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Bloomsburry Family law

Professional negligence

B v The Attorney-General [2003] UKPC 61

Negligence - Professional Conduct - Investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children by father - Father and children brought negligence claim against social worker and clinical psychologist for alleged failure to investigate allegations properly - Claim struck out - Common law duty of care owed to children in respect of whom statutory duty for prompt inquiry existed but not to father - Unsatisfactory to impose duty of care in favour of both alleged victim and alleged perpetrator - Children’s claim permitted to proceed to trial

Mulkerrins v Pricewaterhouse Coopers (a firm) [2003] UKHL 41

Bankruptcy - Civil Procedure - Estoppel - Title to sue - Decision in bankruptcy proceedings on bankrupt’s application under Insolvency Act 1986, s 303 that cause of action against accountants belonged to bankrupt rather than trustee - Court of Appeal wrong to dismiss action against accountants - Decision of deputy judge that action could proceed restored - Accountants not entitled to be heard on s 303 application and could not challenge decision in bankruptcy proceedings even though decision did not create estoppel per rem judicatam because accountants not party to bankruptcy proceedings

R (Prokopp) v London Underground Ltd

Planning Law - Environmental Law - Proposed construction of East London Line Extension and demolition of part of Bishopsgate Goods Yard by London Underground - Breach of condition relating to landscaping meant that development did not start within five year period permitted - Local planning authorities found that it was not expedient to take enforcement action - Enforcement action not required under Council Directive 85/337 - Enforcement decisions not development consents entailing environmental impact assessments