This was a claim for judicial review of a decision of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (“HEFCE”) to recover from Queen Mary University of London (“QM”) a total £852,000 of research support grant funds relating to the year 2006/7. The basis upon which recovery was sought was that HEFCE considered that QM was in breach of the terms or conditions applicable to obtaining such a grant. The term was concerned with “open competition”.
Burnett J. held that the issue of whether there had been “open competition” and hence a breach of condition was not a question of precedent fact and that HEFCE had correctly approached the matter. The learned Judge also rejected challenges to HEFCE’s decision to recover based on fairness and rationality. However, he found for QMUL on the issue of delegation.
James Maurici appeared as junior counsel for the HEFCE (led by The Hon Michael Beloff QC) instructed by Beachcroft LLP”.