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In this important A1P1 decision the Court of Appeal (Lord Dyson MR, Richards and Ryder LJJ) upheld Coulson J’s determination of preliminary issues in claims for damages totalling several million pounds in respect of proposed retrospective changes to the feed-in tariffs scheme for solar photovoltaic installations. The Court held that based on agreed and assumed facts the Claimants’ A1P1 rights in the form of contracts entered into in connection with the scheme had been unjustifiably infringed and that damages are in principle available. The Court dismissed both the Defendant’s appeal on the issues of infringement and justification and the Claimants’ cross-appeal regarding the scope of their A1P1 rights.

The decision provides important guidance regarding the scope of “possessions” under A1P1, the distinction between marketable goodwill and future income, and the principles of legality and fair balance.

The case will now, subject to any further appeal, proceed to trial where the correctness of the assumed facts will be examined on the evidence.

The full judgment can be read here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/408.html

Sam Grodzinski QC and Andrew Scott (instructed by Asserson Law Offices) appeared for Breyer Group plc & Ors and Home Sun Holdings Ltd & anor.

Michael Beloff QC and Hanif Mussa (instructed by The Government Legal Department) appeared for the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

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