Graphic version of this page

img

News & Events

Supreme Court Gives Significant Decision for All Disabled Occupiers of Housing (3)

The Supreme Court has today (11 March 2015) given judgment in the case of Akerman-Livingstone v Aster [2015] UKSC 15, which is concerned with the correct approach to be taken by the courts to Equality Act 2010 defences to possession claims. 

The Appellant, who was disabled by reason of his severe and chronic mental health condition, raised a defence of disability discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010. The County Court considered that the correct approach to adopt to such defences was the same as the approach taken to Article 8 defences and summarily dismissed the case (dismissed it without a trial). The High Court and Court of Appeal agreed with the County Court. However, the Supreme Court concluded that this was the wrong approach, and that the Equality Act 2010 provided an occupier with extra protection. The correct approach involved considering whether the proposed eviction was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim which in turn involved consideration of other lesser potential measures.

As a result of recent factual developments the Supreme Court found that it would be no kindness to the Appellant, and pointless, to remit the matter back to the County Court and therefore allowed the possession order in this particular case to stand. However, this decision will be of enormous importance to any and all occupiers of housing whether in the private rented or social sector.

Russell James of Devon Chambers represented the Appellant throughout this case, was instructed by Shelter Legal Services, led by Jan Luba QC in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and joined also by Catherine Casserley in the Supreme Court.

The press summary of the Supreme Court is available here and the video summary is available here.

The full judgment is available here.

Devon Chambers at the Supreme Court Again

The final of the 2015 Devon Chambers Mooting competition was held in Court 2 at the Supreme Court in London on 2nd March and was presided over by Lord Toulson.

The competition is an annual event open to undergraduates attending the University of Exeter. This year saw over 100 participants taking part in moot problems covering a range of legal topics.

Rupert Taylor and Scott Horner from chambers were in attendance to offer advice to the 4 finalists and assist Lord Toulson in the prizegiving.

In a strongly contested moot based on the criminal defence of necessity, second year student Lowri Patterson was victorious, earning herself the 2015 title along with a £100 book token and the opportunity of a week long mini pupillage in chambers.

Lord Toulson congratulated all 4 finalists on their achievements in reaching the final and commented upon the high quality of the debate.

Our thanks go to Lord Toulson and the staff at the Supreme Court for making the event one which will live long in the memory of all those involved.

Continued expansion plan at Devon Chambers

As part of our continued expansion plan, Devon Chambers is seeking to recruit two further practitioners, one of at least 5 years' call to join our Family Team and one of at least 10 years' call to join our Criminal Team.

 

Devon Chambers launches recruitment for a new Pupil

Devon Chambers is currently recruiting a Pupil to start in October 2015. The details of the application process can be found on our recruitment page. Please click here for the link.

Applications must be received by 20th March 2015.

Continued expansion plan at Devon Chambers (2)

As part of our continued expansion plan, Devon Chambers is seeking to recruit two further practitioners, one of at least 5 years' call to join our Family Team and one of at least 10 years' call to join our Criminal Team.