Summary of Recent Cases – Civil Procedure

An appeal judge came to the correct conclusion that in the circumstances, the claimant’s delay in serving a costs schedule (in breach of an unless order) did not justify striking out his claim.

Ryder Plc v Beever [2012] EWCA Civ 1737

The claimant failed to serve a costs schedule in a personal injury claim. The defendant’s solicitors wrote to the court without copying in the claimant’s solicitors. Of it own motion the court ordered that unless the costs schedule was filed by a certain date the claim would be struck out. The claimant’s solicitor was not aware of the unless order and was on holiday from the date the order was made until the expiry of the deadline for filing the costs schedule. His claim was struck out. The district judge refused his application for relief from sanctions, but the decision was overturned on appeal on the basis that the district judge had erred in his analysis of the factors under CPR 3.9.

The Court of Appeal held that the appeal judge was correct to say that the district judge had not properly balanced the factors when considering if it was proportionate to refuse relief from sanctions. The district judge had taken a mistaken view of the gravity of the delay, which amounted to eight days. Moreover, it was relevant to consider the circumstances in which the unless order had been made. If a court considered it desirable to make an unless order without an application on notice it should be slow to make such an order without giving the affected party the chance to be heard.

February 1, 2013 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases