“I do not accept … that there is a presumption under the rules that documents will be accepted, no matter how late nor how many new points they raise … It cannot be gainsaid that there will come a time when it is … “just too late”. It cannot be characterised as perverse or otherwise unlawful for the Master to have come to that conclusion in this case for the reasons he gave in his judgment.”
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The second to fifth defendants (“the defendants”) in this case applied to set aside a default costs certificate which the claimant had obtained in the sum of US$3,730,290.
Following the (original) Respondent’s failure to pay an interim payment as ordered by the FTT, the (original) Applicant applied for an order debarring the Respondent from relying upon its Points of Dispute and for judgment in the full amount of their costs.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of both Master Gordon-Saker (at first instance) and HHJ Klein (on appeal) which we reported last year that the former client’s Points of Dispute on a Solicitors Act assessment between himself and his former solicitors were insufficiently particularised as to afford the solicitors to know the case against them and meaningfully respond in advance of the assessment hearing.
This was an appeal from a decision of Master Gordon-Saker made in the course of detailed assessment proceedings brought under s70 Solicitors Act 1974. The Master had summarily dismissed the claimant’s points of dispute on work done on documents, on grounds that they did not further the overriding objective. Specifically, the points of dispute were not, “to the point”. They did not summarise all of the particular objections to the specific points which the claimant wished to advance at the hearing so that the court and the defendant knew or knew sufficiently the case the defendant had to meet.
An SCCO Guide Extract