Supreme Court decision confirms second attempt at relief from sanctions will be uphill battle

The Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision overturning the grant of a second application for relief from sanctions for failure to comply with an unless order: Thevarajah v Riordan [2015] UKSC 78 (and see our blog post on the Court of Appeal’s decision). The second application for relief was, in substance, an application under CPR 3.1(7) to vary … Read more

Supreme Court clarifies scope of “assets” covered by a freezing order

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the right to draw down under loan agreements is caught by the expanded definition of "asset" contained in the current standard Commercial Court form of freezing order which includes "any asset which it (the respondent) has the power, directly or indirectly, to dispose of or … Read more

Relief from sanctions: how far has the pendulum swung back?

In recent months we have seen a number of decisions which show a greater willingness to grant relief from sanctions for breaches of rules and court orders, compared to the more draconian judgments of the immediate post-Mitchell era, and which illustrate the risks for those who seek to hold their opponents to strict compliance – though there clearly remain … Read more

Party in breach of unless order for disclosure due to failures in OCR process

The High Court has held that claimant liquidators were in breach of an “unless order” for disclosure where the low quality of OCR copies of scanned hard copy documents, to which key word searches had been applied to narrow down the pool of documents for review, meant the court could not be satisfied that a reasonable search had … Read more

Establishing “good reason” for breach of order following change of solicitors may require waiver of privilege

The High Court has extended a witness statement deadline, where a party was in breach of the previous timetable, but refused to vacate the trial date to allow more time for statements to be prepared and served: Devon & Cornwall Autistic Community Trust v Cornwall Council [2015] EWHC 129 (QB). The case is of interest both for its application of the … Read more