In Sinclair -v- Dorsey & Whitney (Mr Justice Popplewell 20/11/2015)* an application for relief from sanctions was refused in a case that the claimant valued at £30 million.
The claimants had been ordered to provide security for costs. After a number of last minute applications for extensions an unless order was made. The form of ATE was not agreed and the claimant did not meet the deadline.
RELIEF FROM SANCTIONS REFUSED
Mr Justice Popplewell held:
- Not all sanctions are equal. There is a difference between a sanction and an unless order.
- The claimants’ actions in leaving matters to the last moment and then asking for extensions was not acceptable.
- Applying the Denton test there was a serious and significant breach; there was no good reason for the breach.
- There was no frank evidence from the claimant about its assets.
- In the face of a failure to comply with an order the court had to proceed on the basis that the sanction of strike out was proportionate.
- To allow reinstatement would turn the new approach to procedure on its head.
* This post is based on the Lawtel summary.
Most of the important decision relating to the Denton criteria and relief from sanctions are considered in the Sanctions: Case Watch section of this blog.