Blackpool Borough Council has seen its decision to evict a law firm from premises it runs overturned by the High Court.
Presiding over the case in Manchester, Judge Stephen Davies ruled that the council had deliberately looked to punish North Solicitors for having helped bring a number of claims against the council in the past few years by refusing to renew the firm’s lease in Blackpool Enterprise Centre last year. North Solicitors immediately challenged the decision.
Judge Davies, said that the council’s corporate asset management group was determined to send a message to the claimant that the defendant was not prepared to sit back and do nothing in the face of repeated claims against the council, including a number involving claimants tripping.
"There can be no conceivable basis for any criticism of a firm of solicitors who, acting in accordance with the law and the relevant professional rules, enable genuine claimants to obtain access to justice so as to claim compensation for injuries sustained as a result of the breach of public bodies such as the defendant," said Judge Davies.
The Law Society Gazette reported that The Law Society had submitted a letter to the court in support of the judicial review brought by North Solicitors.
Law Society president Nick Fluck was quoted in the Gazette has having said that solicitors should not fear repercussions when securing access to justice on behalf of their clients and whilst upholding the rule of law, "whether that be representing personal injury victims against a council or any other class of claimant however unpopular".
"We wanted to outline the public importance of the case in supporting an independent legal profession that should not be dissuaded from pursuing legitimate claims against public authorities," he said.