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litigation - should you try to score points at every opportunity?

27 May 2015

What will happen if a solicitor seeks to exploit a minor breach of the CPR where the overall litigation is not affected by the breach?

In Viridor Waste Management Ltd v Veolia Es Ltd [2015] unreported, the particulars of claim were served on the defendant one day late. The defendant refused to consent to an application for an extension of time and applied to strike out the claimant’s claim.

Popplewell J said that in reality the particulars were only a few hours late. The breach had no real impact on the overall litigation. The claimant’s application for an extension of time for service was granted. He said that the defendant had taken “unreasonable advantage of the claimant’s default”, caused further delay by refusing to consent and ordered them to pay costs on the indemnity basis.

Parties to litigation should not take minor points when the breach is minimal and the underlying litigation will not be affected by the breach. A sensible approach should be taken and parties should not engage in unnecessary point scoring.

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