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The Court of Appeal, in Michael Wilson & Partners (MWP) v Sinclair, has revoked a lower court’s order under the rarely invoked discretion afforded by Rule 3.1(7) and the Court of Appeal’s guidelines in Tibbles.
It justified this revocation on the ‘truly exceptional’ circumstances of this case, namely the need for the Court of Appeal in Denton to ‘provide further guidance, restating the relevant principles’ within a few months of the decision in Mitchell, the application of which had ‘led to decisions that were manifestly unjust and disproportionate’.
The outcome of that fresh consideration was to make an order under Rule 3.9 granting relief from sanctions and lifting the stay, thereby allowing the appeal to proceed.
Parties who have suffered under the draconian and disproportionate application of Mitchell should, however, not assume they would be equally successful in any application to revoke such draconian orders. The Court of Appeal stressed the appellant’s promptness in applying under Rule 3.1(7) following the decision in Denton had been an important factor.
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