Category: CPR

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Damages Based Agreements: High Court confirms DBA enforceability

The High Court judgment in Lexlaw Ltd v Zuberi [2020] EWHC 1855 (Ch) (10 July 2020) provides much needed certainty over payment provisions on early termination in DBAs. The clarity given by HHJ Parfitt in relation to the DBA Regulations will widen access to justice as impecunious litigants will be more able to pursue civil and commercial litigation via damages-based agreements.

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High Court rule service of Claim Form to be ineffective

Piepenbrock v Associated Newspapers [2020] EWHC 1708 is another case concerning where and when service may occur on the Defendant’s solicitors. The facts are similar to the Court of Appeal case of Woodward v Phoenix Healthcare Distribution (which Lexlaw were instructed on). The Claimant, a litigant in person, purportedly served the Claim Form on the last day of its four month validity period via email on the Defendants’ solicitors, who had not confirmed whether they were authorised to accept service. This amounted to a failure to effect service of the Claim Form. Applications to the Court to validate service were refused and the claim dismissed highlighting the dangers of ‘DIY litigation’ and the importance of instructing a specialist litigation team.

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The Cost of an Unreasonable Refusal to Mediate

All solicitors have a duty to advise their clients about alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation. Along with the ADR requirements in the pre-action protocols, the CPR and court schemes, overall, mediation is an option that must be considered by parties both before and during litigation (and a failure to do so can lead to costs penalties).