As an appellant, prepare a tabbed or paginated bundle of documents (i.e. copies of any legislation and authorities that you will refer to) for ground 1, and also a skeleton argument for the moot. The bundle and skeleton argument should be emailed to me and to your opponent team before the moot. I will not be strict about the two page limit for the skeleton argument, but please keep it as concise as possible.
We will run through the moot twice per workshop, so everyone will need to prepare for both mooting workshops and you will get feedback at each (on your skeleton argument and also on your oral advocacy).
1. Workshop 8 – Winter v Alive Fashion (Supreme Court)
The Appellants team are representing Alive Fashion (which is appealing on the following two grounds) and the Respondents team are representing Gabrielle Winter (who resists the appeal).
Appeal Ground 1: The Court of Appeal Judges erred in concluding that Amelia was employed by Alive Fashion.
Appeal Ground 2: Even if Amelia was found to be employed by Alive Fashion then the action of Amelia was insufficient to satisfy the closeness of connection test.
IN THE SUPREME COURT
Amelia Hill is a social influencer and a Masters level qualified computer programmer. Amelia began working at Alive Fashion 2 years ago. Alive Fashion is an online clothing shop. Clothes and accessories are purchased from other companies wholesale, Alive Fashion then photograph the clothes, upload the images onto website and then sell them onto individual customers.
Amelia applied for an ad hoc position, initially to help out in the office and in distribution. It quickly became apparent that Amelia was talented in the use of technology both in her coding skills and her ability to effectively use social media platforms. Amelia was asked to “come on board as a consultant” after working at Alive Fashion for about a month. Amelia then took on a variety of roles from coding for the website to taking photographs of the models in Alive Fashion clothing for the website and advertising products on social media. Amelia has different rates of pay for each of these responsibilities. Amelia invoices Alive Fashion at the end of each month. She is paid on the first working day of each month gross. The monthly amount varies dependant on how much Amelia has worked and in which role.
Amelia uses her own smart phone and computer for work related social media and working from home. Amelia is allowed the use the Alive Fashion cameras and laptops for editing and coding when on site.
Amelia comes to the Alive Fashion studio in Birmingham at 7am-3:30pm Tuesday-Saturday. The models are on site on Fridays and Saturdays. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are set aside for editing photos and website management.
Two months ago, Amelia damaged an expensive designer watch worth £43,000 from one of the models, Gabrielle Winter at a photo shoot by accidently dropping it in the toilet. Amelia was asked by an Alive Fashion director to take Gabrielle’s watch straight to the model’s safe in a plastic lunchbox provided but, on the way, Amelia wished to use the bathroom. Rather than use the plastic tub provided by Alive Fashion to transport the watch Amelia had put it on her wrist to try it on. Amelia had posted a picture of herself wearing it on social media. Unfortunately, as it was loose it had slipped off her wrist when she used the bathroom. Gabrielle now seeks compensation for the watch from Alive Fashion. Amelia Hill has inadequate means to compensate and has not been a party to these proceedings.
In the lower court Alive Fashion argued that Amelia was not their employee but rather that she was engaged on a contract for services. Further that even if Amelia was found to be an employee she should never have worn Gabrielle’s watch and that she was engaging on a frolic of her own and therefore any liability lies with Amelia.
In the Court of Appeal a majority of the bench found that Alive Fashion were liable to compensate Gabrielle Winter as a pragmatic view of the relationship between Amelia Hill and Alive Fashion was that of employee and employer. As such the employer could be fairly expected to bear the cost of compensation for the tortious acts of an employee. The manner of transporting the watch was an example of carrying out an authorised act in an unauthorised manner and therefore was capable of being an act in the course of employment and was thus found to be.
Alive Fashion wish to appeal this decision on the grounds that:
1. The Court of Appeal Judges erred in concluding that Amelia was employed by Alive Fashion.
2. Even if Amelia was found to be employed by Alive Fashion then the action of Amelia was insufficient to satisfy the closeness of connection test.