Summary of Recent Cases – Civil Procedure

An application to stay a personal injury action on the basis that England was not the most appropriate forum was refused.

Anthony Harty v (1) Sabre International Security Ltd (Formerly SIS Iraq Ltd) (2) Sabre International Security Ltd, QBD, 05/04/11

The court refused an application that the Claimant’s case be stayed in England on the basis Iraq was the most appropriate forum. One of the Defendants had immunity from suit in Iraq but not within the UK. There were three stages to be considered when approaching applications for permission to serve process out of the jurisdiction, namely that: (i) the claimant sustained damage within England and Wales; (ii) the claim had a reasonable prospect of success; (iii) the court was satisfied that England and Wales was the proper place in which to bring a claim. The court held that though the damage had been sustained in Iraq, his PSLA and other losses were sustained in England as the Claimant had returned to the UK after the accident. It was clear that his case in negligence had reasonable prospects of success, and the Defendant had the burden of proof of demonstrating that England was not the most convenient forum and establishing that another jurisdiction was more appropriate. Justice required that the English court should accept jurisdiction.

Permission given to rely upon additional witness evidence during the course of a trial but with heavy costs consequences

Nottinghamshire & City of Nottingham Fire Authority (Claimant) v (1) Gladman Commercial Properties (Defendant & Part 20 Claimant) (2) Nottingham City Council (Part 20 Defendant), Ch D, 20/04/11

A trial with the denial of the witness evidence would proceed on an entirely false basis and would perpetuate serious injustice. There was no requirement to justify applications more strongly when they were made late. Lateness was a factor but it should not be given elevated status above any other factor in ensuring that justice was done between the parties. It was vital one never lost sight of the fact that it was the overriding duty of the courts to come to a just and correct result and if for one reason or another because of the creation of a gloss on the application of the CPR or an over technical approach to pleadings, a party was unable to deploy a case or give evidence which justice required it to be able to deploy, then this would not be an appropriate exercise of discretion. The evidence would be adduced, but since this would lead to an adjournment of the trial to allow the other side to properly prepare for that evidence, there would be heavy costs consequences.

May 25, 2011 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases