The reputation management team at Russell-Cooke recently obtained a final injunction order on behalf of their client, Albert Court (Westminster) Management Company Limited (and others), at a seven-day trial in May 2022.
The case raised interesting points around claims pursuant to section 3 and 3A of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PFHA 1997), together with novel issues of evidence and conduct at trial.
The claimants were the management company of a prestigious mansion block adjacent to the Royal Albert Hall, London (the ’property’) and various individuals with differing relationships with Albert Court. A number of staff are employed in connection with the management and upkeep of the property. The defendants were two occupiers of a flat at the property.
The claimants alleged that, between November 2019 and February 2022, the defendants pursued a course of conduct which amounted to harassment of the management company’s officers, employees, contractors, subcontractors, other leaseholders and legal representatives.
In particular, it was contended that the defendants made repeated false allegations of bribery, fraud, theft and corruption against the management company’s directors in connection with the management of the Property. This also led to threatening behaviour and the recording of conversations without permission. The defendants’ conduct was consistently oppressive, hostile and unreasonable.
The Court overwhelmingly agreed with the claimants’ evidence and granted a final injunction against the defendants, together with an order for costs to be assessed on an indemnity basis.
Partner Matt Bosworth said: "This case highlights the Court’s approach to extraordinary conduct by witnesses at trial, including covert recordings of Court hearings and providing false statements in witness evidence. Such conduct may amount to contempt of Court and could lead to further sanction.
"Anyone who is dealing with such issues that may amount to harassment should seek legal advice as early as possible."
The case is reported and the judgment can be read here.
A case summary and analysis by the Russell-Cooke team can be read here.