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R v Panel on Take-overs & Mergers, ex parte Datafin

[1987] 1 All ER 564

Case summary last updated at 05/01/2020 15:25 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Panel on Take-overs & Mergers, ex parte Datafin

The Panel on Take-overs and Mergers was a self-regulating unincorporated association which devised and operated the City Code on Take-overs and Mergers prescribing a code of conduct to be observed in the take-overs of listed public companies. The panel had no direct statutory, prerogative or common law powers, nor were its powers based solely on consensus, but they were supported and sustained by certain statutory powers and penalties introduced after the inception of the panel. CA held that it was subject to judicial review claims since in determining whether the decisions of a particular body were subject to judicial review, the court was not confined to considering the source of that body's powers and duties but could also look to their nature. Accordingly, if the duty imposed on a body, whether expressly or by implication, was a public duty and the body was exercising public law functions the court had jurisdiction to entertain an application for judicial review of that body's decisions. On the merits though there was no case for quashing the decision. 
Lloyd LJ: the wide-ranging nature of the powers exercised by the Panel (regulating take-overs and enforcing a code of conduct on them) were essentially in the domain of public law and formed part of the Government's scheme to regulate the City. Those affected had no choice but to submit to the Panel's jurisdiction. 

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