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Owain Rhys James appears before the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in Cyngor Gwynedd Council v Barratt and Hughes ([2021] EWCA Civ 1322).

Owain Rhys James was instructed by the Appellant Council in its appeal to the EAT and before the Court of Appeal.



The judgment can be found here: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2021/1322.html

Rachel Anthony writes on New Practice Direction on Witness Statements in the Business and Property Courts

In a bid to end witness statements which read like submissions, the Business and Property Court have  decided to tackle “over lawyer’ed” witness statements head on in a new practice direction. The Practice Direction applies to new and existing proceedings, but only to witness statements signed on or after 6.4.21. It does not apply to affadavit evidence, or evidence in a witness statement other than a trial witness statement. Certain types of cases are excluded (See 1.3) including proceedings falling within CPR 57 and 64.

Mona Bayoumi & Richard Cole re-appointed to Attorney General's A Panel of Counsel

Civitas Law are very pleased to announce that Mona Bayoumi and Richard Cole have been re-appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional A Panel of Counsel for five years, commencing 1 March 2021.

The Attorney General’s panels of counsel consists of just over 400 junior counsel who undertake civil and EU work for all government departments.  Instructions are provided by the Government Legal Department.

A Panel members deal with the most complex government cases in all kinds of courts and tribunals. 

Mona and Richard have both been on the Panel for over 10 years.

Welsh Government Panel of Counsel- Joanne Williams, Mona Bayoumi, Richard Cole, Anthony Vines, Owain James


Civitas Law is delighted to announce that five of its members have been appointed to the Welsh Government’s Panel of Counsel. Joanne Williams has been newly appointed to the A panel whilst Mona Bayoumi has been promoted to the A panel. Richard Cole and Anthony Vines have both been re-appointed to the A panel and Owain James re-appointed to the B panel.

All appointments commence from the 1st March for a period of five years.

Richard Cole and Lucy King represent Welsh Government in Brithdir Nursing Home Inquest

Following the Operation Jasmine  major police investigation into neglect in care homes in south east Wales, the first inquests into the deaths at Brithdir Care Home commenced this week. Richard Cole, led by Toby Riley-Smith QC, is instructed by Mike Lubienski and Sarah Tyler of Welsh Government Legal Services on behalf of the Care Inspectorate Wales; Lucy King has been on secondment to the Inspectorate as part of their legal team since May 2020.

Kate Parker and Raj Sahonte discuss contentious probate with Sarah Bolt of Hugh James



The first STEP Wales event will be held on 14 January 2021 between midday and 2pm 


Contentious Probate update - “War is the continuation of politics by other means, So too Probate litigation”


Raj Sahonte and Kate Parker of Civitas and Sarah Bolt of Hugh James


This event is free to both members and non-members. 


Booking is essential and is via the following link: 



New Year’s Resolution: Now’s the time for Mediation

New Year’s Resolution: Now’s the time for Mediation

Anthony Vines gives you some reasons why anyone in a dispute (including advisers) should be trying mediation now.


Applicability – Most disputes can benefit from a voluntary mediated settlement whether fixing a business dispute, sorting a current workplace issue or resolving a longer term family matter.

Owain Rhys James yn ymddangos ger bron y Llys Apel drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.



Ymddangosodd Owain Rhys James ar rhan Comisynydd y Gymraeg yn achos R (Driver) v Cyngor Sir Bwysdrefol Rhondda Cynon Taf. Credir taw dyma’r tro cyntaf i’r Gymraeg gael ei ddefnyddio ger bron y Llys Apel.

Cyfarwyddwyd Owain ar rhan y Comisynydd drwy’r achos gan ymddangos ger bron yr Uchel Lys yn ddwy-ieithog. Yn y Llys Apel bu’i ddadl ysgrifennedig yn ddwy-ieithog tra i’w argymhellion ar lafar I fod yn uniaith Gymraeg (a cymorth cyfieithu ar y pryd).

Owain Rhys James appears before the Court of Appeal through the medium of Welsh

Owain Rhys James appears before the Court of Appeal through the medium of Welsh

In the Court of Appeal, on appeal from R (Driver) v Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council [2020] EWHC 2071 (Admin) (http://www2.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2020/2071.html)


A40 virtual inquiry thought to be a Wales First

Anthony Vines last week appeared for the Welsh Government in a public local inquiry before Aidan McCooey an Inspector appointed by the Welsh Ministers.  The inquiry concerned improvements to the A40 west of Penblewin including the Redstone Cross junction near Narberth.

17 members of Chambers ranked by the Legal 500

17 members of Chambers ranked by the Legal 500

Chambers is delighted with the feedback received in this year’s edition of the Legal 500. We would like to thank our instructing solicitors for their continuing support.

The Legal 500 ranked 17 of our 23 practising members across 13 of our 16 areas of practice.

The clerks were described as ‘Competent and friendly’; ‘Prompt and professional.’

Elzabeth Marshall writes on recent changes to Employment Tribunal procedure and practice



Between April and June 2020, single claim Employment Tribunal (ET) receipts increased by 18%, whilst disposals dropped by 21% (when compared to the same period in 2019). The outstanding caseload for such claims rose by 31%. Whilst receipts and disposals fell for multiple cases (when compared to the same period in 2019) the outstanding caseload for such claims rose by 6%. 


Tribunal Statistics Quarterly, Ministry of Justice, published 29 September 2020


An Inspector’s jurisdiction under section 195 of the Town and Country Planning Act: Re-consideration or merely review?

An aggrieved individual who is refused a certificate under either section 191 or 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 may appeal to (in England) the Secretary of State or (in Wales) to the Welsh Ministers: in practice such appeals are heard by an Inspector.

The Inspector’s jurisdiction derives from s195 of the Act 1990:

Bilingual devolved legislation, the Welsh language and public law

Bilingual devolved legislation, the Welsh language and public law

Cyfraith ddwy-ieithog a’r iaith Gymraeg yn y Llys Gweinyddol

CYHOEDDWYD YR ERTHYGL YMA YN GYNTAF YN Y LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAWYER, GWELIR YR ERTHYGL YMA: https://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/education-law/343-education-features/44782-cyfraith-ddwy-ieithog-a-r-iaith-gymraeg-yn-y-llys-gweinyddol


Owain Rhys James appears in Judicial Review through medium of Welsh - Owain Rhys James yn cynrychioli Comisiynydd y Gymraeg yn yr Uchel Lys


R (Driver) v Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council [2020] EWHC 2071 (Admin)

Available on bailii 


Ymddangosodd Owain Rhys James ar rhan yr ymyrwr, Comisiynydd y Gymraeg, mewn adolygiad barnwrol gerbron yr Uchel Lys yn R (Driver) v Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, sialens i benderfyniad yr awdurdod lleol i ad-drefnu ysgolion.

Bryan Thomas writes on clinical negligence trials - gambling on experts remotely


Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence analysis:


In May 2020 Richard Hermer QC (sitting

as a deputy judge of the High Court) embarked on one of the first High Court clinical

negligence trials to be held remotely. Mr Jones, a serving soldier in the British Army, was

diagnosed with HIV. The case concerned the medical consequences of a ten-month delay

in diagnosis. The Ministry of Defence, being responsible for his medical care, accepted it

had breached its duty of care and was liable to compensate Mr Jones for the ill health he

Owain Rhys James appointed to Paralympic Board of Appeal of Classification

Owain Rhys James appointed to Paralympics Board of Appeal of Classification


Following an open rectruitment process, Owain Rhys James has been appointed to the International Paralympic Committee’s independent Board of Appeal of Classification.


The BAC hears athlete classification appeals in various Para sports across the Paralympic Movement.


Rachel Anthony gains successful judgement in Court of Appeal on Section 7 of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014

Court of Appeal Determines Section 7/ Section 8 Notice Point

Jarvis v Evans [2020] EWCA Civ 854

Jarvis v Evans  was heard by the Court of Appeal on 16.06.2020, deciding an important point arising from the interpretation of Housing (Wales) Act 2014. 

