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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/supplementary witness statements: In Moore v Plymouth Hospitals (2016) Judge Cotter QC, sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division, refused the defendant leave to rely upon a supplementary witness statement from a surgeon in a clinical negligence claim. The statement, which contained the surgeon’s response to a central allegation in the claim, was served five weeks before trial and there was no good reason why a statement had not been served earlier, addressing the issue. The lack of a reasonable explanation for the delay and the fact that the trial date would have been lost had relief been granted, counted against the defendant when the court considered granting relief. 11/5/16

Relief from sanctions/trial bundles/skeleton arguments: In Cohen v Akhenaten (2016) relief from sanctions was granted by Judge Maloney QC, sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division, where the claimant had failed to file trial bundles and skeleton arguments because he was looking after his sick wife. Whilst his wife’s illness was not a good excuse for non-compliance of the pre-trial directions, the balance of justice in the case was in favour of granting relief, even where that would mean the trial date would be lost. 15/6/16

The following case, whilst not a relief from sanctions application per se, demonstrated the court’s application of the test in Mitchell and Denton:

Costs budgeting/failure to file costs budgets: In Jamadar v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2016) the Court of Appeal refused to interfere with the District Judge’s decision to refuse relief from sanctions, where the claimant had failed to file a costs budget, in accordance with CPR r.3.13, restricting the claimant to recovering just court fees in accordance with CPR r.3.14. Whilst liability was not in dispute, there was still a need to hold a costs management hearing and for the claimant to have filed a budget. 21/7/16

Service out of jurisdiction/application to challenge: In Zumax Nigeria Ltd v First City Monument Bank PLC (2016) the Court of Appeal granted the claimant a retrospective extension to apply to challenge jurisdiction. The delay in making the application in the first place was not serious or significant and had not caused delay. Whilst the claimant’s explanation for failing to apply was not entirely satisfactory, justice demanded that the application for relief be granted. 23/6/16

Default judgment/failure to file defence to counterclaim: In Goldcrest Distribution Ltd v McCole & Ors (2016) the claimant failed to file a defence to the counterclaim, despite having had six months to do so, only then for the defendant to successfully apply for judgment in default. Whilst the claimant had a good defence to the counterclaim, it had not applied promptly to set the judgment aside and did not have a good explanation as to why a defence to the counterclaim had not been filed in the first place. 30/6/16

For further information please contact Marcus Davies, Professional Support Executive, on 0161 603 5146

By Marcus Davies

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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.

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