Technology and Construction Court refuses extension of time to serve out of time Particulars of Claim
The Technology and Construction Court (the TCC) recently had to decide whether to grant an extension of time for a Claimant to serve its particulars of claim late against two Defendants (out of ten). The Court had to make the decision taking into account the new stricter Court rules which came into force on 1 April 2013. SPW reported on some of the changes on our blog.
Previously there were nine factors that the Court had to take into account on such an application including whether the application was made promptly and whether the failure to comply with the Court rules had been intentional. Now the Court has to consider “…all the circumstances of the case, so as to enable it to deal justly with the application, including the need (a) for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost; and (b) to enforce compliance with the rules, practice directions and order.”.
On the facts of the present case (Venulum Property Investments Limited v Space Architecture Limited & Others) the TCC held that they were not prepared to grant the extension and therefore the Claimant’s claim could not proceed against two of the ten Defendants. It took into account the fact that the Claimant had waited over 5 years before instructing a Solicitor to deal with the matter and also that the claim was weak against the two Defendants.
It is therefore important to note for any business that may have a dispute that the Courts have to be stricter under the new Court rules and that you should instruct lawyers at the earliest possible time.
If you want to discuss this case or any other dispute matter, please contact one of our commercial litigation team.