Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
With over 30 practice areas, we have all bases covered. Find out how we can help
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Regulatory, business information and analytics solutions that help professionals make better decisions
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Printer Friendly Version
The Court of Appeal has continued its hardline approach to relief from sanctions post-Jackson (which started with Mitchell and continued with Durrant) with its latest decision in Thevarajah v Riordan & Ors  EWCA Civ 15.
In this latest stance, the Court of Appeal has overturned the Chancery Division’s decision to grant relief from sanctions (made post-Jackson but pre-Mitchell in August 2013). In doing so, it found the lower court could not make an inconsistent order granting relief unless and until the original debarring order had been set aside by way of a variation or revocation under CPR 3.1(7).
Further, there had been no ‘material change in circumstances’ nor there was any other basis for an application under CPR 3.1(7) to vary or revoke the debarring order. The Court of Appeal found 'the deputy judge ought to have rejected the respondents’ second application under CPR 3.9 on the threshold ground that no proper basis had been put forward for revisiting [the order] refusing the first application for the same relief'. This judgment is of particular interest to parties involved in a claim where relief from sanctions has been refused or a debarring order made.
Before challenging a decision refusing relief from sanctions, carefully consider the most appropriate course(s) of action.
A further application for relief alone might constitute an abuse of process. This is because an application for relief from a sanction presupposes the sanction has, in principle, been properly imposed (Mitchell).
A contention that it was not appropriate to make the order can be by way of appeal or by asking the court, which imposed the order to vary or revoke it under CPR 3.1(7) (Mitchell and Tibbles). This application could be combined with a further application for relief from sanctions, provided the relief application is a 'secondary' one, which is only considered as and when the 'primary' application has succeeded.
As ever, any steps should be taken promptly.
This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution on 17 January 2014. Click here for a free 24 trial of Lexis®PSL.
0330 161 1234