Robert Smith QC yesterday achieved another success in the long line of cases that he has conducted on behalf of New Park Court Chambers. Mr Smith led for the defence of two company directors charged by the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency [now the DVSA] with conspiracy to defraud the Traffic Commissioners of Great Britain and a second count of conspiracy to defraud operators of large goods vehicles. The case involved alleged false representations as to fact concerning the service provided by a major company in the truck rental industry over a two year period between 2010 and 2012.
The trial lasted just over four months before HHJ Bayliss QC at Leeds Crown Court. Mr Smith’s junior was Mark Laprell of 18 St John Street Chambers in Manchester [transport regulatory law specialist]. They were instructed by Backhouse Jones Solicitors, [transport regulatory law specialists based in Clitheroe].
Mr Smith”s clients were acquitted on Monday March 2nd together with two of the managers of the company in question and the director of a second company. The case raised important issues in relation to the concept of “Who is the Operator” and in particular questions relating to use and control of large goods vehicles requiring operator licences pursuant to the Good Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995.