Richard Cole attends World Rugby Judicial Seminar

Richard Cole will be participating in a World Rugby Judicial Seminar on 1 July 2020, with delegates joining via Zoom from across the globe.  The seminar is chaired by Christopher Quinlan QC, World Rugby Judicial Panel Chairman.  Topics include recent case decisions, conducting disciplinary hearings via video platforms, and recent law changes.

Review of Local Government misconduct arrangements, in which Owain Rhys James was instructed, published

Review of the Arrangements for Dealing with Alleged Misconduct of Senior Officers within Local Government in Wales published


Julie James MS, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, has today published the Review of the Arrangements for Dealing with Alleged Misconduct of Senior Officers within Local Government in Wales.

Bryan Thomas of Civitas Law involved in Wales first virtual civil trial

Bryan Thomas, the specialist personal Injury barrister at Civitas Law, Cardiff, was involved in what is believed to be Wales' first video link personal injury trial last week (liability only). The trial commenced at the Swansea County Court before HH Judge Vosper QC on 8th June 2020 and proceeded to judgment on 11th June 2020.

Jonathan Walters elected Wales representative of the Employment Lawyers Association

Civitas Law congratulates Jonathan Walters having been elected, unopposed, as the Wales representative of the Employment Lawyers Association. Jonathan is amongst Wales leading employment lawyers. He is also the joint lead, along with Joanne Williams, of Civitas Law employment law team.

Owain Rhys James appointed Deputy District Judge


Chambers is delighted to announce that Owain Rhys James has been appointed by the Lord Chief Justice to sit as a Deputy District Judge. He will sit on the Wales Circuit and will hear cases through the medium of Welsh and English.

Owain's pracice is predominantly in the areas of commercial and construction; chancery and property, public law; and employment. He regularly sits as a Judicial Officer ina sports discplinary context and has experience of employment disciplinary hearings. He will contine to practise whilst fulfilling his part-time judicial responsibilities.

Elizabeth Marshall writes further on Welsh Housing Law



Further to Rachel Anthony’s observations on PD51Z (April 2020), practitioners might find it useful to know that the Practice Direction has already been amended, clarified, applied in Court, and appealed. 



On 20 April 2020, PD51Z was amended. A new Section 2A excludes the following from the automatic 90 day stay from 26 March 2020: 

i. applications for case management directions, where directions are agreed by the parties; 

Civitas Law Housing Team act in forthcoming Court of Appeal case on the interpretation of section 7 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

The appeal distils to the following issue: should s7 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (‘the 2014 Act’) be interpreted so as to require a Landlord of a property in Wales to be licensed in order to serve a valid notice pursuant to section 8 Housing Act 1988 (‘a section 8 Notice’)?

Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales’ first online hearing.

Cathrine Grubb represented the local authority in the first hearing of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales to take place online. 

Rachel Anthony writes on Covid-19 and Residential Tenancies in Wales

Practice Direction 51Z came into effect on 27.3.20, with the effect that all proceedings brought under CPR 55, together with proceedings seeking to enforce possession by a warrant or a writ of possession, are automatically stayed for a period of 90 days, from 27 March 2020. The Practice Direction ceases to have effect on 30.10.2020. That, coupled with Schedule 29 Coronavirus Act 2020, may mean a quieter few months for Housing Practitioners. 

Owain Rhys James appears in Welsh-medium judicial review - Owain Rhys James yn ymddangos ger bron yr Uchel Lys drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg

R (ar gais AA, BB, CC, ac DD) v Cyngor Gwynedd ag eraill

R (on the application of AA, BB, CC, ac DD) v Gwynedd Council and Ors


An Important Notice Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Civitas Law would like to reassure all clients that we continue to provide a full level of service throughout this difficult time. Chambers is closely monitoring the Government advice regarding COVID-19 and has implemented a number of measures to ensure that we can continue to provide our services to the same high standards whilst working to ensure the protection of health and safety. Key to this is the implementation of remote working for both staff and members of Chambers, as well as adapting to provide conferencing and advisory services via telephone and/or video link.

Simon Hughes and Isabelle Knight examine the recent Court of Appeal decision in Cowley v L.W. Carlisle Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 227 and the implications of the same for Claimants and Defendants

Cowley v LW Carlisle & Company Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 227


In an appeal before Lord Justice McCombe, Lord Justice Holroyde and Lord Justice Peter Jackson in the Court of Appeal, the Respondent successfully argued that the courts below were correct to grant a strike out application made on behalf of the dissolved defendant company.


The Court of Appeal also gave guidance to insurers of dissolved companies on how to proceed with claims where there has been no application to restore that company.


Simon Hughes successfully defends appeal on limitation point in the High Court

Simon Hughes successfully defends appeal on limitation point in the High Court




Mr R Lad v 01408357 LTD and Entex LTD


Simon Hughes represented the fourth Defendant/first Respondent, 01408357 Limited in the High Court, appearing before The Hon. Mrs Justice Andrews.


Mr Hughes was co-defending alongside Mr Patrick Limb QC of Ropewalk Chambers, and the Claimant was represented by Alastair Wright of St John’s Buildings.


Simon Hughes represents successful Respondent in the Court of Appeal

Simon Hughes, instructed by Patrick McBrien of DWF Manchester, appeared for the successful Respondent before the Court of Appeal in Kevin Cowley v L. W. Carlisle & Co Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 227. The judgment can be found on Bailii.

A summary of the decision may be found on Ian Meikle’s blog, The Injury Appeals Blog, here.


Cathrine Grubb reports on the Business and Property Courts Meeting, Cardiff

Business and Property Court Meeting Cardiff

Flooding, Local Justice, Disclosure Pilot & Search Orders


By Cathrine Grubb


Even the Chancellor of the High Court, has been affected by storm Dennis, having been prevented from attended Monday’s B&PC meeting due to the widespread flooding. Sir Jeffrey Vos sent his apologies and assurances that he intends to arrange a new date to come to Cardiff to discuss B&PC Business in the near future. 

Anthony Vines appearing for the Welsh Ministers in A40 inquiry

Anthony Vines has been instructed to appear for the Welsh Ministers before Inspector A McCooey at the public local inquiry into the Scheme for the proposed improvement of the A40 near Llandewi Velfrey and Penblewin in West Wales.  The proposed Scheme includes a new 2+1 highway part of which will bypass Llandewi Velfrey and part will be along the existing route.


Applications for Pupillage commencing 2021

We are open for applications for pupillage commencing in 2021. Full details can be found on our pupillgage page. Closing date for applications is 4pm 27th February 2020.

Civitas Law Sports Law Team continue work with Six Nations Rugby for 2020

Civitas Law Sports Law Team are supporting international sport in 2020.

Civitas Law supporting Higher Education in Wales

Civitas Law continues to support Higher Education in Wales through its established partnerships with several University Law Schools. Rachel Anthony recently lectured on a case law update on claims under the Inheritance Act. You can read her lecture below:

Life and Death After Ilott v The Blue Cross and Others

A Case Law Update on Claims under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975


Richard Cole appointed as Wales and Chester Circuit Junior Representative on Bar Council of England and Wales

Civitas Law would like to congratulate Richard Cole on his appointment as junior barrister representative for Wales and Chester Circuit on the Bar Council of England and Wales. This three year appointment will ensure that Richard is able to influence the development of the Bar both in Wales and England. The appointment is a significant step for Civitas Law, who play a prominent role as Wales leading Civil and Public Law Chambers .

Jonathan Walters Joins Civitas Law

Civitas Law is very pleased to announce that Jonathan Walters has taken a tenancy with Chambers. Jonathan is an accomplished and highly sought after counsel who has represented a range of public bodies in employment and professional disciplinary matters. Jonathan will be joining the Civitas Law Employment Team and adding his depth of experience to our current service offer.


Jonathan Rees QC of Apex Chambers leading Richard Cole of Civitas Chambers have costs success in rare application on behalf of Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police

Jonathan Rees QC of Apex Chambers leading Richard Cole of Civitas Chambers have costs success in rare application on behalf of Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police where the firearms appeal was abandoned shortly before a five day hearing.  Jonathan and Richard were instructed by Ryan Ho of the Force Legal Department and Helen Rees, Head of the Force’s Firearms and Explosives Licensing Department.


