6/7/2016 Link v Mr X.
Incompetent scammers Will Hurley and John Davies have once again failed their clients Link Parking, financially benefiting their company Gladstone Solicitors while Link are well out of pocket.
The claim concerned an incident where a driver trespassed on land belonging to Merchant Estates Ltd of Jersey. Link Parking managed the site and Gladstone Solicitors filed a claim for £150 on their behalf.
The driver contacted the Prankster who informed him that the signage clearly showed the driver was trespassing and there was therefore a valid claim against him by the land occupier.
In cases of trespass the trespasser must make good any damage; if there is none the courts normally award a nominal £1. The Prankster therefore advised the driver to offer £1 to the land occupier, plus a reasonable administration fee, to settle the case. However, there was no liability to Link Parking as they were not the land occupier, and the amount sought bore no relation to the cost. This view was supported both by the Supreme Court in the case of ParkingEye v Beavis and by HHJ Moloney in the appeal hearing of Ransomes Park v Anderson.
No reply was received to the offer and a hearing duly took place. The Prankster supplied the driver with transcripts of two recent cases which supported this view, UKPC v Masterson and PCM(UK) v Bull/Lyndsay/Woolford to bring to the hearing. Link's witness Martin Gardner did not turn up and Gladstones send an independent advocate. The advocate called the driver into a room where the driver informed him the basis of the defence was the signage on site and handed him a bundle consisting of the defence and witness statement, plus the two transcripts and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
The advocate was either a rogue or incompetent because he tried to tell the driver that the transcripts and Act could not be use as he had not presented them beforehand. Any proper lawyer who regularly attends court would of course have known this is not the case. In the Supreme Court hearing of ParkingEye v Beavis new transcripts were introduced even in the middle of the hearing to back up previously made arguments. The driver therefore stood his ground and was asked to leave the room so that the advocate could call Gladstones.
During the hearing the advocate complained to the judge who ruled that the transcripts did not have to be provided up front but asked the advocate if he wanted to request an adjournment. The advocate agreed to continue. He then argued that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 was not appropriate as it came in force in October 2015 and the parking event was September 2015. This of course was only a technical victory as the previous Act, the Unfair Terms In Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 was in force and contained exactly the same consumer protection points.
The regulations provide that if there is a confusion in the terms of a contract, they should be interpreted to the benefit of the consumer. The driver argued that there were multiple signs on site with conflicting terms. The judge disagreed, stating that as all the signs stated 'NO PARKING' then no parking was allowed.
The Advocate then mentioned the Beavis case and said that all potential arguments had been killed with that case. This is of course an extremely irresponsible statement for a legally qualified person to make and The Prankster believes only a truly incompetent person would make that statement. Following the Beavis case defendants continue to win large numbers of parking related cases; perhaps in greater numbers than before, as parking companies have been encouraged by greedy solicitors to file dubious claims.
The Advocate also said that arguments were boiler plate arguments provided by the "Parking Prankster" who runs a website. The driver asked if it was not allowed to use websites for help and the judge said of course it is. The driver then asked the judge to look through the two transcripts as they had been heard since the Beavis case and will help explain how this one was different.
The first case was UKPC v Matterson and the judge disagreed this was relevant as the signage was completely different.
The second case was PCM(UK) v Bull et al and here the wording was exactly the same. The judge agreed; he read the entire judgment and said it was strikingly similar to the case in hand. The Advocate tried to argue the Beavis case was relevant, but the judge kindly explained to him it was not, as in the Beavis case there was the gift of two hours parking, but in this case there was no offer of parking at all.
The Advocate then tried to argue that it didn't really matter what the law said as the justification behind the signs was to stop people parking, and that if the driver had a permit he could park. The driver replied there was no offer to get a permit and no way to obtain one. The judge told the Advocate he may want to reword his justification. The Advocate asked for time to call Gladstones and was given 30 minutes.
On reconvening the Advocate asked the judge if he was aware of the Parking Prankster. The judge said he was not and the advocate falsely told the judge the Prankster acted as a lay representative in the Bull case, but that his client had a number of other cases where the same argument was used and had been unsuccessful. He then stated he had been ambushed and had changed his mind about continuing and wanted an adjournment. The judge agreed as he wanted to read the Beavis case in detail.
He ordered the driver to send a full bundle to Gladstones within 7 days, and Gladstones to then provide a new bundle within 14 days with their cases also included.
The Advocate requested costs as he had been 'ambushed' but the judge refused stating these would be awarded at the next hearing. He thanked the driver and said the case had been extremely interesting.
The Prankster then helped the driver prepare a new bundle for July 13th.
On July 27th Gladstones called to see if the driver wanted to make an offer to settle. The driver explained he had already made two offers so now it had been to court he will see it out.
20 minutes later Gladstones called to discontinue the case.
Why Will Hurley and John Davies are Incompetent Scammers
The Prankster believes Will Hurley and John Davies are either incompetent or scammers or both for the following reasons.
- Gladstones added an amount for debt collection which is not allowed by the solicitors code of practice and is not supported by the costs allowed in the small claims court.
- Gladstones filed a claim without doing proper due diligence. A solicitor has a duty of care to their client, and a trivial examination of the facts should have warned them of the problems in the case.
- Gladstones failed to engage in the proper pre-action protocol, failing to respond to the drivers request for information. This could have prevented the claim ever coming to court.
- Gladstones failed to file proper particulars of claim. This is a deliberate tactic to prevent motorists from being able to file a comprehensive defence. Gladstones then file the full particulars in the witness statement when it is too late to respond. This is a cynical abuse of court processes.
- Gladstones failed to respond to a request for further particulars, which would have enabled the driver to file a comprehensive defence at the time.
- In the witness statement which Gladstones prepared they then provided false information to the court stating they would have provided information if asked.
- Gladstones failed to inform the court of the potential problems with signage. The first duty of a solicitor is to the court, not their client, and the fact that a number of similar cases had been lost on this point should have been brought to the attention of the judge by Gladstones.
- Gladstones also failed to brief the Advocate on this point; had they done so he would also have had a duty to the court to bring this to the attention of the judge. It is telling that at the point in the case where all seemed lost for Gladstones, they suddenly remembered after all that they were well aware of this point.
It is therefore apparent to The Prankster that the average man in the street, faced with this facts, is likely to that conclude that Will Hurley and John Davies are spectacularly failing in their duties to both their client and the court, and that they are therefore incompetent or scammers or both.
The Parking Prankster