THE MITCHELL CRITERIA AND AMENDING PLEADINGS: A NEW CASE TO CONSIDER

I have added the case of Hague Plant Ltd -v- Hague [2014] EWHC 568 (Ch) to the “Mitchell Watch” section. It concerned a second application to amend the Particulars of Claim in a complex and long running commercial case.  I will summarise the case, and its implications, in a later post.  Here are some of the key elements.

“MITCHELL APPLIES TO AMENDED PLEADINGS

8 Proportionality

  1. I have come to the clear conclusion that this application to Re-Amend is disproportionate in the sense that it would not lead to the litigation being conducted at proportionate cost and would lead to further extensive judicial time being expended at the expense of other litigants. 
  1. As was said in Mitchell: 

“Cases are usually important to the parties but if such considerations weighed too heavily one would be unable to implement the objectives of the new rules. One would be unable to prevent some claims from taking unfair amounts of judicial resources away from other claims at the very moment when it is common knowledge that budgetary constraints may lead to fewer judges in the courts, and to reduce non-judicial resources to operate those courts.

Judicial time is thinly spread, and the emphasis must, if I understand the Jackson reforms correctly, be upon allocating a fair share of time to all as far as possible and requiring strict compliance with rules and orders even if that means that justice can be done in the majority of case but not all.””

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