UBS activists hang on after court defeat

PROTESTERS who took over an abandoned UBS building in the City are set to cling on for several more days despite losing a High Court battle yesterday.

The Occupy group said it is taking its fight to the Court of Appeal after a judge threw out its attempt to overturn a possession order, granted to the bank last month, on the Sun Street building. The activists’ latest legal bid could delay any eviction for a further week.

Yesterday lawyers for Sun Street Properties, a UBS subsidiary, were strongly criticised for the way they shortcut justice in their initial attempt to evict the protesters from the development on 18 November.

Mr Justice Roth said the way lawyers informed the activists of the 9.45pm telephone hearing was “profoundly unsatisfactory” and went on to criticise the “serious defects” in the bundle of more than 100 pages of legal papers served on the activists, as revealed in City A.M. last month.

The document missed out the out-of-hours number for the Royal Courts of Justice and contact details for the clerk to Mrs Justice Proudman, who presided over the 9.45pm telephone hearing, which the protesters missed.

“I regard the notice given as grossly inadequate”, Mr Justice Roth said.

The possession order would still have been granted, however, if the protesters had been present, he added. He went on to dismiss the protesters’ claim they were entitled to take over the building because of what they allege to be UBS mis-selling to the elderly.