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Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by ngoshwe, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. ngoshwe

    ngoshwe JF-Expert Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    Joined: Mar 31, 2009
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    A 23-year-old beautician from Essex has told Sky News how she took on high-flying lawyers by herself to fight a case against one of the country's largest housebuilders.


    Georgina Blackwell and her mother Sandra risked their beauty salon business to take Bellway Homes to court after the firm erected scaffolding on their land to carry out "nuisance" building work.
    The pair could not afford to pay a lawyer to represent them, so Georgina, who had no legal training but once turned down a place to study law at university, stepped into the role.

    "Me and my mum were sitting outside the court and we hadn't decided who was going to talk," she explained.
    "We walked in and my mum went to pieces. She said 'Can you talk?' so I took it from there and five court cases later we eventually won.

    "It was at the Royal High Courts Of Justice - we were in front of High Court judges and against top London barristers and top London solicitors. It was a bit daunting!"
    She added: "I do think they underestimated us."

    The Blackwells' dispute with the builders began last year when they refused access to their garden, which is adjacent to Bellway's development in a Grade II-listed former school.
    They were taken to court by Bellway and lost, which left them with £20,000 costs to pay.

    However, the row rumbled on and in the latest court appearance, Mrs Justice Proudman accepted that the housebuilders had broken an earlier agreement they had reached with the Mrs Blackwell.

    The firm has now been ordered to pay £75,000 for rights of access, drop all costs and damages and pay the Blackwells' costs.
    "It was fantastic being in court and it was fantastic winning," Georgina told Sky News, adding that Bellway's legal team had been "fairly gracious" about the outcome.

    "I always wanted to be a barrister - I got accepted to study law at university - but unfortunately my mum broke her wrist and I ended up helping her run her business.
    "I never quite got to uni but I've had my five minutes of being a barrister in the High Court."

    Asked if she would swap pampering packages for a pupillage, Georgina told Sky News: "I would love to and if any opportunities do come up I will grab them.
    "But I know it's competitive. I think it's quite a hard job to be in."