UBS activists stay until 2012

SWISS bank UBS came under further criticism from a senior judge yesterday as it lost the latest round of a lengthy battle to evict protesters who have taken over its disused City office.

Lord Justice Lloyd said activists at the “Bank of Ideas” can remain in the block until January and gave them permission to take their fight against a possession order on the building to the Court of Appeal.

The judge said the protesters had been given “no notice” of a 9.45pm telephone court hearing on 18 November, when UBS subsidiary Sun Street Properties won the possession order and tried to kick them out by sending a text message.

The protesters had sought leave to appeal after a High Court judge threw out an attempt to fight the eviction earlier this month. At the time Mr Justice Roth criticised the bank’s lawyers for “serious defects” in the legal papers served on activists.

The occupiers’ appeal will be heard in the Court of Appeal soon after 11 January. UBS, which has health and safety concerns over the site, said it was considering the decision with its legal advisors.

Separately Judge Keith Lindblom, who is hearing a City of London case over the tented camp outside St Paul’s, visited the site last night.