Civitas Law Tenancy Opportunities

Civitas Law is the first specialist civil and public law set in Wales. There are 27 members of chambers with an equal balance between male and female and an even spread with regards to age, social background, state or private education and higher education. We are proud to be able to offer advisory, drafting and advocacy services in both English and Welsh. Former members of 33 Park Place, from which Civitas Law was formed, have included Lord Justice Watkins, Lord Justice Pill, Mr Justice Griffith Williams and Mr Justice Wyn Williams.

Owain Rhys James represents Secretary of State in the Court of Appeal

Owain Rhys James is instructed on behalf of the Respondent in MJ (Sri Lanka) v SSHD.

Having appeared before Butcher J at the inteirm relief and permission hearing (heard at Manchester Civil Justice Centre), Owain subsequently represented the Respondent Secretary of State at an urgent interim relief hearing before the Court of Appeal. The case concerns the assessment of accomodation needs and the application of the Secretary of State's allocation policy for those receving accomodation support pursuant to section 4 of the Nationality and Asylum Act 1999.

Bryan Thomas provides an insight into the importance of experts in clinical negligence trials - Interviewed by Lexis Nexis

The importance of experts in clinical negligence trials (Arksey v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Smith v Royal Liverpool Hospitals NHS Trust) 

Rachel Anthony success in case where Court decides Section 8 Notices do Fall Within Section 7 Housing Wales Act 2014.

Darryl Evans and Karen Evans –v- Darren Steve Jarvis: Before HHJ Garland Thomas, at Swansea County Court E1PP056A, on appeal from Haverfordwest County Court .

Rachel Anthony represented Mr and Mrs Evans as Direct Access Counsel.

Ian Meikle starts injury appeals blog

Ian Meikle has created The Injury Appeals Blog https://www.injuryappeals.blog, a collection of summaries of the latest Supreme Court and Court of Appeal decisions on cases involving personal injury or clinical negligence. Ian aims to post about the cases within the week that the decisions are published.

World Rugby Judicial appointments for Richard Cole and Owain Rhys James

Richard Cole and Owain Rhys James have been appointed as Judicial Officers for World Rugby following assessment over a number of days at Twickenham Stadium during the London leg of the World Sevens series.

Rachel Anthony appointed to Equality & Human Rights Commission Panel Couple

Civitas Law are delighted to announce that Rachel Anthony has been appointed to the Panel of Counsel for The Equality & Human Rights Commission. Rachel is one of only two Welsh based counsel to be appointed to the panel.


The Equality & Human Rights Commission panel of counsel lists preferred providers of external legal services, including representation and advice.

Rachel Anthony successful in first appeal under Housing (Wales) Act 2014

Rachel Anthony recently successfully represented the tenant in a key appeal concerning the requirement for Landlords to be licensed pursuant to  Housing (Wales) Act 2014 in order to serve a section 21 notice.

Civitas Law is the main sponsor at 2019 Cardiff University Mooting Competition

Civitas Law continues to support the development of young lawyers in Wales through its contribution to the annual Cardiff University Mooting Competition. This is a key event with the academic programme and involves undergraduates together with those studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Law.


Members of Chambers Elizabeth Marshall and Christopher Howells were the judges for this year’s competitions. There were some excellent performances from the competitors and the winners receive mini pupillages at Civitas Law.


Owain Rhys James and Richard Cole sit on Pro14 Rugby Disciplinary Panel

Nico Lee of Toyota Cheetahs faced a Disciplinary Hearing t in Cardiff, and has been banned for 13 weeks.

Richard Cole represents Care Inspectorate Wales

Richard Cole recently appeared on behalf of the Welsh Ministers (Care Inspectorate Wales), at a hearing before the Health Tribunal, to decide whether emergency conditions imposed against a care home by the inspectorate should be lifted.  The hearing took place at the Warrington Combined Court (once part of the Wales and Chester Circuit), before Judge Siobhan Goodrich and two specialist members.  Ultimately, new conditions were imposed on the home following a day of negotiations and approval by the court of the

Pupillage in 2020

We are seeking an exceptional candidate for a pupillage with us commencing in September 2020.

Details of the application process are on the pupillage page of our website.

The application process closes at 4pm on 14th February 2019.

Owain Rhys James represents Welsh Ministers before the Information Rights Tribunal

Owain Rhys James recently represented the Welsh Ministers, as Respondents to an appeal, before the First Tier Tirbunal (General Regulatory Chamber) Information Rights.

The judgment may be found here.

Lucy King joins Chambers

Chambers welcomes Lucy King as a new member.  Lucy has returned to the Bar after a career break. She brings experience of a range of civil law work along with a background in education and training. Read more about Lucy via this link: http://civitaslaw.com/barristers/lucy-king.

If you would like to instruct Lucy, please contact us on clerks@civitaslaw.com.

Simon Hughes successful in strike out appeal

Kevin Cowley v LW Carlisle Company Limited – Appeal before HHJ Rawlings on 14th November 2018.


DWF successfully applied for this occupational deafness claim to be struck out and then resisted the Claimant's appeal of the District Judge's strike out order. The case was handled by Patrick McBrien, Director in our Catastrophic Injury & Occupational Health team. Simon Hughes, Counsel from Civitas Law, successfully represented the Defendant at the Appeal.


Background & Decision at First Instance

Anthony Vines represents Bridgend County Borough Council in important school health and safety case

On 2 November 2018, Anthony Vines appeared at the sentencing hearing of the Council in Cardiff Crown Court before the Recorder of Cardiff.  The Council was committed for sentence from Cwmbran Magistrates Court where it had pleaded guilty to the single charge brought by the HSE of breaching s.3(1) of the HSWA 1974 over a period from 1 September 2008 to 10 December 2014.  

Civitas Law - Leading Set in Legal 500

We are pleased to continue to receive accolades in The Legal 500. Our profile for 2018-19 and rankings for many of our members are now online at https://www.legal500.com/firms/9558-civitas-law/9558-cardiff-wales.

As the  leading sets on the Wales and Chester Circuit our members continue to be called upon in many areas of law.

Sixteen members of our chambers have received Tier 1 rankings.

North Wales Seminar - 27th November

Civitas Law is an award winning, leading specialist civil and public law barristers’ chambers serving clients across Wales and England. We believe clients are best served by a set of highly specialist lawyers offering excellence and innovation in advisory work, drafting, mediation and advocacy. Our North Wales Seminar will involve briefings on current issues impacting on North Wales.

Headline presentations will be:

Loss of Earnings in PI Claims

Simon Hughes will be discussing loss of earnings in personal injury claims

Richard Cole undertakes in depth reviews for the Independent Office for Police Conduct

Richard Cole has completed two in depth independent reviews into closed investigations undertaken by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (previously the IPCC). The work was commissioned by the Quality Control Unit of the IPCC and involved reviewing a large number of investigations carried out by all of the IPCC’s offices across the UK. Richard’s work took place between September 2017 and September 2018 and will be used to identify and maintain areas of good practice, as well as improve standards within investigations.

Dominic Evans begins pupillage at Civitas Law

Chambers is delighted to welcome Dominic Evans as a pupil.

After growing up in Neath, Dominic went on to study Law at Cardiff University and graduated with First Class Honours. He thereafter completed the Bar Professional Training Course at the University of Law in London, attaining a Very Competent.

Nicholas David Jones, chair of the Management Board, said “In Dominic we have continued our policy of recruiting candidates of the highest calibre and who are committed to working in Wales.”

Owain Rhys James granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal

Owain Rhys James has been granted permission to appeal the dismissal of an application for a stay of proceedings pursuant to Section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996. He acted for the Appellant at first instance (then as the Applicant) and at the first appeal before HHJ Vosper QC. Permission has now been granted for a second appeal to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

Richard Cole successfully represents the Official Receiver at a rare contested Bankruptcy Restriction Order application.

The Official Receiver applied for a BRO in circumstances where the Respondent, who was subject to a bankruptcy petition at the material time, disposed of a sizeable asset and spent the proceeds to the detriment of his creditors. 

