Relief from sanctions

By Alexander Kingston-Splatt

The Court of Appeal delivers an important decision in the turbulent area of relief from sanctions for non-compliance with court rules or orders in the wake of the Jackson Reforms and the Mitchell decision.

A great deal has been written in recent times about the ‘Jackson Reforms’ to civil litigation and the subsequent decision of the Court of Appeal in what has become the notorious Mitchell case.

An important part of the Jackson Reforms, which were largely rolled out in April 2013, was the requirement for parties engaged in litigation to prepare and serve costs budgets. These are detailed estimates, compiled in the early stages of litigation, of the projected overall costs of a case, including what sums will be incurred in respect of particular aspects of the litigation. In very general terms, a successful party will be held to the limit of the approved budget unless there are good reasons for departing from it…

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