A ruthless and salient reminder in procedure – make sure every page is in the bundle before the trial!
The Claimant in Absolute Lofts as West London Ltd v Artisan Home Improvements Ltd & Anor (No2)  EWHC 2632 (IPEC) made an application for the Court to reconsider its ruling after HHJ Hacon handed down his decision. The basis of the application – an important page had been omitted from the bundle.
It was submitted that the page in the bundle provided significant evidence in respect of compensatory damages, and that by reconsidering the missing page no further evidence was being introduced. HHJ Hacon disagreed, stating that it must be shown that the evidence could not have been obtained without reasonable diligence (Ladd v Marshall  1 WLR 1489). Given that this was an oversight on behalf of the solicitors, that criterion could not be satisfied.
Referring to the overriding objective HHJ Hacon stated at paragraph 8:
‘It is essential to the saving of expense, ensuring that a case is dealt with expeditiously and fairly and allotting an appropriate share of the court’s resources to a case that the parties bring all relevant evidence before the court at the trial. Where a party fails to do that and has no reasonable excuse for that failure, it will have to overcome a high barrier to satisfy the court that the circumstances are sufficiently unusual to permit the proceedings to be reopened with fresh evidence after judgment has been handed down.’
Although there are certainly circumstances in which the Court will be persuaded to reconsider evidence missing from the initial hearing, such as where new evidence places the issues considered in the initial hearing into a completely new and compelling context, these will be few and far between.
Much better to count your pages correctly the first time round.
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