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Parish Council recovers legal expenses for Judicial Reviews

Published: 11/02/2019 2:00 PM

Adderbury Parish Council has announced it has now recovered all it’s legal costs for the two Judicial Reviews brought against it in May 2017. In a statement the Council says, “… the matter has now been fully resolved and the Parish Council successfully defended the applications for Judicial Review and there will be no financial cost to the Parish Council as a result”.

Adderbury News understands the costs for defending the Judicial Review are to be repaid by the insurers for the Council’s own legal advisors.

The two Judicial Reviews were rejected at Birmingham High Court by His Honour Judge Charles Purle QC as “totally without merit” in September 2017. However, it appears the Council’s own legal advisors did not apply to recover the legal costs to the Council, which totalled £6,100.

The Council statement explains, “… the Chairman [Diane Bratt] and Councillor Keith R Mitchell had written to the Court requesting an order for costs be made against the applicant for Judicial Reviews with a schedule of reasons and it was agreed not to use Spratt Endicott at this stage to avoid further legal bills”.

At the March 2018 Parish Council meeting it was reported that the applicant for the Judicial Reviews had been ordered by His Honour Justice Cooke to reimburse the Parish Council for its legal costs. However, the applicant appealed against this decision.

The Parish Council statement indicates the conclusion of the matter came in January 2019 without any further court activity. The statement says, “… Spratt Endicott advised the Clerk to the Parish Council that the matter had been resolved by negotiation. The issue of costs will not be pursued further through the Courts. However, the Parish Council will be reimbursed for its full legal costs through Spratt Endicott and their insurers”.

Upon confirming the matter had been resolved at no cost to Adderbury Council Tax payers Parish Council Vice Chairman Keith Mitchell CBE praised those who had worked to defend the Council. He said, “I should like to pay a special tribute to those members of the Parish Council both past and present who resolutely opposed the applications for Judicial Review”.

“I should particularly commend the Chairman and the Clerk for their persistence in the face of considerable difficulties and a barrage of e-mails and highly complicated legal terminology. Many individuals with less strength of character might have caved in to what might have appeared to be an insurmountable barrier but they persevered and the whole village should be grateful”.

The full text of the Parish Council statement is available on the Parish Council website here.

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