Access arrangements for FirstGroup Plc v Paulley

Access arrangements for Wednesday 18 January: FirstGroup Plc v Paulley judgment

FirstGroup Plc (Respondent) v Paulley (Appellant)

We are aware that a number of visitors with mobility-impairments, including wheelchair users, are keen to attend the handing down of the Supreme Court's judgment in the above matter on Wednesday 18 January. At this session, one of the Justices will deliver a brief summary of the Court's decision lasting around five minutes.

Before the hearing in June, the Supreme Court took advice in order to assess the safe working capacity of its historic listed building, in terms of the number of wheelchairs that could be evacuated safely in event of an emergency.

Independent advice suggests that the maximum number is 14 wheelchairs on the first and second floors of the building. We are therefore making plans to accommodate up to eight wheelchairs (including Mr Paulley) in Court One (the Supreme Court's largest courtroom) and a further six wheelchairs in an overflow viewing area where proceedings will be shown live on a large TV screen. This is to ensure that wheelchairs are distributed relatively evenly between floors to minimise evacuation time.

After discussion with Mr Paulley's legal representatives, eight wheelchair users with a close connection to his case have been given a priority place in the courtroom. The six additional spaces for wheelchair users in the overflow room will be allocated via a ballot, opening today (12 January) and closing at 10am on Monday 16 January. This is designed to offer wheelchair users clarity on whether or not there will be an allocated space for them in advance, and therefore avoid disappointment and unnecessary journeys on the day of the judgment.

All names sent by email to or by telephone to 020 7960 1500 (quoting 'FirstGroup v Paulley judgment' or similar) will be entered into a draw, with six names drawn at random at 10am on Monday 16 January. Those successful in gaining an allocated place will be advised by their preferred method of contact on Monday morning. Those unsuccessful in gaining a place will not be contacted and should assume that, regrettably, no space will be available for them.

It may be helpful to remind those with an interest in the case that the judgment summary will be live streamed via Supreme Court Live.

The footage will also be available 'on demand' via our YouTube channel shortly after the judgment has been handed down, to enable those unable to attend or to watch live the opportunity to view the judgment summary at their convenience.

The judgment will take place at 9.45am and the building will open to the public at 9am (half an hour earlier than usual).

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