Category Witness statements

TAKING WITNESS STATEMENTS AND FACT FINDING: VEHEMENT CRITICISM (OF A SURPRISING SOURCE)

The need to take care when drafting witness statements has been a regular theme of this blog. The delegating of witness statements to a party or client is an extremely dangerous (and foolish) practice.   I have also examined, regularly, the painstaking and careful process that trial judges go through when assessing facts and witnesses. […]

WITNESS STATEMENTS, STATEMENTS OF TRUTH AND CONTEMPT OF COURT

The judgment of Mrs Justice Slade in Aviva Insurance -v- Randive [2016] EWHC 3152 (QB) involves no findings of fact.  However it does demonstrate the dangers inherent in being involved in the drafting of witness statements and replies to Part 18 questions.Where facts are set out which cannot be proven, or are simply not true […]

PROVING THINGS 44: FINDINGS OF FACT, WALTER MITTY AND WITNESS TRAINING

The judgment today of Mr Justice Coulson in Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited -v- Wilkins Kennedy [2016] 3188 EWHC (TCC) shows the importance of the judge’s assessment of  witnesses. The judge made a clear and robust assessment of the witness evidence, the difficulties posed by witness training, the difficulties posed by missing witnesses and the (virtual […]

PROVING THINGS 43: HOW THE COURT DECIDES: A PRIMER

The judgment of Master Matthews in Adepoju -v- Akinola [2016] EWHC 3160 (Ch) includes a useful primer on how the court goes about the task of deciding civil cases. “…the decision of the court is not necessarily the objective truth of the matters in issue. Instead it is the most likely view of what happened, […]

PROVING THINGS 42: SILENCE DOES NOT PROVE INDUCEMENT

We are returning to the case of Francis -v- Knapper [2016] EWHC 3093 (QB).  That case has been looked at in relation to a failure to prove damages.  However the claimants also had major evidential problems in proving misrepresentation. KEY POINTS For a party to succeed in a case for misrepresentation they have to establish that […]

PROVING THINGS 40: NO EVIDENCE – NO LOSS: LITIGATION IS NOT A WALK IN THE PARK

A constant motif in this series has been the ability of litigants to arrive at trial and not be able to prove central parts of their case – including damages.  This is exemplified in the judgment of Mr Justice Baker in Francis -v- Knapper [2016] EWHC 3093 (QB). After a six day trial the claimants […]

PROVING THINGS 39: YOU CAN SPEND £10 MILLION IN COSTS AND STILL NOT PROVE YOUR CASE: DAMAGES CLAIM WAS A “NOTIONAL DESKTOP EXERCISE”

It is unusual to look at the substantive judgment in a case after examining the decision on costs. We have already looked at the cost judgment in Amey LG Limited -v- Cumbria County Council [2016] EWHC 2496. However the substantive judgment, at [2016] EWHC 2856 (TCC) fits well within the proving things series.  It is […]

WITNESS STATEMENTS & DISCLOSURE: OMISSIONS MEAN THAT CASE FAILS AT SECOND HURDLE AND HAS TO GO BACK TO THE START

S  When a proponent of proportionate litigation, such as Jackson L.J., orders a retrial in a case where the judgment was for £4,449 the case merits examination. In Knowles -v- Watson [2016] EWCA Civ 1122 a re-trial was ordered because of issues relating to disclosure. KEY POINTS It is prudent to include all material facts […]

PROVING THINGS 38: PROVING INABILITY TO PAY ON A SECURITY FOR COSTS APPLICATION

A party opposing an application for security costs sometimes has to argue that the ordering of security would “stifle” a genuine claim.  This means giving evidence as to that party’s inability to pay.  This test was considered by Mr Richard Salter QC in Eminent Energy Limited -v- KRassik Ou [2016] EWHC 2585 (Comm). It is […]

WITNESS STATEMENT OF OPINION IS OF NO ASSISTANCE AND WAS NOT ADMITTED

There is a telling passage in the judgment of Richard Salter QC in St Vincent European General Partner Ltd -v- Robinson [2016] EWHC 2920 (Comm). A statement of bare opinion, with nothing to support it, was not admitted in evidence. “In my judgment, Mr Phillippou’s opinions on those issues are neither properly admissible as expert […]