Since the Jackson reforms to civil litigation in England and Wales came into effect in April 2013, Walker Morris has tracked the key changes and cases in its Costs and Compliance series of articles. Looking back over the last six months, what have the key cases shown us, what have very recent cases decided and what practical experiences are we starting to see?
CPR Rule 3.9 (relief from sanctions) has been simplified but with a clear message that the courts are adopting a very much stricter approach than ever before. When considering any breach of a rule, protocol, practice direction or order, it seems that the court will take into account not only the circumstances of the individual case and parties in question, but also the effect of non-compliance and any consequential delay, cost and inefficiency for the court and resources as a whole.
The new test under CPR 3.9 does allow the court to consider all the circumstances of the case so as to enable it to deal justly with an application for relief, but it specifically focuses on the need for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost and to enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and court orders. It is significant that there is no longer any reference to prejudice to the particular parties in the case, nor to the merits of the case in question…
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