Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law

Beever v Ryder PLC, [2012] EWCA Civ 1737, [2012] All ER (D) 249 (Dec)

The Claimant brought an action against the Defendant for personal injury. As a consequence of repeated failures by the Claimant’s solicitor to file and serve an allocation questionnaire and other documents, the claim was struck out. The Claimant applied for relief from sanction, but this application was refused by a DDJ on the basis that the fault for failure to file and serve relevant documents lay entirely with the Claimant’s solicitor; that no satisfactory explanation for the failures had been given; and that the application for relief from sanction had not been made promptly. The DDJ noted that the Claimant might have an action in negligence against his own solicitor.

The Claimant appealed successfully to Judge Cotter. Judge Cotter found that the DDJ had not applied the CPR 3.9 factors properly, noting among other things that there had been no deliberate breach of court orders; and that compelling the Claimant to take action against his own solicitors was a very serious step. On the Defendant’s appeal, Judge Cotter’s judgment was upheld in the Court of Appeal, which found that Judge Cotter had been entitled to interfere with the DDJ’s decision for the reasons he gave.

January 23, 2013 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases