may now dispute the apparent advantages[3] of such instant access, after an argument between a husband and wife caused the pilot to make an emergency landing in Chennai on Sunday, 5 November. The wife, who was allegedly intoxicated, used her sleeping husband’s fingerprint to unlock his phone and discovered incriminating messages in his inbox. She apparently became aggressive with the……

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A bitter taste in the mouth of travel providers? The Court of Appeal’s Decision in Wood v TUI Travel plc T.A. First Choice 2017 EWCA Civ 11

The Court of Appeal was recently asked whether a couple could recover damages pursuant to the implied condition in section 4(2) of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, (“the 1982 Act”), for harm suffered whilst on an all-inclusive holiday. In April 2011, Mr and Mrs Wood travelled to the Dominican Republic on holiday. Whilst there Mr Wood suffered acute gastroenteritis and had to be hospitalised for four days. It was accepted by His Honour Judge Worster that the couple only consumed food provided by the hotel during their stay. He concluded that the provision of food and drink to Mr and Mrs Wood constituted the supply of good and services under the 1982 Act and awarded them £24,000 in total compensation. First Choice……

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Excessive service charges and what to do about them

Background Service charges are fees that homeowners often commit to pay under the terms of the lease they enter into when they purchase their homes.[1] They are increasingly common in share-of-freehold properties, and commonly include the costs of insurance, lighting, maintenance, cleaning and the repair of common parts such as lifts and gyms, as well as fees for the purchase, sale, sublet or alteration of a flat. They can also effect the purchase of some freehold properties. In recent years, such charges have spiralled and are often excessive, both in their amount and in exchange for the quality of service received. Research by Direct Line for Business indicates that a third of management companies hiked service charges in the years 2014 to 2016, pushing the……

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New aviation insolvency rules suggested in wake of Monarch collapse

In the early hours of the morning on 2 October 2017, Monarch Airlines flight ZB3785 from Tel Aviv to Manchester touched down. It was to be the Airlines’ last flight, just under 50 years since its first, when its Bristol 175 Britannia 300 turboprop landed in Madrid.The collapse of the company resulted in the largest ever peacetime repatriation exercise, during which the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority, (the “CAA”), brought 110,000 stranded passengers back to the UK, running 700 flights over a two-week period. Commenting on the operation, Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, said that “[t]he CAA has essentially set up one of the UK’s largest airlines to conduct it”. The Government has wasted no time in suggesting that the time has……

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Government begins crackdown on fraudulent holiday sickness claims following landmark private prosecution

Background In June 2015 and July 2016, Paul Roberts, Deborah Briton and their two children visited the ever-popular holiday destination of Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands. Upon return to the UK after their 2015 holiday, Ms Briton posted on her Facebook account: “Safely home after two weeks of sun, laughter, fun and tears. Met up with all our lovely holiday friends who made our holiday fab”. She similarly posted after the 2016 holiday: “Back home after a fantastic holiday, my favourite so far”. Notwithstanding their evident enjoyment of their holidays, the couple instructed solicitors in August 2016 and claimed against the hotel for £20,000 compensation after gastroenteritis, (also known as “Spanish tummy”), allegedly ruined their holidays. The letter before claim stated that: “Our……

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The Final Destination

The Court of Appeal holds that compensation under Regulation 261/2004 is available for delay on connecting flights which start or end outside of the EU. 1. On the 12 October 2017, the Court of Appeal delivered judgment in the joined cases of Gahan v Emirates and Buckley and ors v Emirates [2017] EWCA Civ 1530, in which both the Civil Aviation Authority and the International Air Transport Association intervened. Flying Emirates through Dubai 2. Miss Thea Gahan had booked with Emirates to travel from Manchester to Dubai (the first leg) and then from Dubai to Bangkok (the second leg). Her first leg was delayed so that she arrived in Dubai 3 hours and 56 minutes late, missing her connecting flight, and finally arrived in Bangkok……

