Jackson in Action: case law
In our regular monthly round up of cases we look at the effects of the changes to the Civil Procedure Rules under the Jackson Reforms:
Relief from sanctions/service of particulars of claim:In Viridor Waste Management Ltd v Veolia ES Ltd (2015) the claimant served their particulars of claim one day after the date they had agreed with the defendant. The defendant refused to consent to an order extending the time for service of the particulars of claim, stating that the delay was serious and significant. Considering the claimant’s application for relief from sanctions, Popplewell J held that the default had not had any real impact on the litigation and that the defendant had attempted to unreasonably take advantage of the situation to gain a “windfall strike out” when they should have consented to the application.
Relief from sanctions/failure to serve expert evidence: In Marchment v Frederick Wise Ltd & Anor (2015) the claimant's solicitor had failed to properly diarise the date for service of expert evidence and an amended schedule of loss, so that they were served four weeks late and two weeks late respectively. Whilst Judge Moloney QC held that whilst granting relief from sanctions would mean the trial date would have to be vacated, that would not have been the case had the defendant consented to the application and the claimant was not culpable for the solicitor’s failure to properly diarise the dates for compliance of the orders.
Relief from sanctions/application to set aside judgment: In Priestley v Dunbar & Co (2015) the defendant appealed against a refusal to grant relief from sanctions sought to set aside judgment in default, 11 weeks after the judgment had been entered against them, stating that they had not received the court papers. Accepting that the defendants had an arguable defence to the claim and that they had not acted promptly, Judge Behrens held that whilst the delay in making the application was significant, the lack of promptness did not make it just to dismiss the application and that the principles in Denton should have been applied.
Relief from sanctions/failure to serve evidence: In Chadwick (Trustee in Bankruptcy of Anthony Burling) v Linda Burling (2015) a litigant in person failed to serve witness evidence on time and the sought to adduce evidence two months later, seeking relief from sanctions. Warren J held that although the deputy registrar had erred in not expressly considering all three stages of the test in Denton v TH White Ltd  EWCA Civ 906,  1 W.L.R. 3926 when refusing the application, even had he done so he would have arrived at the same conclusion and refused leave. There was no good reason for failing to comply and was well out of time.
Relief from sanctions/failure to serve expert evidence: In Art & Antiques Ltd v Magwell Solicitors (2015) the fact that the defendant would not be prejudiced if relief from sanctions was granted, where the claimant had failed to serve evidence in time, meant that relief from sanctions would be granted. Sitting in the Chancery Division, Judge Klein held that trial date could still be met and that relief would be granted on strict terms, so that the report had to be served the next day and the claimant would not be entitled to recover the costs relating to the expert’s report.
For further information please contact Marcus Davies, Professional Support Executive, on 0161 603 5146.
This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.