A Welcome Win for Welsh Ministers



The Court of Appeal in Sumner v Colbourne & Others [2018]EWCA Civ 1006, provides an important ruling on the obligations in respect of land adjoining the highway. Chambers’ own Nicholas David Jones, acted in that case as junior counsel to the Welsh Ministers, whose victory will have important implications not only for public bodies, but all those who own land adjoining a highway. 


Civitas Law - Main Sponsor Cardiff University Law School Mooting competition 2018

Civitas Law is pleased to continue to be the main sponsor for Cardiff University Law Schools annual mooting competition. Maintaining strong links with local Universities is important to the Chambers. Our members recently judged at the competition and were very pleased to award five mini pupillages to students.


Appointment to Government Legal Department Panel

Chambers would like to congratulate the following members on their appointment and re-appointment to the Government Legal Department Panel:

A panel: Mona Bayoumi
              Richard Cole
             Victoria Hillier

B Panel: Joanne Williams

C Panel: Owain Rhys James

Nick David Jones of the Management Board said: ‘Civitas continues to maintain its long  standing relationship  with the Government Legal Department in Wales which  Is reflected in these well deserved appointments’

Sports Law Team: New Six Nations Appointments

Civitas Law is pleased to announce the appointment of members Richard Cole and Owain Rhys James as under 18’s Six Nations Judicial Officers. 


Richard Cole already sits as a Legal Chair in disciplinary and administrative hearings for the Welsh Rugby Union, Pro 14 league, European Rugby and Six Nations.


Owain Rhys James adds this prestigious under 18’s Six Nations role to his recent appointment as a judicial officer for European Rugby


Witness Orders in the Employment Tribunal

Christopher Howells examines the test to be satisfied in order to secure a witness order before an Employment tribunal.

The power to make a witness order in an Employment tribunal can be found at schedule 1, r.32 of the Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1237) (“the 2013 Regs”):
“32. The Tribunal may order any person in Great Britain to attend a hearing to give evidence, produce documents, or produce information.”

Chris Howells discusses Data Protection and Employment law

Data Protection and Employment law

Christopher Howells looks at the changes on the horizon with Data Protection law and considers how this will impact the workplace.

General Data Protection Regulations

For those of you that struggled to come to terms with the vagaries of the Data Protection Act 1998 there is good news: it will soon be defunct.

Alas that’s where the joy ends since it will only be replaced by new legislation, the General Data Protection Regulations (which goes by the not-so-catchy acronym ‘GDPR’).

Richard Cole appears before licensing sub-committee for South Wales Police

Richard Cole recently acted (January 2018) for the Chief Constable of South Wales Police in a number of licensing applications concerning premises in the Churchill Way/Queen Street area of Cardiff before a licensing sub-committee sitting at City Hall. The case received local and national publicity (The Times, The Daily Mail, The Metro, the Sun,  the BBC, Walesonline, The South Wales Echo) because of the nature of one of the applications.  He was instructed by Mrs Louise Emmitt, senior solicitor at the Legal Department of the Force.

Phillip Kolvin QC acted for the Applicant

Civitas Law shares best practice alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in The Parliamentary Review

Civitas Law appears alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in The Parliamentary Review – a series of documents published by Westminster Publications Ltd with the aim of sharing knowledge and raising standards.

Sir Wyn Williams appointed to Welsh Government Commission on Justice in Wales

Chambers is delighted to hear of Sir Wyn Williams' appointment as a member of the Commission on Justice in Wales, headed by former Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd.

The Commission's terms of reference have also been announced by the First Minister

It is expected the Commission will begin its work in December and will publish a report of its findings and recommendations during the course of 2019.

The full statement can be read here:

Graham Walters publishes Welsh Planning Law and Practice

Graham Walters, a non-practising member of Chambers, has published Welsh Planning Law and Practice. It is published by the University of Wales Press (UWP)

Welsh Planning Law and Practice provides a comprehensive guide to the sources and structure of Welsh planning law and a route through its complexity.

Civitas Law ranked as a Band 1 Set by Chambers and Partners

Chambers is delighted with the feedback received in the most recent edition of Chambers and Partners.

  • 8 of Chambers’ 19 pracitsing members
  • Total of 14 rankings
  • Andrea Mclean is the senior clerk at the chambers. Sources enthuse that her team's service is "second to none. The telephone is answered quickly and the clerks are readily available and will always assist you in checking availability of the relevant barristers. They do everything in their power to ensure that there is a continuity of counsel in any given case."


Civitas Law welcomes new members

Civitas Law is delighted to announce that Elizabeth Marshall and Rachel Anthony have joined chambers.


They both join having previously practised at Iscoed Chambers, Swansea. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge of the circuit.


Liz was called to the bar in 1995. She has a national PI practice and is looking to use her experience to develop other her practice into Chambers’ other areas of work.


Rachel was called to the bar in 2000. She specializes in  chancery, commercial and housing work.


More rankings from Legal 500 for Civitas’ barristers

Today’s new edition of The Legal 500, which reviews Civitas Law here, complete with the remarks said about individual members of chambers, provides an excellent and welcome snapshot on progress.  We are grateful to our solicitors and clients for their positive feedback.

Sports Law team members attend European Rugby disciplinary conference in Bilbao

Owain Rhys James and Richard Cole have been re-appointed as Judicial Officers for European Rugby.  Both attended the EPCR Disciplinary Conference held in Bilbao on 7 October 2017. Speakers included Alain Rolland, Joel Jutge, Roddy Dunlop QC, and Mike Hamlin, the new chair of EPCR discipline.  More details can be found at EPCR's website at:

Owain Rhys James appointed to Welsh Government panel

Owain Rhys James has been appointed to the Welsh Government's panel of approved Counsel. He will represent the Welsh Government and its associated bodies.

Candidates had to satisfy a number of criteria, including experience of advocacy in the higher courts, experience in constitutional and administrative law, knowledge of the devolution settlement in Wales and of divergences between the law in England and in Wales, experience of working for or against the government or other public bodies and an appreciation of the particular characteristics of government litigation.

Chris Howells discusses Employment Tribunal fees decision

The long awaited decision of the Supreme Court in R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor) has been issued. The Supreme Court held that the introduction of fees was unlawful: both under domestic and European legislation. Significantly, the Supreme Court upheld Unison’s submission that for those on lower and middle income the introduction of fees meant that it was unaffordable to pursue claims in the Employment Tribunal.


Ian Meikle joins Civitas Law

Civitas law is delighted to announce that Ian Meikle has joined chambers.

Ian joins chambers having been practicing for three years in London at 42 Bedford Row. He accepts instructions in all of chambers' practice areas except for employment. He has a thriving personal injury practice and, having spent a period of time on secondment at Hackney Council, has extensive experience of housing law.

He is the author of the Westlaw Insight articles on Duty of Care, Causation in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, and on RTAs.

Owain Rhys James successful in jurisdiction argument before the Residential Property Tribunal

Owain Rhys James recently appeared before the Residential Property Tribunal in a Mobile Homes Act appeal. Instructed on behalf of the Respondent Local Authority he was successful in arguing that the Tribunal’s power to apply new conditions to mobile home site licences under the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 was limited to conditions which were related to those which were successful in the appeal.


Gareth Jones acts in dispute concerning £2million estate

Gareth Jones was recently instructed in Edkins v Hopkins & Ors heard before HHJ Jarman QC sitting as a Judge of the High Court. The case concerned an estate valued at £2million and allegations of undue influence, issues of capacity, and knowledge and approval.


The judgment has been reported at Edkins v Hopkins and Ors [2017] WTLR 39 and can be found at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2016/2542.html.

9 Members appointed to the All Wales Legal Services panel

Civitas Law is delighted to announce that 9 of its members have been appointed to the All Wales National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS) Legal Services panel across 19 practice areas. Members will offer their advisory and advocacy services to Local Authorities across Wales, with some members doing so bilingually.

Former Presiding Judge for Wales, Sir Wyn Williams FLSW, joins Civitas Law

Civitas Law is delighted to announce that former High Court Judge Sir Wyn Williams  has joined chambers as a Mediator and Arbitrator.

Owain Rhys James appointed to CIArb Wales Committee

Owain Rhys James FCIArb has been appointed to the committee of CIArb Wales.

Owain became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2015 following completion of an MSc in Arbitration, Dispute Resolution and Construction Law.

