A claimant seeking almost £11,000.00 in credit hire and storage charges has had his action struck out on the basis of defective service, compromise and abuse of process.
The Judge, in a case defended by Plexus Law’s Kevin Perkins and Amelia Highnam of Farrar’s Building, found that the claimant’s failure to serve proceedings on the defendant’s solicitor’s nominated office (they had been served on an alternative branch) amounted to defective service. She also found that an oral application for relief from sanctions made on the day of the hearing itself was insufficient to remedy that defect.
The Judge made specific reference as to the strict applicability of CPR 6.7 which had not been followed in this case. She noted that despite being on notice of the Defendant’s position since the end of June 2021, no formal application had been made by the Claimant’s representatives prior to the hearing so as to remedy the defect.
The Judge proceeded to consider further arguments on abuse of process/compromise, also finding in favour of the defendant. In this regard, the Judge found the facts in Hillier v Southern Rock Insurance Company very persuasive as to the submission that there had been a compromise of the entire claim at Stage 2 of the MOJ Process.
When considering the factual matrix of the case, the defendant was entitled to understand or to consider that the Stage 2 compromise was in respect to the whole claim not just the personal injury element.
The decision will serve as a stark reminder to claimants as to the strict rules on service and the pitfalls associated in circumstances where they are not followed. In addition, whilst compromise and abuse of process arguments very much remain fact specific, in the appropriate circumstances the courts will continue to make robust strike out orders.
For further information on this case please contact:
Kevin Perkins, Partner
T: 0113 223 9739 | M: 07890 590 187 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org