Paranoid Delusions and Disability

4 March 2022

In Sullivan v Bury Street Capital Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 1694, the Court of Appeal decided that a tribunal had been entitled to find that a claimant, who suffered from paranoid delusions that he was being monitored and followed by a gang of Russian nationals, following a short relationship with a Ukrainian woman, was not disabled within the meaning of EqA 2010.

The judgment serves as a useful reminder of the law relating to recurring conditions, and the requirement that, where an impairment ceases to have a substantial adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, it is to be treated as continuing to have that effect only if that effect is likely to recur.

In this case, the evidence showed that, although the claimant’s delusional beliefs persisted over a four year period, they did not have a substantial adverse effect on his ability to carry out his normal day-to-day activities throughout that period. Indeed, they only had that effect in two discrete episodes of a few months each, one in 2013 and another in 2017. As such, neither episode satisfied the long term condition (12 months or likely to last 12 months). The tribunal had also decided that neither episode was likely to recur.

The judgment is also worth reading for its summary of the principles governing the extent/quality of reasons given by a tribunal: “What is required is adequacy, not perfection. An ET is not sitting an examination.”  See also the excerpts from DPP Law Ltd v Greenberg [2021] EWCA Civ 672.

Related areas



Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and event updates.



16 April 2024

Chambers is delighted to announce that Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC is one of only…

Discover more

14 February 2022

The first hearings of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry commenced today.  Previously a non-statutory…

Discover more

19 December 2023

A message from Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC, looking back at the past 12…

Discover more

Portfolio Builder

Select the practice areas that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)