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A stricter approach under the new CPR rules

07 Jun 2013, 16:17 by Priya Bakshi

Labels: barrister, barristers, high-court, judge, judgment, lawyer, particulars-of-claim

The impact of the Jackson reforms on the CPR rules is
showing, with a tougher approach displayed by the courts on missed deadlines. 

The case of Venulum Property Investments Ltd v Space Architecture & Others[2013] EWHC 1242 (TCC) was heard before the High Court. The Claimant applied for permission to extend time for service of the Particulars of Claim as the solicitors incorrectly calculated the deadline for service.

The courts' discretionary power to extend time in such circumstances is
governed by CPR 3.9. Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart recognised that this rule had been significantly amended from 1 April 2013. The old rule allowed the court to have a more general consideration with a list of nine factors to consider.  Under the new rule:

"The court will consider all the circumstances of the case, so as to
enable it to deal justly with the application, including the need-

(a) for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate
cost; and (b) to enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and orders."

Accordingly, the court refused to allow an extension for serving the
Particulars of Claim. In reaching this outcome the court considered the five year delay in bringing the claim, the claim
against the defendant not being strong and the fact that the claim for bad
faith was pleaded in vague terms. 

Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart concluded in his judgment, "when the circumstances are considered as a whole, particularly in the light of the stricter approach that must now be taken by the courts towards those who fail to comply with rules following the new changes to the CPR, this is a case where the court should refuse permission to extend time. The Claimant has taken quite long enough to bring these proceedings and enough is now enough."

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