Appeal involving Denton guidelines resisted by William Dean
News | Thu 5th Mar, 2015
William Dean successfully resisted an appeal against a refusal to grant relief from sanctions in a case involving the guidance in Denton v. TH White Limited  EWCA Civ 906.
The matter arose out of the Appellant’s failure to file an appeal bundle as required by Practice Direction 52B. Although the Appellant had filed and served a copy of the trial bundle and various additional documents required for the appeal, no CPR-compliant bundle was produced. The Appellant did not comply with an unless order to file one and the appeal was struck out.
The Appellant applied promptly for relief from sanctions. By the time of the application hearing, there was still no appeal bundle. The judge refused the application but commented that he would probably have allowed it had the default been rectified. The Appellant appealed to the High Court.
On appeal, the Appellant argued that no bundle was required because the relevant documents were in the court’s possession. Further, it was argued that the Respondents had acted opportunistically in drawing the judge’s attention to the claim.
The appeal was dismissed. Supperstone J. noted that the appeal had been struck out automatically pursuant to the terms of the unless order (answering the opportunism point), and the Appellant had displayed “a continuing lack of understanding of the importance of the rules”. Ultimately, the judge concluded, the fact was that the Appellant “had deliberately decided not to comply with the Practice Direction and the ‘unless’ order”. The breach was serious and significant, there was no good reason for the default and in all the circumstances of the case the appeal was dismissed.
A fuller case note is available here and the case was reported in The Law Society Gazette.
William represented the Respondents. He was instructed for the appeal hearing by Salmaan Islam of North Ford Solicitors.