The respondent is a judicial services company which subcontracted the collection of certain council tax debts. The appellant alleged that it was vicariously liable for various torts committed by two bailiffs against him. The Court of Appeal has now dismissed the appeal against the finding that the respondent was not vicariously liable.
In so doing, it agreed that the relationship between the respondent and the bailiffs was not "akin to employment". The bailiffs were free to turn down work or to share it with others, and were at liberty to conduct the collection of a debt in whatever legal manner they saw fit. It was also significant that the bailiffs had to provide a personal bond of £10,000 into court (to serve as security against which individuals who felt they have been wronged may recover) and also had to take out their own indemnity insurance. It was also significant that they might work for other clients too. Accordingly, there was not in this case even "that vestigial degree of control" which the Supreme Court had referred to in Cox v Ministry of Justice.