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Milton Keynes v Nulty: success for Andrew Rigney QC and Richard Sage in the Court of Appeal

Andrew Rigney QC and Richard Sage appeared for the successful Respondent in Milton Keynes Borough Council v Nulty [2013] EWCA Civ 15.  The Respondent local authority owned a recycling centre, which sustained severe damage as a result of a fire.  The judge at first instance (Edwards-Stuart J) held that the fire had been caused by a cigarette carelessly dropped by an electrical engineer.  In upholding the Judge’s decision, the Court of Appeal have provided valuable guidance on the balance of probabilities test, the role of circumstantial evidence in fire cases, and how judges should approach the issue of competing possible causes in fire claims.  The Court of Appeal also considered the correct application of The Popi M [1985] 1 WLR 948 to such cases.

Andrew Rigney QC and Richard Sage were instructed by Fishburns LLP.

Click here for the judgment.


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