The administrative court has recently answered the question as to whether or not a company can harass its customers or, indeed, anyone else.
In these days of corporate unpopularity, not least directed against the banking sector, you could be forgiven for thinking that, ever since the demise of Lehman Brothers in 2008, we have all been harassed by the banks. Against this background of corporate greed and envy, the Honourable Mr. Justice Silber has decided (rightly it turns out) that the Bank of Scotland was capable of committing the offence of harassment and that, in this particular instance, Mr. Kosar was entitled to bring a private prosecution against the bank. Interestingly, the report does not tell us about the background facts but one fears that the Bank of Scotland may have sent the (alleged) victim one too many annoying computer generated letters, possibly asking him to pay his credit card bill.
It is unfortunate that the report in Kosar v Bank of Scotland (trading as Halifax)  EWHA 1050 (Admin) doesn't report the facts because, however annoying the bank might have been, it is difficult to imagine just how it managed to harass Mr. Kosar so badly to fall foul of section 2 (1) of the Harassment Act 1997. Having said that, no doubt there are circumstances where an individual can be harassed by a corporate entity and the decision in Kosar establishes that a company can be prosecuted. Interestingly, whilst a company can be guilty of harassment it cannot be the victim of the offence; perhaps a better way of obtaining a bit of hard street justice against annoying financial institutions is to send them copious letters making unwarranted demands? Or we could just pay our credit card bills on time and avoid them all together!
Adam Swirsky / 1st Jun 2011
The information and any commentary on the law contained on this web site is provided free of charge for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by any member of Chambers. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter and not to rely on the information or comments on this site. No responsibility is accepted for the content or accuracy of linked sites.
If you like what you've read but want to know more about how we can help you, simply call us:
Alternatively you can send us an email and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible.