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Louise Butler
Claims of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, political opinion and religious belief were brought against the owners of the bakery because they refused to sell Mr Lee, a gay customer, a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage.” The County Court and Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland found against the bakery and held that Mr Lee had been discriminated against. Today however five Justices of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Mr and Mrs McArthur, the owners of the bakery, did not discriminate against him. The Court held that the bakers did not refuse the order because of the sexual orientation of the customer,  rather they refused the order because of the message on the cake:  “they would have refused to make such a cake for any customer, irrespective ...
Orla McElroy
We secured the dismiss of a fraudulent claim at Newtownards County Court on 14/09/2018. The Plaintiff was involved in a low-speed impact in July 2016 as a result of which he claimed he had been unable to work since due to back pain.   We were able to introduce evidence of the very low speed of impact and evidence that the Plaintiff had actually hurt his back months before playing football. The Judge ruled he was not satisfied that the Plaintiff was credible (the Plaintiff could offer no explanation for why he told his medical expert, that he was “free from physical complaint prior to the subject accident”  and then admitted under cross-examination that he had sustained a back injury playing football a few months before the accident and had ongoing back pain at the time of the motor ...
Aisling Mellon
A driver and passenger made personal injury claims as a result of a rear-end collision in 2016. Acting on behalf of the Defendant vehicle’s insurer,  our investigations uncovered a plethora of issues with the veracity of the accident circumstances.  At the conclusion of the cases, Judge Giplin described the Defendant’s evidence as “sufficient cogent evidence” leading him to conclude that the accident was “fraudulently staged”.  Orders were made against both Plaintiffs to pay the insurer’s costs.
Roisin Harper
“Where there’s muck, there’s brass” Before 25th May, a general expectation existed amongst data practitioners that we will see an increase in individuals making claims for compensation because of a data breach. The civil claims that hit the headlines as soon as GDPR came into effect, against companies such as Facebook and Google, involve arguments around data processing for targeted advertising – how can consent be freely given if there is no alternative but to agree to data being used for targeted advertising to use a particular app etc? Regulators across Europe including the UK’s ICO are reporting increases in reported data breaches and complaints. [i] What we have yet to see is an updated Judgment in this ...
Aisling Mellon
There are two ingredients for vicarious liability: an employment relationship/one akin to employment, plus an act done within the field of employment activities. A useful way of thinking about it is Relationship + Act = Vicarious Liability. There has been a broadening of both sides of the formula. With the Supreme Court case of Mohamud v WM Morrisons Supermarket plc[i], the ‘Act’ part of the formula has gone from an act closely connected to employment, to an act which is in the field of activities of the duties expected of the employee.  With the increase in historical sexual abuse claims, the Courts have had to consider relationships outside of the traditional employer/employee sphere. The first ingredient, the ...
Catriona McCorry
Although GMC guidance on the very issue of informed consent was in circulation from 2008, it took the seminal decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board in 2015 [i] for the law to catch up. A prime example of how the law does not always keep pace with medical advances.   Key Judgments prior to Montgomery Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee[ii] established the test for negligence in cases involving skilled professionals. If a doctor reaches the standard of a responsible body of medical opinion, he is not negligent. The emphasis is on doctor/ medical paternalism. Sidaway v Bethlem Royal Hospital Governors and Others[iii]&...
Natasha Moffett
The Digital Economy Act 2017 received royal assent in April 2017 and came into force on the 28th December 2017. The Act is designed to help implement government objectives to promote Britain as Europe’s most advanced digital nation. Provisions within the Act have reformed the Electronic Communications Code which was first drafted in 1984. The Code was implemented to confer statutory rights to Telecommunication Operators under agreements made with Landowners. Despite it being amended in 2003, it has become increasingly outdated due to rapid technological advances. This has prompted the government to extend the rights of Operators so that communications services can be implemented where they are needed. Landowners should be aware of the following: - Agreements between ...
