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In Harrison & Harrison v Black Horse Ltd  EWHC B28 (Costs) the Senior Courts Costs Office has refused relief from sanctions for failure to comply with the old funding notification requirements. In doing so the Master applied Mitchell and distinguished Forstater.
He held the breach had not been trivial and that the claimants had not discharged the burden on them to prove there was good reason for the breach. In considering all the circumstances of the case, he also took into account some ‘secondary’ factors including the claimants' failure to make its application for relief from sanctions promptly.
The claimants' application before the court was for relief from sanctions following the automatic bar on their entitlement to recover any success fees under their CFA. This automatic bar arose following their failure to notify the defendant of their new funding arrangements in accordance with old Rules 44.15(2) and 44.3B.
• these funding notification provisions no longer apply following the introduction of the April 2013 Jackson Reforms.
• as the application for relief was made after the introduction of the April 2013 Jackson Reforms, the 'new' CPR 3.9 applied to the application.
In dismissing the claimants' application for relief from sanctions, the Master held:
In addition to these primary considerations above, the following factors were of secondary relevance when considering 'all the circumstances of the case':
Court: Senior Courts Costs Office, High Court of Justice
Judge: Master Gordon-Saker
Date of judgment: 20 December 2013
This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution on 10 January 2014. Click here for a free 24 trial of Lexis®PSL.
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