Hawley v Luminar Leisure Ltd and others [2006] EWCA Civ 18 is a Court of Appeal decision on employment and test of employment.


Defendent Luminar is a nightclub that had hired the tortfeasor bouncer through an organisation called ASE which is now in liquidation. On the night in question the bouncer attacked the claimant, punching him in the face and subsequently knocking him to the ground. The claimant sued Luminar vicariously.


The bouncer was found to be the sole employee of Luminar at the time of the assault, due to two main reasons:

  • ASE did not have control over the tortfeasor, whereas Luminar did;
  • The tortfeasor has worked for Luminar for a very long time that he has become an integral part of Luminar's operation (Stevenson v MacDonald).

The judgment of Hallett LJ also hints at a possible incorporation of principles of occupiers' liability into vicarious liability. His lordship argued that luminar was perfectly capable of hiring its own bouncers, doing it through ASE was nothing more than a means of bypassing labour law; because Luminar is capable of screening its own bouncers the quality/appropriateness of the bouncer provided by ASE is something that Luminar could easily verify, it was therefore immaterial that ASE was negligent in their screening (Haseldine v Daw, Woodward v Mayor of Hastings).