Owain accepts nominations to act as an Arbitrator, Adjudicator and is also a CEDR-trained mediator. He sits as a judicial officer for the WRU, Guinness Pro12 and Six Nations rugby. He is also an Independent Chair Person for the FAW’s Appeal Committee.


Pupillage Application Deadline - 4pm on 7/2/2017

We are looking for pupils to join Civitas Law in September 2018.

Civitas Law is an award winning, specialist civil & public law barristers’ chambers and is consistently recognised by the legal directories as a leading set. We serve clients across Wales & England and offer our services to solicitors and directly to businesses and members of the public.

Civitas Law's members appointed as Judicial Officers for 6Nations

Civitas Law were once again in attendance at this year’s 6Nations Disciplinary Conference, held at the Lensbury Hotel over the weekend, ahead of a busy period in the rugby calendar.

Nicholas David Jones, Richard Cole and Owain Rhys James are all appointed to sit as Judicial Officers for the 6Nations tournament (including Womens and age grade competitions). They regularly sit as Judicial Officers for the EPRC, Guinness Pro12 and the WRU.





Christopher Howells secures £347,000 award in Employment Tribunal claim

Christopher Howells successfully represented a former teacher in her claim for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal before the Cardiff Employment tribunal. The Claimant, who suffered with Bi-Polar disorder, was found to have been dismissed for a reason arising from her disability. Separate findings were also made that the duty to make reasonable adjustments had been breached in a number of material respects.

Dan Dyson appears before the Court of Appeal

Dan Dyson led by Neil Hext QC of 4 New Square Chambers appeared before the Court of Appeal (Lady Justice Gloster and Lord Justice Tomlinson) on 22 and 23 November 2016 in the case of Rodney Channon (t/a Channon & Co) v John Ward (t/a Channon & Co).  Judgment will be handed down in due course.

Owain Rhys James appointed Independent Appeals Panel Chairperson for the FAW

Owain Rhys James has been appointed as an Independent Appeals Panel Chairperson for the Football Association of Wales.


In his role, Owain will chair the FAW's disciplinary appeals panel on an ad hoc basis. He is one of six appointed Chairpersons and has been appointed for a term of three years.


Civitas Law consolidates its position in the new rankings from Chambers and Partners

The new edition of Chambers and Partners' UK Bar is out.  Civitas Law has 13 rankings for 8 of its members. 


We are the only set to have juniors ranked for Public and Administrative Law on the Wales and Chester Circuit; and all of those ranked for Clinical Negligence on circuit are members of Civitas Law. We are delighted to be described as being at the "forefront of personal injury law in Wales".

Chris Howells acts in first Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme case

Last Friday, Chris Howells appeared before the Employment Tribunal in Cardiff as the first volunteer representative for the ELIP scheme.


The Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme is a new initiative backed by the Regional Employment Judge, the Bar Council and the Free Representation Unit together with local solicitors. Chris, assisted by local solicitors, provided assistance and advice to the Claimant before the ET.


For more information, do not hesitate to contact our clerks.

Chris Howells acts in first Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme case

Last Friday, Chris Howells appeared before the Employment Tribunal in Cardiff as the first volunteer representative for the ELIP scheme.


The Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme is a new initiative backed by the Regional Employment Judge, the Bar Council and the Free Representation Unit together with local solicitors. Chris, assisted by local solicitors, provided assistance and advice to the Claimant before the ET.


For more information, do not hesitate to contact our clerks.

Richard Cole appointed as a Judicial Officer for rugby's European Cup

Richard Cole has been appointed a Judicial Officer for the EPRC Champions and Challenge Cup which starts this week. He attended an enjoyable seminar in Edinburgh (location of the finals in May 2017) on Saturday 8 October 2016, which consisted of a number of interesting talks and lectures from referees, lawyers and senior Judicial Officers. Richard was one of four Judicial Officers recommended for appointment by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Richard also sits as a judicial officer for the Welsh Rugby Union, the PRO 12 League, and the Six Nations Championship.

Anthony Vines in fatal Newport health and safety prosecution


Cardiff Crown Court last Friday saw the sentencing of the defendant in a case relating to a yard gate the main hinge of which had failed crushing a delivery driver, Mr Ronald Hayward.  A sentence of £500,000 was imposed following a very early guilty plea; costs of £108,625.85 were also awarded.

Book now for our Civil and Employment Law Update

Chris Howells, Richard Cole and Owain James will be hosting a legal update at the Management Centre, Bangor.


The topics will be:

Owain Rhys James nominated for University Alumni Award

Owain Rhys James was nominated for the "Inspiring the Next Generation Award" at the inaugural University of South Wales Alumni Awards at an event held on 7 October.The University's coverege can be seen here.


Kate Parker successful in High Court Appeal

Kate Parker recently appeared before Lewis J successfully resisting an appeal brought by the Defendant.


Civitas Law host mock trial training event for Community Housing Cymru

On 29th September Chambers was delighted to co-host a Mock Trial event in collaboration with Hugh James solicitors and Community Housing Cymru at the Future Inn, Cardiff.  

Nicholas David Jones, Richard Cole and Owain Rhys James played out a full trial as Judge and Counsel with our pupils, Tara Ahari and Alys Williams, playing the witnesses.  Senior Associate, Leon Lloyd also faced cross examination.  Over 50 delegates from Housing Associations from across Wales attended the event, which was aimed at familiarising them with the civil trial process.

Civitas Law yn cynnal seminar yny Ganolfan Rheolaeth, Prifysgol Bangor ar 1 o o Dachwedd

Mae Chris Howells, Richard Cole and Owain James, bargyfreithwyr yn Civitas Law, yn cynnal seminar CPD. Bydd tair seminar fer yn rhoi diweddariadau cyfreithiol a pwyntiau ymarferol.


Y pynciau trafod fydd:

·Diweddariadau yng Nghyfraith Cyflogaeth – Chris Howells sydd yn trafod diweddariadau ac achosion pwysig o’r Tribiwnlys Cyflogaeth

·Y Llysoedd Sifil ol-Mitchell a Denton – Richard Cole yn trafod cosbau a chymorth ym mhyd cyfreithiad

Civitas Law host North Wales seminar on 1 November

Civitas Law, will be hosting a legal update at the Management Centre, Bangor on 1st November.


The topics will be:


·Employment Law Update – Chris Howells highlights key recent developments in employment law

·The Civil Courts post-Mitchell and Denton – Richard Cole discusses sanctions and relief in civil litigation

·Injunctions: A Practical Guide – Owain James provides a practical step-by-step guide to obtaining injunctions in a commercial, housing, property or public law claim.


Another year of Excellent Rankings from Legal 500 for Civitas’ Barristers



Chambers has again been named a leading set in the new Legal 500.   Civitas was founded in October 2008 with the vision of providing highly specialist services, excellence and innovation in the areas of civil and public law.  It has been regarded as a Top-Tier set each year ever since, and this year was no exception.


New members at Civitas Law

Chambers is delighted to announce the addition of Dan Dyson to its Company, Commercial and Insolvency, and Property and Land team. Dan specialises in commercial and property litigation.   His practice features business disputes across a wide range of domestic industries.  His profile can be viewed here.


Alys Williams has also joined us as a Pupil under the initial supervision of Richard Cole.


Tara Ahari, Civitas Law's current pupil, will commence her second sixth in October and will be accepting instructions in all of Chambers' practice areas.


Dan Dyson joins Civitas Law

Civitas Law are delighted to welcome Dan Dyson, who joins us from Magdalen Chambers.

Dan specialises in commercial and property litigation.   His practice features business disputes across a wide range of domestic industries.  His profile can be viewed here.

Nicholas David Jones, chair of the Management Board, commented: "We are delighted that Dan has joined us. His practice and expertise complements chambers’ profile exceedingly well and adds to our strength and depth of talent."

Chambers welcomes new pupil

Chambers is delighted to welcome Alys WIlliams who has joined us as a pupil.

Originally from near Pwllheli, North Wales, Alys studied Law at the University of Liverpool and graduated with First Class Honours in 2014. She studied the Bar Professional Training Course at BPP University in Manchester, achieving a Very Competent grade.  She looks forward to joining Civitas at their new location in September to learn from and work with her supervisor and Chambers members, and gain experience in a wide variety of practice areas.


