Court of Appeal judge criticises West Yorkshire Police in Leeds United case

An Appeal Court Judge has criticised the conduct of West Yorkshire Police in the latest aspect of the ongoing dispute between Leeds United Football Club and West Yorkshire Police.

13 February 2014

An Appeal Court Judge, Lord Justice Moore-Bick, has criticised the conduct of West Yorkshire Police in the latest aspect of the ongoing dispute between Leeds United Football Club and West Yorkshire Police. Leeds United Football Club successfully challenged the legal basis upon which West Yorkshire Police charged for policing at Elland Road. West Yorkshire Police were ordered to repay the amounts overpaid and to pay the costs of Leeds United Football Club.

In relation to the costs issue, West Yorkshire Police made without notice applications to disallow interest on costs and for the return of an interim payment. Leeds United Football Club only became aware of these applications when it was served with the Order. Leeds United Football Club made an application to set aside the Order. West Yorkshire Police’s approach was described by the Lord Justice Moore-Bick as 'aggressive and uncompromising' and 'served no purpose other than to undermine the working relationship between the parties and add to the costs already incurred'. He made a further costs order against West Yorkshire Police and criticised their solicitors’ behaviour.

This underlines the need for solicitors on both sides to be reasonable in respect of agreeing costs.

This Order was made in October 2013, prior to the Court of Appeal’s costs judgment in Mitchell. However, this judgment did involve the Court of Appeal applying the old test of asking whether any prejudice had been suffered in a post-Jackson world: 'it is difficult to see what prejudice the defendant was likely to suffer'.

A hearing to determine the amount of the overpayment is expected before March.

Leeds United were advised by Mark Gay and Chris Davies, from Burges Salmon's acclaimed Sport team.

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