In a property case, the court has held that the court has a discretionary power, after expiry of the limitation period, to allow a claimant to plead a new cause of action based on the same facts as have been pleaded by another defendant.

Charles Church Developments Limited -v- Stent Foundations Limited and Another. Queens Bench Division, 5 December 2006, Times Law Reports.

Costs penalty when Judge finds litigant dishonest

In an intellectual property case, the Judge found against a defendant and ordered that defendant pay the costs, but made a reduction to reflect a finding of dishonesty on the part of the claimants.

The Court of Appeal held that, where dishonesty had been found, the fact that the paying party had not sought an order from the Judge reflecting that misconduct should not deprive that party of referring, on the assessment, to the finding of the Judge that a forgery had been committed, when considering whether the costs incurred by the dishonest party were reasonable.

Consideration of a party’s conduct should normally take place both when the trial Judge was considering what order for costs he should make and then when the costs judge was assessing costs. The court went on to say that Judges might also want to consider whether to make an order under the misconduct provisions of Rule 44.14 of CPR, and it will be wise to do that before considering precisely what order to make in relation to the costs of a trial generally.

Ultraframe (UK) Limited -v- Fielding & Others. Court of Appeal, 6 December 2006, Times Law Report.

Another pre-action admission case

The defendants admitted liability pre issue on an RTA case. They made three settlement offers that we rejected. Proceedings were then issued. Afterwards, the defendants sought an extension for filing their defence, which was granted. Shortly before their defence was due to be filed, the defendant’s solicitors said that they were withdrawing their admission of liability and were alleging fraud on the part of our client. At no point were these issues raised before proceedings. They filed a defence alleging fraud and denied liability.

We referred them to paragraph 3.9 of the Protocol. They refused to amend their defence and we therefore applied to strike it out. They made a counter application to resile from their pre-action admission of liability, relying on Sowerby and requested that the matter be allocated to the multi track because of the issue of fraud.

The Judge heard their application and dismissed it. Judgement was entered for the claimant and their defence was struck out but it was allowed to stand in relation to the quantum issues only. We were awarded the costs.

Norfolk -v- Henderson. Manchester County Court, 28 November 2006