Richard Cole acts for Ministry of Justice in claim for false imprisonment

An action of false imprisonment will not lie against the gaoler of a liberty, for detaining a prisoner committed to his custody, under a warrant from the bailiff, although the arrest was made out of the bailiff’s jurisdiction - Olliet v Bessey (1682) T Jones Report 214.

The law remains the same in 2016.

S v Ministry of Justice, QBD, Cardiff.

Tara Ahari discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Moreno v Motor Insurers' Bureau

Moreno (Respondent) v The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (Appellant) [2016] UKSC 52


Tara Ahari is Civitas Law's current pupil. She will accept insutrctions in all areas of Chambers' work from the end of September. Contact the clerks for more details.


Cathrine Grubb discussed the new Pubs Code etc Regulations

New Pubs’ Code

Owain Rhys James represents local authority at EAT

Owain Rhys James recently appeared on behalf of the City of Cardiff Council before the Employment Appeals Tribunal.


Richard Cole succesful in striking out claim against Secretary of State


Wales needs a Champion

Cathrine Grubb reports on views from this morning’s Business Insider manufacturing meeting – charting the way for Wales following last week’s referendum result. 

Overall, the panel, consisting of VB Garg (Liberty Steel), Andrew Howell (BCB International), Paul Lindsey (Aerospace Wales) and Bob Clark (Clarks UK) were quite buoyant about the impact of the referendum result on Wales’ manufacturing industry.

Brexit: implications for Wales

Brexit will require bargains to be reached not only between the UK & EU, but Westminster & Cardiff, as Cathrine Grubb explains.

What happens if a beneficiary of a will pre-deceases a testator?

Wills are typically described as “ambulatory” which means that they possess no force or effect prior to the death of the testator. Where the beneficiary of a gift predeceases the testator then as a general rule the gift will fail or “lapse”. Note that a deemed predecease will arise in various cases such as the effect of divorce on a gift made by one spouse to another.  The effect is that for the purpose of any gift to that spouse the survivor will be deemed to have predeceased the testator[1]. Another less well known example is the effect of renunciation of a gift.

Another busy year of rugby disciplinary hearings

With the Rugby Union season ending with, unfortunately, yet another Wales’ tour of New Zealand it has been a busy year for several members of Civitas Law who have been involved in both administrative and disciplinary hearings at a local, regional and international level.

Chambers now open for pupillage applications

Chambers is now advertising for prospective pupils for pupillages starting in 2016: the advertisement can be found here.  The closing-date for applications is 18 December 2015.

Nick David Jones, chair of the Management Committee, said "Chambers has decided to take advantage of our current position and to offer excellent training opportunities to impressive applicants with the skills to meet today's market conditions."

Re-appointments retain strong Civitas presence on Treasury Solicitor's Panel

Chambers would like to congratulate Mona Bayoumi and Richard Cole following their re-appointment as Junior Counsel to the Crown (appointed until 2020).  

Junior Counsel to the Crown undertake litigation on behalf of Government departments across a range of areas of law. Both Mona and Richard were first appointed as Junior Counsel to the Crown in 2010.

Civitas Law receives 12 rankings from new edition of Chambers and Partners

Civitas Law has followed the positive reviews from The Legal 500 with an impressive array of 12 rankings from the new edition of the UK Bar Guide 2016 published by Chambers and Partners.  Significantly, 9 of the rankings are at Band 1 level.  Chambers has particularly strong showings in Personal injury and Clinical negligence, Employment, Commercial dispute resolution and Administrative and public law.
Chambers is also delighted to see that our clerking team received a good review.
The following are all quotations from the new edition.

Appointment for Richard Cole shows expertise in disciplinary work

Following a national competition, Richard Cole has been appointed to the panel of part-time legally-qualified chairs for the police misconduct panel hearings being heard within the force areas of North Wales, South Wales and Dyfed-Powys.

Richard already has considerable experience sitting as a legal adviser to police misconduct hearings.  The relevant regulations require that from the New Year, such panels comprise a legally-qualified chair rather than a chief police officer.

Owain Rhys James discusses the Consumer Protection Act and the secondary-ticket market

Owain Rhys James appeared on ITV/S4C’s current affairs programme, “Y Byd ar Bedwar” on Tuesday night, together with ITV News, discussing online ticket sales and the secondary-ticket market.

11 "Leading Juniors": Excellent rankings from The Legal 500

The new edition of The Legal 500 has been published with an excellent array of nominations.  The editors of The Legal 500 have added another member of chambers this year to those listed previously, bringing to 11 those who have been identified by solicitors in this independent directory and regarded by The Legal 500 as "Leading Juniors".  

Court of Appeal emphasises why its orders should be followed and that means need to be properly disclosed at sentencing stage

The Court of Appeal (Burnett LJ, Carr and Lindblom JJ) has given a clear warning of the consequences which can follow when orders which it makes are not followed and that if a defendant is asserting a lack of means then the correct information needs to be put before the Court.  The sanction imposed was a recovery of defence costs order.

Matthew Paul successful in Upper Tribunal over selective licensing area conditions

On 11th September, HHJ Nicholas Gerald, sitting in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), gave judgment in the case of Hyndburn Borough Council v. Paul Brown & Anr [2015] UKUT 0489 (LC). He allowed Hyndburn’s appeal against the decisions MAN/30UG/HML/2014/0001 and MAN/30UG/HML/2014/0002 of the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) dated 14th July 2014, to remove or amend conditions imposed on two licences issued pursuant to the selective licensing provisions contained in section 90 of the Housing Act 2004.

History of the Appeal

Owain James discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Arnold v Britton

Contractual interpretation and commercial common sense

This article was originally published in the August edition of Legal News, the magazine of the Confederation of South Wales Law Societies.

Joanne Williams succeeds in the EAT: clarification of the nature of the right conferred under Reg.13 of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010

In Coles v Ministry of Defence, the judgment of which has just been handed down, the Employment Appeal Tribunal for the first time has considered significant questions of interpretation of the Agency Worker Regulations 2010. 

Richard Cole in successful £26m directors' disqualification

Richard Cole has been successful in a large-scale directors' disqualification in which he was instructed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills before HHJ Keyser QC, sitting as a judge of the High Court in Cardiff.  

Mixed General Election results for Chambers' candidates

Yesterday's General Election has brought differing fortunes for those members of chambers who were standing as prospective parliamentary candidates.

Nick Thomas Symonds, who was standing as the Labour Party candidate for his home constituency of Torfaen, was successful in his bid for election.

Meanwhile, Matthew Paul, who stood for the Conservatives in his home constituency of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, did not manage to unseat the Plaid Cymru candidate, Jonathan Edwards, after a hard-fought campaign.

Review of pupillages underway

Chambers is currently reviewing whether to offer any funded pupillages starting this year and/or next year.

Full and up-to-date information will be available as soon as possible which we anticipate will be around 11 May.

Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds named "Chancery Disputes Specialist of the Year"

Nick Thomas-Symonds is celebrating after receiving a prestigious global award for his work as a barrister.  Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of their 2014 Dispute Resolution Awards, sponsored by V-Rooms. 

Nick Thomas-Symonds has won the award for Chancery Disputes Specialist of the Year 2014 for the United Kingdom, his specialist area of law.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, 33, is from Blaenavon and now lives in Abersychan with his wife Rebecca and his daughters Matilda, 4, and Florence, 2.

Anthony Vines in successful Belfast regulatory prosecution arising from e. Coli outbreak

The passing of sentence today by HHJ Kerr QC in the food hygiene prosecution by Belfast City Council of Flicks Restaurant brings to a successful conclusion the criminal proceedings which arose from Northern Ireland's largest outbreak of e. Coli O157.  
The outbreak in 2012 in fact comprised 2 episodes in August and October that year.  Whilst there were 4 confirmed primary cases of e. Coli O157 in August and a further 141 in October, there were many more secondary and linked cases.  There were 19 primary cases admitted to hospital.

Cathrine Grubb discusses Welsh devolution under the 'St. David's Day Agreement'

On Friday 27th February 2015 the House of Commons published Command Paper 9020 Powers for a Purpose:  Towards a Lasting Devolution Settlement for Wales (‘the Paper’) setting out proposals for new devolved powers in Wales.  The proposals contained in the Paper were unveiled by David Cameron and Nick Clegg at th

Excellent review in Chambers & Partners

The new 2015 edition of the Chambers and Partners' UK Bar Guide has confirmed the quality of the barristers at Civitas Law.  All here are of course grateful to those who have provided such positive feedback to the researchers.
In particular the number of ratings Chambers has received has put Chambers into the Guide's table for those with the highest proportion of ratings: 23 ratings for our barristers - the only Chambers in Wales to be in the table and even slightly higher than last year.

New Legal 500 shows local dominance of Civitas barristers

Civitas Law has been delighted to see that the editors of the new Legal 500, which was published yesterday, have confirmed chambers as a first-tier set and has identified up to 26 nominations of leading silks and juniors across its areas of expertise.  This is more than twice the number of any other set on circuit in our areas of practice.

Public law and regulatory specialist joins Chambers

From today, seasoned regulatory and public law barrister Matthew Paul joins Civitas Law.
Matthew, who was brought up and lives in West Wales, was educated at New College, Oxford and has been practising in chambers in London since completing pupillage in 2001.  

Finalists for Regional Chambers of the Year

We have just heard that Civitas Law has been shortlisted as the Regional Chambers of the Year by the Halsbury Legal Awards.  

In the shortlist of 3 sets of chambers, Civitas Law is the only set of chambers from Wales or Bristol.

The winners of the Halsbury Legal Awards will be revealed at the 2014 Awards ceremony which is to be held on 24 September at The Grange St Pauls Hotel, London.

Civitas' employment barristers deliver equality training for Welsh Assembly

Members of Civitas' employment team were recently invited to give training to the legal team of the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.  

Anthony Vines gave an update on the recent developments in Discrimination whereas, Head of the employment team, Jonathan Walters, provided a seminar/workshop on the public sector equality duty.

Keith Bush appointed QC honoris causa

Chambers is delighted to announce the appointment of Keith Bush as Queen’s Counsel honoris causa.  Keith joined Civitas Law as a door tenant following his departure from the Welsh Government's legal service.

Keith was called to the bar in 1977 and left independent practice in 1999 to join the Welsh Government as a legal adviser. He served as Chief Legal Adviser to the National Assembly for Wales between 2007  to 2012.

Anthony Vines reviews the regulatory changes for site owners and residents of mobile homes in Wales

The regulation of certain mobile home sites will change with effect from 1st October 2014 following the passage of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.  The changes do not apply to holiday sites and to various other excepted classes set out in Schedule 1 to the Act.  The regime however will effect significant and welcome change in the management and regulation of sites including by limiting the period of site licences to 5 years and requiring site managers to be passed as fit and proper.

Mair Coombes-Davies appointed Visiting Professor

Chambers is delighted to announce that Dr Mair Coombes-Davies has been appointed a Visiting Professor by the University of South Wales.  

Leading victory on pre-action disclosure in Court of Appeal

Two members of Civitas Law, Theo Huckle QC leading Cathrine Grubb, are delighted to have learned of their recent success in the Court of Appeal on what is undoubtedly an important decision on pre-action disclosure.

Civitas Law supports launch of University of South Wales' Pro Bono Clinic

The University of South Wales launched its new Legal and Financial Advice Clinic at an event held at The Atrium last night. The scheme will enable members of the public and small businesses who require advice to attend at the clinic where they will be assisted by students at the University.

Excellent review in Chambers & Partners' UK Bar 2014

The new edition of the Chambers and Partners' UK Bar Guide has confirmed the quality of the barristers at Civitas Law.  All here are of course grateful to those who have provided such positive feedback to the researchers.
In particular the number of ratings Chambers has received has put Chambers into the Guide's table for those with the highest proportion of ratings: 23 ratings for our 21 barristers - the only Chambers in Wales to be in the table.

Shortlisted for Regional Chambers of the Year

Civitas Law was shortlisted for Regional Chambers of the Year in The Legal 500 Awards this week. The only Chambers from Wales, Civitas Law was pipped to the post by a set from the Midlands.

Nick David Jones, barrister and member of the Management Board of Civitas Law said "We are grateful to our clients for having given such good feedback on the level of service provided here.  After such good ratings in the new The Legal 500 confirming the strength of our practices both in and well beyond Wales, we are pleased with this news."

Chambers and counsel nominated again for further award

The shortlist has been announced for the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards 2013 which will be judged on 26 November 2013 at the Park Plaza Riverbank, London.

Chambers has "done the double".  Not only has Civitas Law been nominated as Chambers of the Year, but Theo Huckle QC has also been shortlisted as Barrister of the Year.  Both were also shortlisted last year when Chambers went on to win the award.

Chalets at Oxwich Park - The Court of Appeal strictly interprets service charge clause

Owain Rhys James pines for an autumn break by reviewing the latest case about service charges in chalets on the Gower.....

Earlier this year, we featured Arnold v Britton [2012] EWHC 3451 (Ch), heard before Morgan J at the Cardiff District Registry, on the Civitas Law Blog. The Court of Appeal upheld that judgment over the summer: a decision which may have far reaching consequences for lessees obliged to pay service charges.

The facts

New tenant

Chambers is delighted to announce that, following a successful pupillage supported by excellent feedback, Owain Rhys James has accepted an offer to join Civitas Law.

Owain accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers' practice.

Owain attended Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg in Cardiff after which he read Law at St Catharine's College, Cambridge where he received a Gooderson Award.  Owain returned to Cardiff where he took his Bar Practical Training Course at Cardiff University.  The Inner Temple awarded him an Exhibition Award.

New Legal 500 confirms Chambers' profile and expertise

The 2013 edition of the Legal 500 which was published this morning has maintained Chambers' strong position as a Top Tier Set with 16 of its barristers being featured.

Amidst recognition of individual expertise in the full range of civil and public law, the national reputation of the chambers in industrial disease claims is confirmed.

Michael Brace, barrister and member of the Management Board of Civitas Law said,

Chambers welcomes new pupil

We are delighted to announce that our new pupil, William Rees, has started in Chambers.

William read Law at Jesus College, Cambridge and then went on to Bar School in London.  He has a commercial background having also previously worked in the City.

His first pupil supervisor is Nick Thomas-Symonds.

Welsh Govt publishes 'Renting Homes' White Paper

The Welsh Government has recently published its White Paper on housing law, ‘Renting Homes – a better way for Wales’, as reported by Owain Rhys James, a pupil barrister at Civitas Law in his latest blog update on civitaslawcommunities.wordpress.com. The proposals pave the way for a new legal framework for renting domestic property in Wales based on the foundations of it being ‘fair, simple and efficient’.

Richard Cole successful in claim for Director's Disqualification Orders

Richard Cole was recently successful on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills before HHJ Keyser QC, sitting as a judge of the High Court.  Mr and Mrs Hawkes (mother and son) ran a plywood importation business, F G Hawkes (Western Limited), which traded as RKL Plywood, in Swansea.  The company was placed into Administration in 2011.  The deficiency was in excess of £26 million.  The Secretary of State sought to disqualify both directors pursuant to the Company Disqualification Act 1986.  Several allegations of unfitness were pro

Last chance in consultation on new regulatory code

The Consultation on Code brings important chance to unlock regulators' behaviour. Anthony Vines, barrister, Civitas Law has drafted an article outlining the opportunities and issues raised by the consultation for regulators with regard to the Regulators' Compliance Code; particularly its impact on local authorities and businesses in the management of issues affecting our everyday lives. 

Personal Injury team help relaunch BPILS Division 1 for LexisNexis

Civitas Law's Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Group are celebrating the launch of the completely rewritten Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service (BPILS), Division 1.

Division I Fundamentals of Damages and Loss: What May Be Claimed and How (Issue 125, March 2013) was led by Divisional Editor Theo Huckle QC and includes chapters by members of the group at Civitas Law, as well as leading experts in the field.

