Khan v Mehmood 2022 EWCA Civ 791

HLPA members may recall that HLPA was granted permission to intervene in the Court of Appeal in this case concerning the applicability in housing disrepair cases of the 10% uplift to general damages, originating in the Court of Appeal’s decision in Simmons v Castle ([2012] EWCA Civ 1039, [2012] EWCA Civ 1288, [2013] 1 WLR 1239).

We were privileged to have offers to represent pro bono from Liz Davies QC and former co-chair Marina Sergides of Garden Court Chambers and from Daniel Fitzpatrick and Declan Storrar of Hodge Jones and Allen which allowed to us to make that application and then submit detailed written and oral representations in the Court of Appeal. Thanks must also go to exec member Eleanor Solomon of Anthony Gold who provided a witness statement on behalf of HLPA.

Judgment has now been handed down and on behalf of our clients we are delighted to be able to say that the Court of Appeal found that the Simmons and Castle uplift does apply to damages in these cases.

Moreover the Court was keen to make clear the importance of the intervention made by HLPA – from paragraph 58 of Baker LJ’s judgment:

As demonstrated by the statement and submissions on behalf of the HLPA, CFAs play an important role in assisting tenants to bring claims for breach of repairing covenants. Such claims are therefore manifestly within the category of cases for which the 10% uplift was specifically intended, by way of compensation for the success fee which the claimant tenant’s lawyer is entitled to be paid by his client but which, following LASPO, cannot be recovered from the defendant landlord. The need to secure funding for claims in the post-LASPO environment was integral to the recommendations in Jackson Report and the declaration made by this Court in Simmons v Castle. The arguments put before this Court on behalf of the HLPA demonstrate that it remains a very important consideration in this category of litigation.

This is a very important judgment for tenants seeking redress for disrepair and poor housing conditions. It ensures that a mechanism to mitigate historically low damages in these cases remains in place. We are also heartened that court recognised the important work done by you, the HLPA members.