RELIEF FROM SANCTION – ANOTHER ONE FOR THE “RELIEF GRANTED” FILE

PI_Bronia_Hartley Bronia Hartley

Wain v. Glos CC (1) Atkins (2) Glos Highways (3) Teasdale (4) [2014] EWHC 1274 (TCC)

[Before His Honour Judge David Grant sitting as a High court Judge]

In this case the fourth defendant was one day late in filing her costs budget, thus instead of having been served seven clear days before the CMC and costs management hearing, it was served six clear days before this hearing.

The court came to the conclusion that the breach, when properly analysed, amounted to a trivial breach for the following reasons:

a)      The delay was of one day in the context of a time period or frame of seven days.

b)      That seven-day period is usefully to be compared with the three-day period for service of an application notice before its hearing: see CPR rule 23.7(1).

c)      The claimant accepted no prejudice had been suffered by reason of the delay of one day.

d)      The parties were perfectly able to deal with the topic of costs management at the hearing, notwithstanding the fact that the fourth defendant served her costs budget with only six clear days before the hearing.

e)      Unlike in Mitchell, no disruption to the court’s timetable was caused by the delay.  The only additional burden placed upon the court was the need to take some time during the CMC and costs management hearing to consider the point.

f)        The “miss” was a narrow one.

g)      The failure could properly be regarded as insignificant, in which circumstances the interrelation between the breach and its consequences is relevant.

Specifically in relation to the late filing of costs budgets, the following paragraph (paragraph 14 of the judgment) is noteworthy:

“Much depends on the particular circumstances of the case, and in particular whether the parties are able to deal with the material contained in the costs budgets on the day in question, and whether or not any disruption to the court’s timetable has been or will be occasioned by such breach.”

Bronia Hartley

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