Tim Polli QC Appears in the Court of Appeal Remotely
26th March 2020
On Tuesday 24 March 2020, the Court of Appeal heard Mrs Dhillon’s appeal against the Order of HHJ Pelling QC in Dhillon v (1) Barclays Bank plc and (2) The Chief Land Registrar  EWHC 475 (Ch). Mrs Dhillon was appealing against the Judge’s conclusion at the 2019 trial that there were exceptional circumstances why the Bank’s charge should not be removed for her title, even though it flowed from the registration of a void transfer. Tim Polli QC had represented the Bank at the trial and continued to do so on the appeal.
Given the need for social distancing, the hearing was conducted by via the Microsoft Teams platform. Although the Court service currently appears to favour Skype for Business as the platform for video hearings, it appears that Microsoft proposes to discontinue that platform and users are being migrated onto the Microsoft Teams platform.
Everyone logged in remotely. The Judges were in their Chambers in the Royal Courts of Justice, although it is understood that the Judiciary will soon all be working from home. Tim was, in fact, in his study at home; his opponents and the solicitors involved in the case were in various other locations. The technology worked well. The picture was clear and the audio was very clear. The video hearing proceeded as any appeal would. Save that the hearing was not robed, all the usual formalities were observed. This is likely to be the way hearings will be held for the foreseeable future.
As for the appeal itself, the Court heard submissions concerning the nature and effect of an escheat of a registered freehold interest; alteration (including rectification) to correct a mistake and subsequent derivative transactions pursuant to Schedule 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002; the availability (or not) of an indemnity to the recipients of those subsequent derivative transactions when the mistake was or was caused by registration of a forged transfer; and the circumstances in which an appellate Court might properly overturn a multi-factorial evaluative judgment of a trial judge. A detailed article considering some of the legal issues arising on the appeal will be posted soon.
Judgment was reserved in the usual way.