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Success in House of Lords for Christopher Purchas QC and Steven Snowden

On Wednesday 17 June the House of Lords gave its judgment in the case of Gray v Thames Trains and Network Rail, unanimously overturning the decision of the Court of Appeal and holding that a number of aspects of Mr Gray’s personal injury claim arising out of the Ladbrooke Grove train crash were barred, as a matter of public policy, by reason of his having committed manslaughter. Lord Hoffman’s leading speech identifies a broader and a narrower doctrine of illegality. He and the other Law Lords accepted the Appellants’ submissions that consistency between the criminal and civil courts precluded any damages being awarded in the personal injuries claim for losses consequent upon the crime for which Mr Gray retained some (albeit diminished) responsibility. The judgment can be found at

Christopher Purchas QC and Steven Snowden appeared for the Appellants, instructed by Hugh Mullins of Halliwells.

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