QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Leeds Combined Court
1 Oxford Row
B e f o r e :
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Mr R Copnall (instructed by the Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Defendant.
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"Mr Gwan is not employed in the job as stated on his work permit application. Whilst he did state that he was a second chef, we note that you were not able to give a verbal job description nor were you able to provide a written one. An employer should have knowledge of the job roles of all staff, especially within a small business. We were also not satisfied that these individuals have supervisory, training and staff management responsibilities."
"The visiting officers attempted to ascertain the nature of the work permit holder's roles but to no avail. Whilst you have correcting some of the breaches, you have failed to address the job concerns or offer any explanation.
Work permits are only issued for genuine and specific employment, following detailed consideration of an application. In this case, it is doubtful that the work permit holders are working in the job roles as specifically approved.
As a result of this, revocation action has now taken place."
It seems to me that that relatively clearly set out that the conclusion of the decision maker was that there had been a failure to address the work permit holders' roles currently within the business and because of that revocation was taking place.
MR COPNALL: I ask then for an order for costs that the claimant pay the defendant's costs.
JUDGE GOSNELL: Is there any objection to that?
MS PATEL: My Lord, I do have some objections in terms of the filing of the pleadings in this matter. Acknowledgement of service had been filed late by the defendant in this matter. All along the line the defendant had sought extensions of time in respect of filing of pleadings and the detailed grounds we had objected to their extension of time. The court allowed them to file the detailed grounds on 31 May; subsequently it was another week before we were actually served with the detailed grounds. It is fair to say the point was crystallised only then in relation to the issues that were before the court. On that basis, although they may be entitled to their costs, I do invite you to consider in terms of the proportion of those costs to be paid. The reason for the late serving of the evidence by us was because the detailed grounds were late. Subsequently we also had the skeleton argument and the further witness statement served on Friday.
JUDGE GOSNELL: That would be a good argument if he conceded the claim and not proceeded with it, but having proceeded with the claim knowing what the case of the defendants was, it is then difficult I think to argue that they have defended unreasonably when they have won.
MS PATEL: My lord, I would also invite you to consider the fact that permission was granted by HHJ Behrens on looking at the acknowledgement of service and on the basis of the Crown submitted, so we did get permission. It is not a case which we had not got permission on.
JUDGE GOSNELL: You would not be here if you had not got permission.
MS PATEL: I appreciate that, my Lord, but those are factors that I do invite the court to look at, whether they are entitled to the full content of their costs bearing in mind the late service of the acknowledgement of service and the late service of the actual detailed grounds, I would invite you to consider that.
JUDGE GOSNELL: I have considered what you have said and I am still going to make an order for the claimant to pay the defendant's costs to be assessed by detailed assessment if not agreed. The reasons for my making that decision are that whilst it may be that the detailed grounds were filed late, the way the defence has put its case was self-evident from the time the acknowledgement of service was served and in my view it is pretty much self-evident from the decision letter. The claimant having decided to pursue the case to a contested hearing and failed, then it would be right for them to pay the defendant's costs.