Goal Boost | Knotweed Network | Sunburnt Fish

Is it really "coming home"??!!  Many of the younger England fans who spent yesterday wildly celebrating their team's 2-0 World Cup Quarter Final victory over Sweden wouldn't even have been born when Frank Skinner and David Baddiel released their "Three Lions" anthem ahead of Euro 96.  Fast forward 22 years and it feels like the whole nation is chanting the anthem and many of them (admittedly with the help of a healthy dose of sun and alcoholic beverages) genuinely believe the trophy may be on its way home.  The Weekly is an ardent supporter of all things sporting, but the World Cup feel-good factor is not just of benefit to sports fans. Even that bastion of fun the Institute of Economic Affairs is urging England on; "When England’s football team is playing, Brits are spending more on food, drinks and electronic goods...and the longer it continues the better it is for our economy.” Just look at the figures.  If England make the final, an estimated £240m will be spent on food; a whopping £297m will be spent on alcohol; and £488m will be spent in pubs, restaurants and cafes. The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) even predicts that every goal scored by an England footballer - right the way to the final - will be worth £165.3m to England’s retailers.  Now that is definitely worth cheering about.  

Back to the day job and The Weekly was busy clocking up CPD hours at BCLP's offices on Tuesday where the topic of discussion was Environmental Liability, an issue that has largely fallen off the radar in the last few years due to the low number of cases.  Following changes to the litigation cost rules, it has simply become too expensive and risky to pursue an environmental liability claim.  Costs are high, the likely damages awarded are generally low, and ATE (After the Event) insurance is uneconomic to obtain.  Bad news for claimant lawyers and even worse news for would-be claimants.  There is, however, one area where environmental claims have huge growth potential (if you'll excuse the pun).  Fallopia japonica, better known as Japanese Knotweed, is the most feared and invasive plant species in the UK.  Indeed, DEFRA estimates that it would cost a staggering £1.7 billion to eradicate it from the UK.  Already a landlord's nightmare due to its destructive nature and cost of removal, a recent landmark case against Network Rail could open the doors for a multitude of claims from adjoining owners.  Last month, the Court of Appeal ruled that two Cardiff homeowners were entitled to damages from Network Rail because the plant's rhizomes had extended beneath their properties and that its presence imposes an "immediate burden on landowners" and "affects their ability fully to use and enjoy their property and, in doing so, interferes with the land's amenity value." Cut through the legal jargon and the message is fairly clear. Ignore Japanese Knotweed at your peril.

For the last few weeks, we Brits have been denied our favoured past time of moaning about the weather. Day after day we've been waking up to glorious sunshine and ever hotter temperatures.  And long may it continue! But as Britain enjoys its longest heatwave since 1976, the heat has been causing a few problems. On Thursday, a man in Newcastle had to be rescued by firefighters after his left leg sank "thigh deep" into melted tarmac, whilst the Mirror reported that "entire lorries are melting into the road".  Reading on from this slightly alarmist headline (which appeared to suggest the disappearance of a whole fleet of lorries), The Weekly discovered that the only four-wheeled victim (so far!) was a West Berkshire Council bin lorry which brought Newbury town centre to a chaotic standstill. But perhaps the most symptomatic example of the soaring temperatures was the story of a koi carp called 'Big White Fish' who was rushed to hospital this week after getting burnt in the hot weather.  If the fish are getting sunburnt, what chance have the rest of us got!