The Practical Lawyer


MIB injury on private land – update

We reported in our July/August 2019 edition (p31) on the case in which the CA held that MIB was liable to pay compensation to someone injured in a car accident on private land. The injured party was walking across private land and suffered life-changing injuries when hit by an uninsured driver. The MIB tried to deny liability on the basis that the accident and injuries were not caused by or arising out of the use of a vehicle on a road or other public place under s145 of the RTA 1988.
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Service out of the jurisdiction – test

A useful article considers a recent CA decision on the test for service out of the jurisdiction. The English court’s jurisdiction over a defendant domiciled outside the EU is based on the court giving the claimant permission to serve proceedings abroad. To obtain permission, the claimant must show:
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Part 36 offer – includes interest

Part 36 is a provision of the CPR which is intended to encourage parties to settle disputes without going to trial. A Part 36 offer made by either the claimant or defendant is a tactical step designed to convince the opposing party to settle the claim. If the Part 36 offer is not accepted, the party refusing it risks being made liable to pay more in interest and/or costs on a judgment than if no offer had been made.
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Negligence – value at date of claim relevant

Many miners developed a condition known as vibration white finger while employed by the National Coal Board, as a result of which in 1999 the government set up a standardised, tariff-based compensation scheme for former miners suffering from this complaint. The scheme was designed to enable large numbers of claims to be resolved promptly and economically without the need for conventional litigation and made two types of award to claimants suffering from the complaint which corresponded broadly with general and special damages for personal injuries.
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Court fee – disallowed

 If a claimant in a case is on benefits, they will probably be eligible for a fee remission. This allows access to courts and tribunal services either free of charge or at a reduced rate. Liverpool CC has recently heard a case where the claimant’s solicitor incurred a £455 court fee and treated it as a disbursement expecting to be able to recover the sum under CPR 44.3.
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Legislation – can be ignored if not HRA-compliant

The SC has reached an important decision regarding the interrelationship between government regulations and human rights legislation. The context was a judicial review of the regulations governing the removal of the spare room subsidy, otherwise known as the ‘bedroom tax’.
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Jurisdictional challenges – the basics

An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian villagers who issued proceedings against a natural resources company which has its HQ in London.
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Trial bundles – careful preparation required

Rather like buses, one waits for judicial comment on court documents and trial bundles, and then two come along at once. An article discusses a recent case in which the court was unimpressed with the claimant’s approach to the trial bundle, saying that its impact would be felt not just in terms of costs but also in the judgment on the trial. A CA case has also stated that a failure to follow the practice direction on the citation of authorities can lead the parties to expect the cost of preparing a non-compliant bundle of authorities to be disallowed.
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Documents – access by non-parties

The SC has clarified the extent of the court’s discretion to allow non-parties access to documents in a civil claim. Previously, civil claims have relied heavily on oral evidence, arguments and judgment which anyone present in court could hear. However, much more written material is now involved in cases eg statements of case, disclosed documents, skeleton arguments and written submissions which result in a written judgment. Thus, for non-parties, the proceedings may be difficult, if not impossible, to follow without access to these documents. An interesting article discusses an SC case which considered the extent and operation of the principle of open justice in terms of what access non-parties to litigation should be given to the written material and how.
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Costs – proportionality

The HC has considered a case on the approach to be taken by a judge when assessing proportionality using the test as per CPR r44.3(5) which states:
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