Between 2012 and 2015 the firm acted for a pharmacist client which wished to object to the intended relocation of a new competitor pharmacy within a short distance from its own retail pharmacy.

In the face of representations in support of the competitor pharmacy from a local doctors’ surgery as well a reluctant agreement of another pharmacy, and of representations, our initial objections before the Primary Care Agency failed, and the permission for the new pharmacy was granted. The decision was subsequently confirmed on an internal appeal. At first blush the decision appeared unassailable. We nevertheless made an application for permission for a judicial review of that final decision on procedural grounds. Whilst the application was pending, new statutory regulations came into force. 

The decision-making body eventually conceded the claim made in the application for permission. The result of that concession was that the original decision to permit the relocation was set aside. A subsequent application by the new pharmacy for a relocation permission under the new statutory regulations failed under their more stringent provisions.

The case was of crucial importance to the client, and its significance lay in the fact that perseverance at every stage, with attention to detail and an eye of future statutory developments, achieved the desired result for the client.