RELIEF FROM SANCTIONS REFUSED WHEN DEFENDANT WAS TACTICALLY PLAYING FOR TIME
In Talos Capital Ltd -v- JSC Investment Holding Ltd (QBC 21/11/14)* Flaux J refused an application for an extension of time to acknowledge service and challenge the jurisdiction in circumstances where the delay was held to be deliberate and tactical.
The second defendant was served in Florida. He did not acknowledge service. He instructed English solicitors and over a month later he applied to challenge the jurisdiction and for an extension of time.
- The application was 75 days late and 40 days had elapsed since English solicitors were instructed.
- The second defendant was an experienced litigator who had known he could challenge the jurisdiction of the court.
- The second defendant’s explanations as to certain matters was “incredible”.
- The Mitchell principles applied to this application for an extension of time.
- There was no explanation and no good reason for the additional delay after the English solicitors were instructed.
- The delay was significant and the non-compliance was not accident but appeared to be deliberate and tactical.
- The application for an extension of time was refused.
Deliberate attempts to delay and play the system are unlikely to find favour with the court. It is difficult to envisage circumstances where a deliberate, tactical, decision to ignore the rules will lead to relief from sanctions being granted under the Mitchell/Denton criteria.
* On Lawtel. This post is based on the Lawtel note.