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There have been some very interesting comments on posts from the last week, and further news on the stories, making a catch up post worthwhile.

In no particular order…

I am delighted that Tony Fearnley commented on the Helena Housing v Molyneaux & Mower post. Tony, whom a quick google reveals is from Stephensons Solicitors, acted for Molyneaux and Mower (good work there) and also brings news that Knowsley v White has been joined with L&Q v Ansell for hearing in the House of Lords, listed for 3 days in October 2008. Helena Housing and Payne v Young is getting a lot of attention at the moment (Garden Court North have an article out -PDF). I have been told that the presiding Judge at one of my local county courts has said at a hearing (regrettably not a trial on the point) that he found Payne v Young very interesting indeed, that he would be bringing it to the attention of the other Judges at the Court and hoped it would feature in Ansell in the Lords. I also know a few solicitors who have pounced on the case and are actively using it already. I really want the time to have a proper look at Payne v Young, but it won’t be for a few days, at least.

Colin Yeo comments on Not for Profits in trouble, post fixed fee, mentioning the difficult circumstances of the South West London Law Centre. (Guardian story). The Gazette today has an article giving more detail, with a survey suggesting 20% of Law Centres are in major trouble and a further 49% in serious debt (article not available online yet). Discussions about amending transitional provisions are apparently taking place, but are late and may not be enough. This is very, very serious indeed. The LSC’s helpful comment was that they ‘had seen no evidence that law centres take on more complex work than other providers’ and ‘fixed fees were an important part of achieving value for money’. Yeah yeah, whatever.

Starting from my post on an unclear mention in Inside Housing, it quickly became clear via the comments that R (Weaver) v London & Quadrant has been a full-on JR application on grounds that Housing Associations (or L&Q at least) are public Mauthorities exercising a public function as landlord, and that a policy of using Ground 8 is unlawful (Thanks to J). The substantive hearing took place in late February. I wait with trembling anticipation.

Lastly and considerably less seriously, I hear there is some speculation being bandied as to my secret identity. Heavens above, how immensely flattering. I blush with pleasure. But I am a creature of mystery and shadow, at least in my Fritz Lang-addled imagination, and must perforce remain in the misty darkness…

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


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