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Note On Costs

COST PRINCIPLES From the White Book and Cook on Costs CPR PARTS 44-47 PART 44 CPR – GENERAL RULES ABOUT COSTS I. SUMMARY OF PART 44(2) CPR A.THE COURT’S DISCRETION AS TO COSTS 44.2(1)- the court has a discretion as to (a) whether payable; (b) amount; and (c) when they are paid 44.2(2) – general rule is that costs follow the event, i.e. the unsuccessful party pays costs of successful party; but (b) the court may make a different order. 44.2(4) – court must have regard to all the circumstances, including: (a) the conduct of all the parties; (b) whether a party has succeeded on part of a case even if unsuccessful overall; and (c) any offer to settle which does not have Part 36……

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Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims, (the “Protocol”), comes into force on 1st October 2017. The following article examines the concept of ‘debt’; this article focuses on the purpose, procedure and effects of the Protocol. The objective of a Pre-Action Protocol is to prescribe the conduct the court expects the parties to take prior to commencing legal proceedings. In line with Lord Jackson’s 2010 review of litigation costs, the Protocol aims to encourage early communication and exchange of information and documents between the parties so to enable them to resolve the dispute without litigation. This Protocol expounds the new procedure for a business, (the “creditor”), to follow when claiming repayment of a debt from an individual, (the “debtor”). It does not concern debts between businesses,……

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LATEST – Multi-Track Fixed Costs

Lord Justice Jackson has tabled plans for extending fixed recoverable costs. He conceded that fixing it would not be possible without reform to procedures. Having previously suggested that fixed costs could be applied to all claims up to a value of £250,000, Jackson’s latest proposals account to a significant scaling back. His report proposed finishing the job of introducing a f…

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Temple Women’s Forum Cross-Profession Networking Garden Party: Chambers’ Perspective

The Head of Chambers sponsored female members of chambers to take part in the Women’s Forum. We were delighted to attend the Temple Women’s Forum Garden Party last week. This annual event was kindly ran by the Temple Women’s Forum, an organisation set up in 2012 with the view to supporting and encouraging women practitioners and judges throughout their careers at the Bar or …

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Barrister’s wardrobe malfunction hits the headlines

Over the weekend, Whitestone Chambers newest tenant, Matthew Gillett, went viral on Twitter and made it onto the sport’s pages of the BBC website following a sartorial slip. Matthew is a Bristol City fan and season ticket holder. He pre-ordered the away shirt for the forthcoming 2017/18 season and when it arrived, all looked to be in order. However, after having worn it for a marathon training run…

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In-Flight WiFi: How Gogo achieved its dominance

In-Flight WiFi: How Gogo achieved its dominance The in-flight WiFi provider ‘Gogo’ has a reputation for poor speed and connectivity, with travelers frequently complaining of the system’s slow speed compared to its price (costing up to $60). However, with Gogo possessing 80% of the market share the consumer often has no choice but to choose it as their in-flight WiFi provid…

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RULE 44. 11 – COURT’S POWERS IN RELATION TO MISCONDUCT:

Part 44 of the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2013 (SI 2013/262) was re-enacted on 1st April 2013 and concerns the court’s powers in relation to misconduct. incur Where a party (a) fails to comply with a court rule in assessment or summary proceedings, or (b) acts unreasonably or improperly before or during proceedings the court may disallow all or part of the costs which are being assessed or order the party at fault or that party’s legal representative to pay costs which that party or legal representative has caused any other party to incur.

The misconduct extends to the legal representative of a party as well as to the party personally and includes both summary assessment and detailed assessment proceedings and refers to any failure to comply with the provisions of Part 47 and any direction, rule, practice direction or court order.

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The CJEU’s striking decision – Peskova examined

The CJEU’s striking decision – Pešková examined On 4 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down judgment in the case of Marcela Pešková, Jirí Peška -v- Travel Service A.S. (C-315/15)[1] (“Pešková”). The case concerned the central question of whether a bird strike to an aircra…

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Mobile technology and the future of construction rental

Mobile technology and the future of construction rental Leasing construction equipmentis often a costly and time-consuming process. The equipment needs to be sourced, contracts need to be drawn up and signed, and delivery needs to be arranged. Getting the best deal might involve looking up dozens of potential providers to get quotes. Those “in-the-know” in the industr…

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CASE SUMMARY: THE HIGH COURT DISCOURAGES MISUSE OF PRECEDENT R

Judgement was handed down on 12 May 2017 in Findcharm Limited v Churchill Group Limited [2017] EWHC 1108 (TCC) (available here). Parties making a tactically low Precedent R costs budget response in the hopes that the court will perform its own assessment to their advantage may instead find the court agreeing to the other party’s costs budget in full.

PRECEDENT R

Under the new Precedent R each party is required to comment on the costs budget of the other. This is designed to oblige each party to a dispute to adopt a realistic approach to the budget of the other and to help identify the real dispute between the parties as to costs.

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Saving the Environment: The Prospect of Electric Aircraft

The electric car, once only the domain of eccentric Sci-Fi movies, has now well and truly found its way into everyday consumer life. So, what’s next for the world of fuel innovation? Will we really be able to power commercial flights using just electric fuel, as we now can cars? A start-up company formed just last year believes we will. The goal of Wright Electric is to make every short-hau…

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BIRD STRIKES RULED AS “EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES” BY THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

A collision between an aircraft and a bird may now be defined as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’, according to the Court of Justice for the European Union (“the Court”) in a judgment delivered on 4 May 2017.

The ruling means that any collision with birds may exempt an air carrier from the need to pay compensation under Regulation (EC) No.261/2004 (“the Regulation”) to passengers in respect of flight cancellations or delays of over three hours.

The case concerned Ms Marcela Pešková and Mr Jirí Pešká, who encountered a long delay to their flight from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Ostrava (Czech Republic) in August 2013 with the Czech airline Travel Service. The aircraft set to complete their trip had already flown from Prague to Burgas, Burgas to Brno and from Brno to Burgas before commencing their journey.

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HOW IN-FLIGHT WI-FI WORKS

We’ve all had the same problem: you walk too far away from your Wi-Fi router and, all of a sudden, your Wi-Fi stops working. We all know that it’s simply because the router’s signal isn’t strong enough to reach you that extra few feet away. There is sadly a limit on the strength of Wi-Fi connectivity. But, if Wi-Fi is so dependent upon your proximity to a router, doesn’t it seem strange that Wi-Fi can work in an aeroplane, 35,000 feet above the ground?

So, how does this technology work? Is the answer routers in the sky? Or an invisible cable dropped down to the ground to keep you connected, as you travel at 900 km/h through the air? Close.

More and more commercial airlines are offering their passengers on-board Wi-Fi, whether free of charge or for an extra add-on fee, and they’re all using one of two ways to do it.

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A STEALTH DEATH TAX? THE LORD CHANCELLOR INCREASES PROBATE FEES

The government ignored opposition and is going ahead with the proposed probate fee increase. For estates worth over £2 million the fee could now be £20,000

WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate describes the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and other assets of the deceased. This normally involves the appointment of an executor who will deal with the deceased’s estate.

The government is to increase probate fees and thereby seeks to generate roughly £300m. The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments raised concerns about the hike, in particular whether the proposed fees were proportionate.

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LORD CHANCELLOR LIABLE TO COMPENSATE FOR JUDGE’S “GROSS AND OBVIOUS IRREGULARITY”

The Court of Appeal held in a unanimous decision on 10 April 2017 in the case of LL v The Lord Chancellor [2017] EWCA Civ 237 (available here) that a claim can be brought against the Lord Chancellor following a High Court judge’s ‘gross and obvious irregularity’.

Jackson LJ, with whom King and Longmore LJJ agreed, stressed that this decision did not traverse the long-established principle of judicial immunity from suit and should not be considered ‘the thin end of the wedge’ for claims against judges as this case was ‘unusual’ and ‘exceptional’.

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AEROTOXIC SYNDROME NOT A PROPER ISSUE TO BE EXAMINED IN THE INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF BRITISH AIRWAYS CO-PILOT

The inquest into the death of British Airways co-pilot Richard Westgate commenced on 6 April 2017 at the Salisbury Coroner’s Court.

WHAT IS AEROTOXIC SYNDROME

“Aereotoxic syndrome” is the term given to the illness caused by exposure to contaminated air in jet aircraft. The condition has not been recognised by medicine and claims of health effects were found to be unsubstantiated by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (The report can be found here.). Cabin air contamination is said to occur in the following way.

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CASE SUMMARY: THE SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES THE MEANING OF “REGULARLY”

Judgement was handed down in Isle of Wight Council v Platt [2017] UKSC 28 (available here). The Supreme Court provided guidance on what ‘failed to attend regularly’ meant in the context of the offence contrary to section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

THE FACTS

On 30 January 2015, Mr Platt, the father of a child, (‘Mary’), sent a letter to the school attended by the child requesting Mary to be absent during term time. This was for the period between 12 April and 21 April 2015. On 9 February 2015, the head teacher refused the request. Coincidentally, Mary’s mother, who had been separated from Mr Platt, had also taken Mary on holiday in February 2015, which had not been authorised by the school either.

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GLOBAL V AABAR: THE COURT OF APPEAL STATE THAT CONTRACTUAL NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BE CLEAR AND UNEQUIVOCAL

In the recent case of Global Asset Capital Inc and another v Aabar Block S.A.R.L and others [2017] EWCA Civ 37, the Court of Appeal held that the High Court was wrong to find that following a ‘subject to contract’ offer letter, a contract was concluded during a telephone call which was inconsistent with subsequent communications.

BACKGROUND:

For the purposes of the appeal the following version of events was accepted. On 23 April 2015, the claimants sent a letter marked ‘without prejudice – subject to contract’ wherein they proposed to pay €250 million for certain rights. On 5 May 2015, the second claimant was informed by the second defendant’s CEO that a board meeting was due on 6 May 2015 where the letter would be considered. On 6 May 2015, the CEO of the second defendant telephoned the second claimant. The claimants case was, that during the call a contract had been agreed subject to two conditions.

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RULE 16.3(7) – STATEMENT OF UNDER VALUE TO BE INCLUDED IN THE CLAIM FORM?

Sir David Eady J delivered a judgment on 30 March in the case of Mohamed Ali Harrath v Stand for Peace Limited and Samuel Westrop [2017] EWHC 653 (QB) (available here) in which he held that a claimant is entitled to recover damages that exceed the statement of value included in the claim form.

The first defendant’s website described the claimant as a “convicted terrorist”, per paragraph 3 of Eady J’s judgment, those words were “plainly seriously defamatory to the claimant”. At paragraph 6, Eady J held that there “simply was no evidence to support the allegation of terrorism”.

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THE AIR ACCIDENTS INVESTIGATION BRANCH PUBLISHES REPORT ON THE SHOREHAM AIR DISASTER

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch published its report into the accident that occurred in Shoreham on 22 August 2015. The sole purpose of the investigation and the report is the prevention of accident and not apportioning blame. This is a brief summary of the key findings as set out in the report.

The normal technique for this manoeuvre was for the aircraft to enter it at 350 KIAS (Knots indicated air speed). In fact, the Hawker entered its ascent at 310 KIAS. The aircraft’s speed was varied and there was not full thrust as the aircraft was in the ascending trajectory of the manoeuvre. There is no evidence of any pre-existing mechanical defect that would have prevented the engine from responding to the pilot’s throttle inputs.

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