Philip Havers QC and Justin Levinson were instructed by Alan Collins of Hugh James to represent a survivor of child abuse. The local authority had admitted liability for negligently failing to receive the claimant into care as a baby. Seven years later, following the decision of the Supreme Court in N v Poole Borough Council, the local authority sought to withdraw the admission of liability on the basis that it argued that the decision of the Supreme Court meant that no duty of care had been owed. At first instance, a Circuit Judge at Cardiff County Court allowed the local authority to withdraw the admission.

The Claimant’s appeal to a High Court Judge was successful. The admission was reinstated and judgment entered as withdrawal of the admission would be unduly prejudicial to the Claimant. The local authority’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed.  The County Court Judge had failed properly to consider all of the circumstances of the case.  Had she done so, she would have concluded, like the High Court Judge on appeal, that the local authority should not be permitted to withdraw its admissions given the prejudice that would be caused to the claimant and the fact that the local authority had caused the progression of the case to be delayed.

Read more about the case on Hugh James website here.