New Guidance on Mitchell—any clearer now?

Frances Coulson at Moon Beaver looks at the Court of Appeal case of Denton v TH White; Decadent Vapours v Bevan; Utilise TDS v Davies which provides useful guidance on Mitchell and relief from sanction.

Original news

Denton v TH White Ltd; Decadent Vapours Ltd v Bevan; Utilise TDS Ltd v Davies [2014] EWCA Civ 906, [2014] All ER (D) 53 (Jul)

The Court of Appeal considered three cases from Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester District Registries, in a judgment handed down on 4 July 2014 grouped together to deal with the problems and uncertainties surrounding relief from sanction. In Denton v TH White Ltd; Decadent Vapours Ltd v Bevan; Utilise TDS Ltd v Davies, Dyson MR brought some welcome common sense in granting the three appeals—although the decisions still leave some room for tactical hostility and wasted costs.

Dyson said that the guidance in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1537, [2014] 2 All ER 430 has been ‘misunderstood and is being misapplied by some courts’, although said it was ‘substantially sound’. He said that it is necessary in every case to consider all the circumstances of the case—recognising that some judges have reacted rigidly to timetabling breaches, while other judges have adopted an approach of giving pre-eminence to the need to decide the claim on the merits.

Frances Coulson from Moon Beaver analyses the implications of the case here:

New Guidance on Mitchell - any clearer now?

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