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Harry Lambert secures resounding victory for 11 victims of trafficking in the High Court

Mr Justice Griffiths today handed down judgment in favour of 11 Lithuanian Claimants in their ground-breaking civil action for damages as a result of human trafficking/modern slavery.

It follows a 5 day Quantum hearing which took place in March 2021. In a judgment which is scathing of the Defendants, damages for unpaid wages were, remarkably, assessed “as pleaded” in the Schedule of Loss, with no deductions. Following lengthy cross examination the Defendants’ case was comprehensively rejected with the Judge finding that he could place no reliance upon their evidence. The judge also awarded substantial aggravated damages.

A contested quantum trial in the context of modern slavery is exceptionally rare and the approach of Mr Justice Griffiths will therefore be of immense interest to practitioners.

The quantum trial followed a landmark judgment in 2019, before Mr Justice Lane, which concluded that company directors Darrell Houghton and his partner, Jackie Judge, were personally liable for the alleged contractual and related statutory breaches of their company, DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd.

Harry appeared for the 11 Claimants, instructed by Jose Gonzalez of Messrs Leigh Day.

The story has, over the years, attracted considerable national press: Fear, hunger and dirt: Lithuanian migrants on life as chicken catchers | Migration | The Guardian

A copy of the Judgment can be obtained by contacting Harry’s clerk, Joe Shepherd, at Shepherd@crownofficechambers.com



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