Practice Funds in court. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the defendant's appeal against the judge's decision, directing that a sum in the Court Funds Office be paid to the claimant. Although the judge had reached his decision by the application of the wrong principles, he had had properly rejected the defendant's submission that it had not had an interest in the money.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division allowed an appeal by the claimant waste management company against the strike-out of a claim made against the third defendant. The court held that the judge had been wrong to have given summary judgment in respect of all of the claims, but should have been confined to the damages claim for conspiracy.
Iqbal and another v J C and A Solicitors Ltd; Smith and another v J C and A Solicitors Ltd; Pitts and another v J C and A Solicitors Ltd
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division held that the judge had been wrong in his construction of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in road traffic accidents. There was no express provision for repayment of the stage 1 costs in the relevant circumstances and therefore no such right could be properly be implied.
Practice Striking out. The Chancery Division allowed the defendants' application to strike out and-or for summary judgment on a number of claims commenced by the claimant, following his summary dismissal from a company. The court held that the claims should not go forward.
Indefinite all proceedings order made against respondent . The Divisional Court made an indefinite all proceedings order against the respondent, given the long history of the matter and the lack of significant evidence of any change in the respondent's behaviour. The respondent had habitually, persistently and without any reasonable grounds instituted vexatious proceedings, made vexatious applications in proceedings and instituted vexatious prosecutions.
Disclosure Pre-action disclosure. The Technology and Construction Court dismissed the applicant company's application for pre-action disclosure, under CPR 31,16. The applicant sought disclosure, from an insurer, of the full insurance policy in relation to a company, against which, the applicant sought to claim for damage to its warehouse, which had been caused by a fire. The court held that Sch1 to the demonstrated that Parliament could not have envisaged that CPR 31.16 would or would commonly be used to obtain insurance policies from the insurers of insolvent insureds, and that the circumstances of the present case were not sufficiently exceptional for the court to order disclosure of a solvent insured's insurance policy, contrary to established practice.
Company Claim. The Chancery Division dismissed the defendants' application for a non-party costs order to be made against the second claimant former director of the first claimant company, who had been joined to the proceedings for the purpose of seeking costs against him. The court held that, in order to make it just to order a director to pay the costs of unsuccessful company litigation, it was necessary to show something more, for example, that the claim had not been made in good faith, or for the benefit of the company, or it might be that the claim had been improperly conducted by the director. The mere fact that a director, who controlled the company's litigation, also funded the claim was not enough, in the ordinary case, to justify a non-party costs order against him if the company's case failed. The court held that the second claimant's behaviour in controlling, funding and, ultimately, hoping to benefit from the claim being made by the company had not gone beyond the ordinary case of the director and shareholder of a company pursuing a legal claim.
Practice Summary judgment. The Commercial Court allowed the claimant company's application for summary judgment against the defendant, who had carried out trading for it, where the defendant had confirmed that he would neither file evidence in the application, nor actively contest its merits, but that he was not content to consent to the judgment sought, or to any judgment.
Société Générale v Goldas Kuyumculuk Sanayi Ithalat Ihracat A.S. and others; Société Générale v Goldas Kuyumculuk Sanayi Ithalat Ihracat A.S. and another
Pleading Striking out. The Commercial Court held that two claims brought by the claimant bank in a dispute about payment for gold delivered to the defendant companies would be struck out, where the validity of the claim forms had expired without service, and the lack of service was not curable. Further, the bank's pursuit of the claim amounted to an abuse of process.
Negligence Contributory negligence. The Queen's Bench Division held that the defendant driver had been 25% responsible for an accident, the circumstances of which had been that the deceased had been on the bonnet of the defendant's car whilst the defendant drove off onto a busy main road. That had led to the deceased falling off the bonnet and fatally striking her head against a Belisha beacon.