The Law Chief’s wild pond has been caught in years of litigation free
As a human rights attorney and former Commissioner for Standards in the House of Lords, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff will undoubtedly have the highest moral integrity.
It was therefore a surprise when some colleagues recently accused her of using letters of “bullying” to persuade her to attend a course against bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment.
However, the Telegraph may reveal that Ms. Scott-Moncrieff herself was embroiled in a long and bitter legal battle with the owner of her Victorian home in northwest London after she built a large wild swimming pond.
Christine Guignbaudet, 68, owns the real estate for one of two adjoining garden apartments that Ms. Scott Moncrieff, 67, bought more than 20 years ago.
She has alleged that she felt “bullied” during the protracted argument before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
In 1998 Mrs. Scott-Moncrieff bought the ground floor apartment of a semi-detached house. Two years later, she bought the neighboring apartment and converted the two properties with their gardens into a single-family home.
“It all started when she removed the border fence between the two gardens, which meant I had to give her post-clearance permission,” said historian Guignabaudet.
In 2006, Ms. Scott-Moncrieff received planning permission to build a “natural swimming pool” that extends over a large part of the two gardens. Ms. Guignbaudet obtained an injunction to stop the work while she was taking the case to the Supreme Court, believing it was against the lease and therefore required approval.
In 2008, however, the Supreme Court dismissed the owner’s complaint, also because the judge concluded that the pond was not a “change in the construction of the dilapidated premises” and therefore did not violate the lease.
And so the swimming pond was created. It was later featured in a local newspaper, where its cattails, watercress, mint and marigold were highly praised.
Ms. Guignbaudet brought the case to the Court of Appeal, where three judges concluded that a 27 square meter “swimming area” with 34 cubic meters of flooring had to be removed, much of it from the garden border fence area, “whose arrangements have been changed in accordance with this federal government ” [the lease]. “
They found that even Ms. Scott-Moncrieff’s attorney admitted that “quite a bit of earth” needed to be moved, which the judges estimated at “three or four large truckloads”.
“It was hell years and I felt bullied,” said Ms. Guignbaudet. “It cost so much money in legal fees. Of course we needed lawyers, an area in which Ms. Scott-Moncrieff has a professional advantage. “
Ms. Scott-Moncrieff said she felt the matter was a thing of the past.
The former president of the Law Society, who runs her own law firm, said, “The appeals court ruled in 2009 and all matters have been resolved for many years. The pond has been used since then without being challenged by the owner. “
She added that litigation regarding leases and condominiums is “commonplace” and vehemently opposed any suggestion of her “acts or omissions” that amounted to bullying.
In 2016 she was appointed Commissioner for Standards of the House of Lords.
Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, recently wrote that he was one of 60 colleagues who received a letter from Ms. Moncrieff-Scott warning that he had not signed up for Value Everyone training, so violate the company’s code of conduct and privileges can be withdrawn.
Describing the letter as “hectoring,” he added, “I was bullied into taking an anti-bullying class.”