Forming Companies to Bring Proceedings: Use or Abuse (December 2007, Richard Harwood)

Forming Companies to Bring Proceedings: Use or Abuse (December 2007, Richard Harwood)


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This paper was originally presented at a seminar in Chambers in December 2007.

“Can a company be formed for the purpose of bringing judicial review proceedings, and what are the implications, particularly for costs?  It is a contentious, and not fully resolved, issue.

It is common for companies to be claimants in judicial review proceedings.  No difficulties arise beyond the usual rules of standing where a company in existence for business purposes brings judicial review proceedings.  Many pressure groups and long established local amenity societies are companies.  In those cases their interests are of long standing and no special issues arise on locus standi.

More difficult is the formation of a company shortly before a challengeable decision or after the decision which then appears as the claimant in judicial review proceedings.  Standing may be a contentious issue.  The ability of the company to pay costs if the proceedings are unsuccessful is likely to be of concern to all parties.  There is a small, but apparently increasing trend, to form companies for such proceedings…”


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