Catriona McCorry
We have previously discussed the issues and pitfalls facing the legal profession when dealing with a Litigant in Person (LiP) opponent i.e. someone who is unrepresented in legal proceedings. The following is an update on current case law and an interesting study presently underway at University of Ulster. Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2018] UKSC 12 In this recent House of Lords decision, the issue to be determined was whether the Court of Appeal had erred in upholding the judgment of the lower court that there was no good reason to validate service of proceedings under the Civil Procedure Rules, CPR 6.15. The Judges also considered whether the Court of Appeal’s reasoning breached the appellant’s ECHR rights under Article 6 and 13. The LiP had served proceedings by email only on ...
Oonagh Murdock
As part of the ASK – A Solicitor Knows initiative, The Law Society of Northern Ireland has launched a new social media campaign highlighting some of the legal services offered by solicitors in Northern Ireland. In support of that, Oonagh Murdock from McKinty and Wright’s Property and Commercial Department details the main points of interest on the Stamp Duty Relief introduced in the Autumn Budget. The Chancellor announced a new Stamp Duty Relief for First Time Buyers in his recent Autumn Statement. This relief applies from the 22nd November 2017 in Northern Ireland, England and Wales and means that: - First Time Buyers purchasing a residential property for less than &...
Gary Patterson
As part of the ASK – A Solicitor Knows initiative, The Law Society of Northern Ireland has launched a new social media campaign highlighting some of the legal services offered by solicitors in Northern Ireland. In support of that, Gary Patterson from McKinty and Wright’s Property and Commercial Department provides a brief overview on the benefits of having an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place. What is an Enduring Power of Attorney? An EPA is a legal document that is used by an individual to appoint someone else to act on their behalf in the event of them losing the capacity to do so. An EPA covers a situation where a person becomes ...
McKinty and Wright
(l-r) Senior Partner, Lester Doake with Partners Kevin O’Hagan, Aisling Mellon, and Gary Patterson McKinty and Wright are delighted to announce that promotions in 2017 at the Belfast-based firm include three additions to the partnership. With client’s praising him for “his professionalism, sense of duty and reliability”, Gary Patterson joins the partnership from McKinty and Wright’s Property & Commercial Department. A highly skilled property lawyer, his work includes the negotiation of commercial leases, sales and acquisitions, corporate restructures and building developments....
Kevin O'Hagan
Starting in May of this year, Kevin has been posting LinkedIn Legal Updates, available automatically to everyone on his LinkedIn network. The following post from the series is specific to Health and Safety. Other topics covered to date include the Discount Rate, Contributory Negligence and Limitation. To access the series in full, connect with Kevin on LinkedIn HEALTH & SAFETY: A CONCENTRATION ON CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER Health and Safety Offences Your client, like you, will not likely find themselves facing ...
McKinty and Wright
We want to say a big thank you to all our clients and colleagues in the profession who took the time to speak to Chambers researchers about the work we do - McKinty and Wright continues to be acknowledged by Chambers as a Top Ranked Firm in Northern Ireland, listed across three practice areas: - Litigation, Professional Negligence and Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant, ranking Band 1 again this year for the latter. Leading individuals identified by Chambers’ researchers include Lester Doake, Sean McGahan, Kevin O’Hagan and Aisling Mellon, with Louise Butler profiled as a Recognised Practitioner. As set out on their website, Chambers have been ranking the best lawyers for over 25 years, now across 185 jurisdictions,...
Sean McGahan
My thanks again to ICTTF and the IRM for asking me to MC the Operational Stream of the European Cyber Threat Summit 2017. It was quite an experience to be part of such a well put together event.  There was fantastic coverage before and after the event, with the following giving a flavour of the excellent insight delivered: - RTE’s report on the Summit’s keynote interview with Edward Snodden https://www.rte.ie/news/technology/2017/1024/914943-edward-snowden/ “It takes a network to defeat a network” President of ICTTF, Paul Dwyer and ...
Lester Doake
Cyber Threat Summit The firm is delighted to be supporting this year’s  Cyber Threat Summit  taking place on the 24th October at Helix Conference and Exhibition Centre in Dublin. Billed as the largest event of its kind, it will attract cyber security experts from all over Europe to discuss all aspects of cyber security including issues such as GDPR, the NIS Directive and of course BREXIT. Our very own Sean McGahan is on the panel and with keynote speakers including Edward Snodden, this is set to be a stand-out event.  Insurance Institute of Northern Ireland’s Premium Masterclass Series We are ...
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