DUNHILL -v- TASKER: SUPREME COURT DECISION GIVEN TODAY: PROTECTED PARTY CANNOT SETTLE CLAIM WITHOUT APPROVAL. SUPREME COURT DECISION ATTACHED

Mediatelegal

I have attached a copy of the Supreme Court decision in Dunhill -v- Tasker which was given today UKSC_2012_0136_Judgment (1).   The conclusion is that a compromise reached by a protected party cannot be valid unless approved by the court. 

THE FACTS

An action had been compromised, at trial, at a time when (unbeknown to her then lawyers) the claimant lacked capacity. The issue was whether the original action had been validly compromised (this is a crude summary of the issues but should suffice). The Supreme Court, in one judgment given by Lady Hale, decided that the original action could not be compromised with approval of the court and the original action should continue.

“Conclusion
34. I would therefore dismiss both appeals and uphold the order made by Bean
J. On the test properly to be applied, Ms Dunhill lacked the capacity to commence
and to conduct proceedings arising out of her claim against Mr Burgin. She should
have had a litigation friend from the outset and any settlement should have been
approved by the court under CPR 21.10(1). We have not been invited to cure these
defects nor would it be just to do so. The consent order must be set aside and the
case go for trial.”