Changes to the Late Payments of Commercial Debts regime

Recent Changes to the Late Payments of Commercial Debts regime have strengthened a suppliers’ ability to recover payment with the addition of charges and interest on all commercial contracts entered into on or after 16 March 2013.

Owain Rhys James (a second-Six Pupil at Civitas Law who is now able to be instructed) outlines the new Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 in his latest blog on the Civitas Law Communities blog for suppliers, businesses and legal practitioners.

Blog snippet:

Supporting employability skills for the next generation of legal practitioners

Civitas Law has extended its support of law students and the ULS Welsh National Mooting Championship this year by taking part in Stretlaw’s South Wales Employability Conference 2013.

Analysing the news: No private law duty owed by LAs or Health Protection Agency

Owain Rhys James provides a concise update on: (1)Furnell (2) Furnell (Children by their litigation friend Tracy Ann Mock) v Flaherty (T/A Godstone Farm) (1) Health Protection Agency (Third Party) Tandridge District Council (Third Party) [2013] EWHC 337 (QB), on the Civitas Law communities blog. 

Celebrating 50 years of CILEx in South Wales

Gareth Jones, Head of the Commercial & Chancery Group, and others from Civitas Law attended the 50th Anniversary CILEx South Wales branch Annual Ball, which also celebrates the Graduation of CILEx graduates in South Wales.

Civitas Law shortlisted for Chambers of the Year, Halsbury Legal Awards 2013

Civitas Law is celebrating a fantastic start to 2013 having been made a Finalist for ‘Chambers of the Year’ in the first ever Halsbury Legal Awards 2013.

The awards were established by Lexis Nexis to recognise and celebrate the value that people in law bring to society. The inaugural award ceremony will be held on the 8 May 2013 at The Lancaster, London.

Analysing the news: Part-Time Judges Entitled to Pro-Rated Pension

Civitas Law Communities Blog covers a range of case and legislation updates as well as analysis of news in the legal sector and our clients' marketplace.  

Owain Rhys James, a Pupil barrister at Civitas Law is one of our regular authors and recently blogged on the case of O’Brien v Ministry of Justice [2013] UKSC 6.

For more information, please click on the blog link above or to the right of this story. 

Financial considerations in the Town & Country Planning Act 1990: The final word

Kate Parker has recently been published in the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) Cymru magazine Cynllunio, regarding recent cases that demonstrate common sense in financial considerations in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. 

A shady business - the power to strike out fraudulent claims at trial. New Law Journal

Michael Brace, barrister, analyses the power to strike out fraudulent claims at trial, in his article for the New Law Journal (July 2012)

Article In Brief

The effective deterrence of claims tainted with dishonesty is achieved by a number of means and it will only be just and proportionate for the court to strike out an action after a trial in “very exceptional” cases.

For the full article by Michael Brace in the July 2012 issue of the New Law Journal, please click here.

Wales: rise of innovative sets (Solicitors Journal)

With innovative chambers opening up to provide independent advocacy services, the demise of a major Welsh set and the poor health of the local economy shouldn’t overshadow the potential for growth says Theo Huckle QC in the Solicitors Journal (Bar Focus 2012).

Click here for the full article which appeared on page 25-27 of the Bar Focus, October 2012)


The Next Step - Simmons v Castle: does it simplify damages for tort? New Law Journal

The Next Step - Simmons v Castle: does it simplify damages for tort? New Law Journal

Does Simmons v Castle bring simplicity and clarity to damages for tort, asks Kate Parker in the New Law Journal, September 2012

Article In Brief

The decision in Simmons v Castle implements Sir Rupert Jackson’s recommendation for a 10% increase in General Damages. However it also throws up interesting questions about the interrelationship with recoverable success fees and Part 36 offers.

Civitas Law appointed 7 out of 8 regional panel places on the Treasury Solicitors Panel

Civitas Law is once again celebrating panel appointment success with seven members of chambers appointed to the Regional Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown - at the disposal of the Attorney General via the Treasury Solicitors Department. The seven appointed members take up almost all of the eight TSols panel places for the region.

Civitas Law most dominant set on Welsh Government Panel Counsel List

Civitas Law is again the most dominant chambers on the Welsh Government Panel Counsel List as 13 appointments have been secured by nine barristers in the set, across all specialist fields. This news arrives a week after the Legal 500 2012 Guide described chambers as the 'pre-eminent civil and public law set in Wales'.

Civitas Law gets the double in the Personal Injury Awards 2012 shortlistings

Civitas Law is once again celebrating national success and industry recognition as the Personal Injuries & Clinical Negligence Group and Theo Huckle QC are listed as finalists in the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards 2012.

The PI & Clinical Negligence Group has been shortlisted for the second year in a row for the coveted awards which celebrate: excellence of individual and organisational achievements; client services; innovation; expertise, and; collaborative working in the Personal Injury sector in England and Wales.

Civitas Law retains Tier 1 Chambers UK Guide status and is classed as ‘pre-eminent set on circuit for civil and public law’ for 2013

Civitas Law has swept the board once again as the ‘pre-eminent set on circuit for civil and public law,’ with 19 individual barrister recommendations across all practice areas in the latest edition of the Legal 500 2012 guide. The set has been ranked as a Tier 1 set for circuit in the guide, as it has been since the inception of chambers in 2008.

Dealmakers Awards (Wales) 2012: shortlist announced

Civitas Law offers its congratulations to the shortlisted law firms in this year’s Wales Insider Dealmaker Awards 2012. Those shortlisted for Law Firm of the Year award are: Morgan Cole, Hugh James, Berry Smith and Geldards.

These awards look to recognise the achievements of those individuals and firms whose skill, creativity and sheer determination have stood out over the past year. Civitas Law is pleased to support the event and sponsor Law Firm of the Year award – to help showcase excellence in client service, dealmaking and the Welsh legal sector.

Wales Business Insider legal review: thriving under pressure

Civitas Law recently took part in the annual legal sector review by the Wales Business Insider, which looks at opportunities, room for improvement and innovation by Welsh lawyers and the sector at large.

Nick David Jones (Barrister and member of the Management Board) and Emma Waddingham (Business Development Manager), both from chambers, joined senior solicitors from some of the leading law firms in Wales to talk about how to win more work, new business models, skills and government support.

Civitas Law welcomes Kate Parker to chambers

Civitas Law is delighted to welcome barrister Kate Parker who joins chambers as a Fixed Term Tenant. Kate’s unique, first-class pupillage experience placed her ahead of the tough competition, enabling her to work with clients efficiently and professionally in Chambers’ growing practice areas.

Mona Bayoumi appointed to EHRC Wales Committee

Mona Bayoumi, barrister at Civitas Law has been appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Wales Committee. The Committee is responsible for overseeing and guiding the work of the ECHR in Wales, advising the Welsh Government on matters relating to Equality and Human Rights legislation and advising the ECHR GB Board on how its policies affect people in Wales.

Graham Walters updates RTPI Cymru on latest Court of Appeal Decisions in Planning

Graham Walters, Head of the Public, Planning & Regulatory Group, has outlined the latest planning law development for members of the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) Cymru, as part of the ongoing support from Civitas Law to the organisation.

Graham drafted a column for the RTPI Cymru magazine, Cynllunio, highlighting essential planning policy and legislation changes and the Court of Appeal decisions affecting both public and private sector profesisonals in planning and development.

Civitas Law is once again the dominant Civil & Public law force on Circuit in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2013

Civitas Law has again been classified as the leading Civil & Public law set on circuit in the prestigious Chambers UK Bar Guide 2013. With a total of 18 rankings for the Wales Circuit across 13 individual specialists in chambers, with 3 'up and coming' barristers and 11 'Band 1' rankings, this has been the most successful Guide submission for Civitas Law to date. A separate list of 3 national spotlight table entries are also published for Personal Injury barristers Theo Huckle QC, Robert O'Leary and Michael Brace.

Mediation - the cheaper, faster way to settling disputes: Property Mail

Cathrine Grubb, Barrister and member of the Dispute Resolution Division, Civitas Law authored a recent article for landlords, developers, homeowners and property investors on the benefits of mediation as alternative form of resolving disputes rather than going to court.