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:
Costs budgeting process/putting forward realistic figures: In Findcharm Ltd v Churchill Group Ltd (2017), Coulson J sitting in the Queen's Bench Division, reminded litigants of the need to advance realistic costs figures, both in respect of their own costs budget and in respect of the figures that they considered to be reasonable for their opponents costs in the Precedent R budget discussion report. The costs budgeting process was not to be treated as a game by parties, who set their own budget at a low level in order to make their opponents budget seem to be too high and by making unreasonably low offers in the budget discussion report. 12/5/17
Relief from sanctions/failure to add claimants to Group Litigation Order: In Kimathi & Ors v Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2017) Stewart J refused an application for relief from sanctions after the claimants had not applied in to be added to a Group Litigation Order by the cut-off date. The application for relief from sanctions was made over two years after the cut-off date and 6 months after the trial had started in the group action. There would be prejudice to the defendant if the application were allowed. There was no good reason why the default had taken place, and the breach had been serious and significant. The application for relief had not been made promptly. 27/4/16
Relief from sanctions/failure to attend in person: In Falmouth House Ltd v Abou-Hamdan (2017) relief from sanctions was granted in a case where a party had failed to attend court in person, as ordered, but had attended by counsel. Held by Nugee J, sitting in the Chancery Division, it was important to establish what the purpose of any order was before going on to consider whether there had been compliance. Whilst the order was that the party attend in person, the fact that the party was not in court, but did appear by counsel meant that the case could still go ahead and there was impact upon the respondent. The breach of the order was not serious or significant. 26/4/17
Relief from sanctions/order for disclosure: In Jahangir & Anor v Service Insurance Co (2016), District Judge Barraclough sitting in Huddersfield County Court, refused relief from sanctions to a claimant who had failed to comply with an order for disclosure and a resultant unless order. The application for relief was made at the same time as the defendant's application to strike out the claim for failure to comply and three months after the last date for compliance. The claimant conceded that the breach was serious and significant. The District Judge concluded that there was no good reason for the failure to comply and the defendant's ability to investigate the claim was prejudiced as a result. The application was refused and the claim was struck out. 22/12/16 (only recently reported)
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