The discretion to grant negative declarations(Valley View Health Centre (a firm) v NHS Property Services Ltd)

This case concerns the discretion to grant parties negative declarations prior to trial. The underlying claims were in respect of service charges allegedly owing by the claimants, who comprised a number of GP practices operated as partnerships. An assertion in terms of the dispute was made by the defendant’s solicitors prior to issue, which was later resiled from. While the stance taken by the defendant had, to an extent, changed over time, what was key was the position as at the date of issue of the application for judgment on admissions and declaratory relief. At that point in time, the judge considered that there was no remaining dispute about the incorporation of the defendant’s policy into the tenancies or retrospective variation of the tenancies. There was also no utility in granting the declarations, and good reason why it should not be granted. Accordingly, the applications were dismissed.

This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 15 December 2020

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