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Sayers v Clarke-Walker, Court of Appeal

21 May 2002
The issues

Appeals out of time – principles to be considered.

The facts

The Claimant made Application for an extension of time for appealing and for permission to appeal from two Orders of Buckley J. The Orders were dated 12th October 2001 and 17th October 2001. The Appeal was lodged on 20th December 2001. The Appeal was late because Claimant’s Solicitors erroneously believed that time did not run until the Order of the Court below had been sealed. The Application was initially refused on papers by Lord Justice Sedley as “irretrievably out of time”. The renewed Application came before a three Judge Court of Appeal.

The decision

1. Solicitors should be expected to understand the substantial changes to the new appeals regime.

2. Extensions of time were governed by Civil Procedure Rules 52.6. The Court should also take into account its general power to extend time under Civil Procedure Rules 3.1 and of course the over-riding objective in Civil Procedure Rules 1.1.

3. When considering any Application of this sort, the Court should have regard to the check list in Civil Procedure Rules 3.9.

4. In the light of the factors set out in that check list, it would be disproportionate to prevent the Appeal proceeding, at least so far as giving the opportunity to the Appellant of addressing the Court on merits of the Appeal.

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