New guidance on applications for relief from sanctions
By Clark Sargent
The Court of Appeal has given further guidance, in the conjoined appeals in Denton v TH White Ltd and other cases, on how relief from sanctions applications under CPR 3.9 should be dealt with following that previously given in the Mitchell decision.
The Court of Appeal, consisting of the Master of Rolls, Vos LJ and Jackson LJ, held that an application for relief should be addressed in three stages. Judges should: identify and assess the seriousness and significance of the ‘failure to comply with any rule, practice direction or court order’ that engages CPR 3.9(1); consider why the default occurred; and evaluate ‘all the circumstances of the case to enable the court to deal justly with the application including the need (a) for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost (CPR 3.9[a]) and (b) to enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and orders (CPR 3.9[b])’…
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