Blog - Wednesday 8 January 2014

Turkey’s Were So Last Year

Back in Summer 2012 I had a rather interesting hearing in front of one of my favourite Judges in the SCCO (for all of the Judiciary reading this, yes – it was you) where a rather interesting point had to be dealt with before the real assessment began.  (For those readers of this blog who follow it purely for fashion advice, I would skip this one, there is actual costs law involved).

C served D with an informal Bill and gave D 20 days with the same.  C then served the Bill formally and gave 25 days before PODs were due (2 more than required). D requested a 7 day extension (for PODs) shortly before they were due and C granted the same.  The POD due date came and went. C applied for a Default Costs Certificate 7 days after PODs were due, however 7 days after applying for a DCC, D served and filed PODs, therefore the Court returned C’s DCC application.

CPR 47.9(2) and (3) state:

“(2) The period for serving PODs is 21 days after the date of service of the notice of commencement.

(3)  If a party serves points after the period set out in para (2) he may not be heard further in the detailed assessment proceedings unless the Court gives permission.”

D never applied for permission, despite C informing them on three separate occasions (whilst actually citing the rule), that they needed to.

At the start of the Detailed Assessment, C says D cannot be heard.  D disagrees. Judge sides with C and informs D that without an App seeking permission, D cannot take part in the DAH.  D makes an oral App there and then (without evidence), doesn’t explain the lateness of the PODs or why an App hasn’t been made to date.  Judge allows the App in and grants D permission.

Now it doesn’t matter what the outcome of the DAH was (I won, on every single point). This is the type of conduct and ineptitude that angered Jackson LJ so much.  According C appeals on two grounds – 1. D should not have been allowed to make the App at the DAH; 2. Absent any evidence or an explanation altogether, the App should fail.

I appealed this decision 6 months before the Court of Appeal handed down its Judgment in Mitchell. I have high hopes for the Appeal on Friday.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander – the title had to tie in somewhere. But on a serious note, this will be an interesting test of how tough the SCCO will be in Assessment Proceedings.

PS – my apologies for the lack of fashion/wine tips in this post. Normal service will resume shortly.