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In Pittville v Habanos, the Chancery Division has allowed an appeal against (1) an order granting relief from sanctions following the claimant’s failure to comply with an unless order requiring the provision of security for costs and (2) an order varying that unless order.
In doing so, it found (among other things) the Deputy Master had been wrong in (1) finding MasterCigars (the original claimant and assignor of the claim) had a good reason for failing to comply with the unless order, (2) failing to take into account the
factors at Rule 3.9(1)(a) and (b) of the CPR, finding there had been a material change in circumstance and/or that there were exceptional circumstances warranting the variation of the order.
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Practical implications arising from this judgment include:
The defendants sought to appeal:
Although the Chancery Division acknowledged the Deputy Master's decision to grant relief from sanctions and vary the unless order were 'discretionary case management decisions' with which it ought not to interfere 'unless satisfied the lower court has
erred in law, erred in fact or reached a conclusion which falls outside the generous ambit within which reasonable disagreement is possible', it considered the Deputy Master had 'plainly erred in his approach to the application for relief from sanctions
and for the variation of the unless order'. More particularly, the Deputy Master:
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Virginia specialises in general domestic and international commercial litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
Virginia trained, qualified and practiced with Pinsent Masons before moving to Marriott Harrison where she continued in practice for a further seven years.
In practice, Virginia acted in a variety of general commercial disputes covering areas including intellectual property, fraud, defamation, misrepresentation, breach of contract, debt recovery, breach of restrictive covenants and company and shareholders’ disputes.
Virginia is Head of Dispute Resolution at Lexis®PSL and, when not focused on the strategic development and operational requirements of the Dispute Resolution module, her content work focuses on case management and evidence in civil litigation. She also regularly contributes to the LexisNexis Dispute Resolution Blog.
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