Welsh Water v Corus [2007] EWCA Civ 285

Court of Appeal judgment (about 8 pages) in the litigation between Welsh Water and Corus over water charges in the financial years 2004/2005 and 2005/2006, following the expiry of a 1993 special agreement between the parties, and Welsh Water's attempt to impose its large user tariff on Corus.

The Court of Appeal overturned paragraph 14 of Hart J's June 2006 judgment, which was in favour of Welsh Water. It decided that the agreement between the parties that prices in their water supply contract would be agreed or determined by Ofwat was a contractual obligation which Corus was entitled to enforce, notwithstanding Welsh Water's introduction of a large user tariff scheme from April 2004. Even if (contrary to the Court of Appeal's view) Ofwat no longer had powers to determine the prices because of the existence of a tariff scheme then Welsh Water's introduction of the tariff scheme was a breach of contract for which Corus was entitled to compensation.

Corus can apparently now pursue this argument as well as its claim (which had survived Hart J's June 2006 judgment and is connected with the Albion Water case) that Welsh Water's charges were not enforceable because they amounted to an exploitative abuse of a dominant position.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under UK courts, Water.

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