Another date for your diaries!
The hard-line approach of Mitchell and subsequent Judgments has sent shockwaves through the industry. Recently there appears to have been signs of softening on the part of the Courts with HHJ Grant recently ruling a one day delay in the filing of a Costs Budget was a trivial breach, yet despite several like judgements ,there had been no case which purports to resolve the controversies.
The Court of Appeal has now listed three Appeals to be heard together by The Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson over 16th and 17th June.
These cases will hopefully give some clarification for us all in relation to the chaos that has been Mitchell! In addition it is hoped that clearer guidance will be given regarding Mitchell principles and their limits.
The three cases to be heard are:-
• Utilise TDS Ltd v Davies – Failure to file a costs budget on time (41 minutes late)
as well as considering other breaches
• Decadent Vapours Ltd v Bevan and Others – Unreported
• Denton & Others v TH White Ltd and Another – Unreported
Although these cases may give final clarification as to whether the breaches were trivial or not, it is difficult to imagine that the Court will be able to give any definitive answer to where triviality ends and contumelious conduct begins. The best we can hope for is guidance on how the Court’s should exercise discretion and what to do should there be more than one trivial breach. It would be great if at last commonsense would prevail.
We will of course update you in due course.