No more Mr Nice Guy — fail to adhere to court orders, rules and practice directions at your peril
When the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) were amended last year, the revised overriding objective made it clear that the rules were in place to enable the court to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost.
This objective was mirrored in the revised CPR 3.9 — the rule that governs the application a party may need to make if there has been a failure to comply with any rule, practice direction or court order. The revised CPR 3.9 requires the court to consider all of the circumstances of the case, including the need for ‘litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost’; however, it also makes it clear the rules are in place ‘to enforce compliance with rules practice directions and orders’.
A number of recent court decisions have clearly shown that overturning a sanction imposed by the court will be far more difficult than it may have been pre-April 2013. The message is that failures to comply with court orders, rules or practice directions will be dealt with harshly, particularly where a sanction has been imposed…
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Wragge & Co outlines the background to the case and the court’s decision and provides a comment on its impact for public bodies.
The Court of Appeal case of RWE Npower Renewables Ltd v J N Bentley Ltd acts as a reminder to draftsman not to place too much reliance on these clauses.