R (Thames Water Utilities Ltd) v Water Services Regulatory Authority

18 Feb 2011

Mr Justice Mitting was asked in this case to hold that a decision by the Water Services Regulatory Authority (“Ofwat”) to appoint a company as the water and sewerage undertaker for a brownfield site in London was unlawful as falling outwith the statutory authority granted to Ofwat by section 7(4) of the Water Industry Act 1991 (“the Act”).

It was the first time that a court has considered the application of the legislation governing the “inset appointment” regime to a large brownfield site. The case raised several difficult points of statutory construction, and the Judge granted permission to appeal to Court of Appeal on the two key issues.