Master Clark’s recent decision in Shill Properties Ltd v Bunch  EWHC 478 (Ch) provides an example of how badly wrong things can go when a party has a chequered past when it comes to complying with directions, but requires the court’s mercy in a relief from sanctions application. Things went badly wrong for the claimant, who now faces the prospect of pursuing a claim for specific performance of a property contract, defended on the grounds of misrepresentation, without any witness evidence.
The claimant and defendant had both failed to file and serve their trial witness statements in time. Time had been initially extended by the court from February to September 2022, but both parties had failed to meet the deadline. On 7 October 2022, they both applied for retrospective extensions of time, and having fallen afoul of CPR 32.10, for relief from sanctions under CPR 3.9.
The defendant also made an oral application to rely on witness statements that were revised to comply with PD57AC.
Please click on this link for the full article by Nicholas Towers on a fatal case of failing to comply with directions.