The appeal of Mr Beavis has now been held at the Supreme Court.
The case regards a charge of £85 ParkingEye imposed on Mr Beavis for overstaying when he had problems at Staples (a shop on site); Staples took a lot longer to print than expected.
This was the fifth hearing regarding the case as it has wended its way through the legal system. The hearing was held in conjunction with Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi, which also involves the enforceability of penalty clauses in contracts. Makdessi took the first two days of the hearing; the parking case occupied the last day.
Their Lordships threw an immediate curve-ball at Mr Beavis's counsel, John de Waal QC. They could not agree whether the charge was in fact for breach of contract at all, but might be a contractual charge, in which case the doctrine of penalties did not apply. There might even have been no contract at all (as Mr Foster pointed out in hearing number 3), but just a licence to park.
This threw Mr de Waal who took some time to recover, but came back to get his points in once their Lordships moved on to those areas which were listed as the ones to consider.
The Consumer Association representative Christopher Butcher QC was next and he was very strong, putting his points across forcefully.
Jonathan Kirk QC then had 15 minutes on behalf of ParkingEye before lunch. After lunch he continued, before Mr de Waal and Mr Butcher had a brief rebuttal.
Due to the 'off-piste' nature of the original questioning, their Lordships took the unusual step of allowing written arguments on the point of Contractual Charge, to be delivered next week. Respnses were allowed, but strongly discouraged.
The final judgment is not expected to be handed down before October.
The Prankster will have a fuller analysis in due course.
The Parking Praknster