- Contempt of court—relevant considerations to the grant of permission in committal proceedings (Zurich Insurance plc v Romaine)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Dispute Resolution analysis: In a committal application for contempt of court for providing a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth (as defined by CPR 32.14), the Court of Appeal has looked at some of the relevant factors when applying the public interest test in determining whether permission should be granted under CPR 81.18(3)(a). Courts must principally determine whether it is in the public interest to grant permission to proceed with a committal application for contempt of court. In doing so, a ‘failure to warn’ may be a relevant factor, depending on the facts but may not necessarily be so, and is unlikely to be so in PI claims where a false statement accompanied by a statement of truth has been made. Early discontinuance of a claim when a claimant is accused of falsity is likely to be a factor to be taken into account in most cases and, in low-value large scale personal injury insurance claims, is unlikely to mean that permission should not be granted. The public interest is best served by discouraging the use of this tactic in PI claims in an attempt to avoid liability by dishonest claimants and solicitors. Written by Michael Rhode, senior associate at Trowers & Hamlins LLP.
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