Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2014 position: 28

Strictly compliance — orders and rules must be obeyed

Following the introduction of the Jackson reforms in April 2013, many practitioners questioned just how strictly the courts would enforce compliance with the Civil Procedure Rules, practice direction and court orders post implementation.

The first post-reforms Court of Appeal decision dismissing the ‘plebgate’ costs appeal in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd has just answered that question. Enforcement will be robust. Litigators have been warned: failure to comply, for which there is no good reason, will not usually attract relief from sanction.

The proceedings relate to the high-profile defamation claim brought by Andrew Mitchell MP following The Sun’s coverage of the ‘Plebgate’ scandal. The proceedings were subject to the costs budgeting pilot (PD 51D of the Civil Procedure Rules) for defamation proceedings, which required the parties to discuss their budgets and exchange and file the budgets (in precedent HA format) not less than seven days before the case management hearing…

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